Daily more people are being diagnosed with mental illnesses like ADHD and OCD. While mentally fit people may not see this as a “serious” illness, victims suffer significantly from it.
It hurts even more when the people closest to them don’t understand what they are going through or don’t validate their process because they think it is not a severe illness and can be cured if the victims try hard enough.
News flash, in most cases, victims live with it all their lives. And because of it, they process things differently — things like grief.
In this story, a man we’ll call Ed thought he did something in his girlfriend’s best interests. However, he realizes he may have made a mistake. We’ll call his girlfriend Adriell.
Everything In 5s
Adriell suffers from OCD. One of her typical symptoms is doing everything in 5s. That means the 5th of every month would be unique to her, the 5th of every year, etc.
Her mother passed away in March 2018.
She goes to therapy to help her cope. Early this year, in January, she brought up getting a tattoo for the fifth anniversary of her mother’s death, and Ed suggested she talk about it with her therapist.
After doing so, she said that her therapist did not think it was a good idea. Her therapist believed that the drive to get the tattoo was her OCD and not because she wanted one.
If your therapist says something is wrong, the chances are that it is. However, I know better than anyone the urge to follow one’s heart and fulfil one’s desires even when everyone says it’s wrong.
Cancelling Her Appointment
Adriell booked the appointment anyway. After talking to a couple of friends about it, they all agreed that making such a permanent decision, which was purely fuelled by her OCD, was not a good idea.
If she had “recovered from her OCD,” Ed says, he would not be so hesitant. Ed may not know this, but people don’t just “recover” from OCD. The fact he doesn’t know that proves how little he knows about his girlfriend’s illness.
Nevertheless, he could not let her make such a decision. He emailed the tattooist, as they had each other’s passwords, and he canceled the appointment. He told her an hour before her appointment that he had canceled it, and since she had booked the last slot for the day, there was no way to get it done. Isn’t that sad?
Imagine you planned to do a thing to honor the fifth anniversary of your mom’s death, and then imagine you had that thing taken away from you because it seemed “irrational” when that thing didn’t hurt you or anyone else.
Well, now, you may understand how Adriell felt.
Ed knew she would be upset; what he didn’t expect was HOW upset she would be. “It’s been a couple of weeks, and it’s honestly crazy how she’s reacted to it,” he says. A friend says, “You don’t upset someone and expect them to react your way.”
Ed, and their friends, are confident that in the future, once she “recovers from her OCD,” she will be grateful. It’s clear to him it was her OCD that influenced her decision.
Adriell described it as “making her physically sick when she thinks about the fact she’ll never be able to get a tattoo on the fifth year anniversary.”
He understands he may have done something wrong but acted in her best interest. Now, he wants to know if he was being a jerk.
Here Is What People Think
The case is not so black and white, but the one thing for sure is that Ed should not have acted on her behalf. Adriell can make her own decisions, whether OCD-influenced or not, and if she wanted to do this to honor her mom, he should have let her.
One person says OCD follows a particular pattern of logic. “In the person affected, their patterns are necessary rituals that they must complete. It feels logical to them. Do this, or bad things happen,” they say.
Others point out that Ed quickly concluded that OCD influenced her decisions. They may have inspired it but probably were not entirely responsible; otherwise, she could have opted for five tattoos.
A second contributor with OCD says their patterns make sense to them. They do not need or like when someone tries to “logic” them out of their pattern. It stresses them out and triggers anxiety attacks because they would then doubt if their pattern makes sense. They conclude, “If it makes sense to the person experiencing it, then leave it alone.”
Finally, a third person adds that OCD is a highly complicated disorder and no one can understand another person’s OCD except for them.
People also consider it highly offensive and disgusting that he repeatedly refers to OCD as “something that could be treated or cured.” His girlfriend needed this, and he ruined it for her. Who knows how badly she is taking it?
According to what everyone says, Ed made a mistake. But do you think differently? Do you think his stepping in to “save” her from a mistake she would regret was right? Let us know in the comments.
This thread inspired this article.