Carrie Underwood, You Can’t “Be” OCD!


Ugh! Another person has diagnosed herself as OCD. Carrie Underwood said in a recent interview that she “is OCD about time.” It’s frustrating enough when anyone claims to “be OCD,” but Carrie is a huge celebrity and this will gain some attention.

As tiring as it can be, I’ll never stop telling people that the “D” in “OCD” stands for disorder. Statements like Carrie made trivialize OCD, making it seem like a minor inconvenience or a charming personality trait. And I am never sure I can believe it even when celebrities say they have OCD. It seems to be a pretty common claim to make, at least more common than claiming to have any other mental disorder.

How do you respond when you hear someone say something like this? Do you let it go? Do you politely–or not so politely–correct the person?

Leave a reply below! I’d love to hear from you.


About Alison Dotson

I am the author of Being Me with OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life, a nonfiction book for teens and young adults with OCD. Part memoir, part self-help guide, Being Me with OCD lets readers know they're not alone in their struggle to get better--and that there is hope.

3 responses »

  1. I have also written many posts similar to yours. It is so frustrating how OCD is misrepresented in the media, and people like Carrie Underwood only make things worse. These days when I hear comments such as “I’m so OCD,” I do speak up, correct the person nicely, and try to start a conversation. In my experience, nine times out of ten, people are genuinely interested in hearing about what OCD really is and is not. Thanks for all you are doing to raise awareness of this horrible disorder and congrats on your book!

  2. I have a tendency to go into a prolonged rant about how destructive such trivialisation is and why it’s not “OCD” to like your socks to match or want to be on time, etc. I usually include a lengthy series of anecdotes about my daily life, including the fact that I shut down and became catatonic because I couldn’t deal with the fact that my brother had accidentally thrown out my straw.

    It’s not cute. It’s highly distressing. Recovery is possible, but it takes a long time and a LOT of willpower to deliberately expose yourself to the trigger time and again. Making light of it minimises the very real trauma associated with the condition itself, and the recovery process. My most troubling manifestation was hoarding, and when people say “I’m such a hoarder” because they like to collect ornaments, it makes me want to scream at them. Collecting rational things is NOT hoarding; washing hamburger wrappers and folding them into neat piles because you are quite literally unable to throw them out but you refuse to live in filth is hoarding!

    It took five years of gradual exposure by choice (starting with self-deception; handing a single item to my parents to “do with what you think is appropriate” because it wasn’t guaranteed that it would be thrown out, and there was a glimmer of hope that it may be loved by somebody) to get to the point that I can now say “I don’t need it, it’s junk, it’s going in the bin” or “I don’t need it, but it’s going to be of use to somebody, it can go to goodwill”. And even then, I can’t stop and think about it because doing so guarantees that I’ll keep that item…

    But hey, liking to be on time is “OCD” eh?

    You know what? I’m going to write about this too.

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