How To Spread Awareness About OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder¹ (OCD) is one of the most disabling mental health conditions. It causes obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. If you or someone you love has OCD, you know the daily struggles the disorder brings. 

Most people have heard of OCD, but they may not understand what it actually is. Some people may flippantly say they’re “OCD” about something without knowing how severe the condition can be. There are many myths about OCD, so awareness of the disorder is vital.

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We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Why is OCD awareness important?

There are numerous OCD misconceptions, and these myths can be harmful to people with the condition. Obsessive-compulsive disorder impacts an estimated 2-3 million adults² in the United States, although many may not receive a diagnosis. A 2021 study³ discovered that OCD often goes undiagnosed for ten or more years due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of the condition.

The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) launched OCD Awareness Week in 2009. It takes place each October to educate, inspire, and fundraise for those impacted by obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

Raising awareness gives people a better understanding of the condition and its symptoms so they can support a loved one with OCD. People with OCD will discover that they aren’t alone. 

Many people struggle with obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, but they don't know why. OCD awareness can help people seek help from a doctor or therapist once they know which signs to look for, and it can provide hope for recovery. 

How can you support the cause during OCD Awareness Week and beyond?

Take to social media

Are you looking for an easy, free method to let people know about OCD? Social media may be an excellent way for you to get involved. Some people with OCD and their loved ones find it helpful to share their experiences through Facebook posts, TikTok, or YouTube videos. 

Posting online may not be for everyone, especially those still struggling with OCD symptoms, but it can help others feel heard and understood. Of course, posting on social media about mental health may invite trolls, but you’re more likely to spark vital conversations about OCD. 

If you'd rather not make social media content from scratch, the International OCD Foundation has a list of social media challenges⁴ and shareable OCD graphics.⁴ Sharing evidence-based information with your followers is a great way to dispel common myths and educate. 

Attend an OCD awareness event

To learn more about OCD and educate others, you could attend an OCD awareness event. The International OCD Foundation hosts numerous OCD-related events every month to provide information and support. Some events are in person, like OCD awareness walks, while others are virtual, such as lunch-and-learns and community live streams. 

You can visit the International OCD Foundation's events calendar page⁵ to see which events are coming up. 

Volunteer with a local International OCD Foundation affiliate

If you want to dedicate your time to spreading the word about OCD, you can check the International OCD Foundation’s local affiliates⁶ page to find a chapter near you. Each affiliate is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers, and you can find their contact information to get involved. If there isn't an affiliate near you, you could start one yourself.

Affiliates may work on dozens of projects simultaneously, but most focus on grassroots efforts to educate and fundraise. If you’re near Boston, Massachusetts, you can help the foundation at its headquarters. Volunteer projects involve data entry, creating information packets, and promoting the foundation through mailings.

For more information about the organization and how you can get involved, you can use its contact form.⁷ 

The lowdown

People with OCD may feel isolated and alone. By spreading awareness, you can help those with the condition feel supported and get the treatment they need. You can tell people about the realities of OCD in several ways, including through social media and volunteering. 

You can always get creative and develop your own events, and getting others involved may be more effective and fun. Why not set up a 5K run for you and your friends to support OCD causes?

  1. About OCD | International OCD Foundation

  2. Who gets OCD? | International OCD Foundation

  3. A systematic review of misdiagnosis in those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (2021)

  4. International OCD awareness week: October 9–15, 2022 | International OCD Foundation

  5. IOCDF community events calendar | International OCD Foundation

  6. Our local affiliates | International OCD Foundation

  7. Contact us | International OCD Foundation

Other sources:

Have you considered clinical trials for Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Discover which clinical trials you are eligible for

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