OCD Hand Sanitizer

by Bill Brenner on December 20, 2010

If you can’t laugh at your mental defects once in awhile, you’re never going to get better. I definitely laughed when I saw this sitting on my desk:

Repeated hand cleaning was never my biggest OCD quirk. Checking my laptop bag a dozen times before leaving work and checking the door nob before leaving the house were much bigger hangups for me. But I have used a lot of hand sanitizer in my day, so this may come in handy at some point.

OK, it won’t. Taking it out of the package would ruin the joke.

So I’ve hung it right beneath the “Happy Childhood Memories” breath spray someone gave me at Christmastime six years ago. When I’m sitting at the desk and I look to my left, I now have this to cheer me on days when I need the lift:

Some people find this stuff insulting. If you’re really sick from the disorder and you’re at a point where you haven’t gotten help yet, that’s understandable. So here’s a tip from someone who’s been down that road: Laughing at yourself makes the demon smaller and a lot less scary.

Humor is an important coping tool for someone learning to manage depressive mental disorders. Abraham Lincoln, a chronically depressed man for much of his adult life, relied on it during the darkest days of the Civil War. He reveled in telling jokes or amusing stories.

And it helped get him through the pain, long before anti-depressants were created.

So learn to laugh and do it often.

It may not help you find happiness, but it’ll help you move on.

That’s what I’ve learned, anyway.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Arthur Lawrence August 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I can laugh at it, and so can you. We both have OCD. And laughing at the OCD “monster” does indeed weaken it. This is a therapeutic application. What bothers me are the millions who have no idea what OCD really is. For them, products like this continue to trivialize OCD and help keep those millions uninformed about this disease. Should we now have “Tourette itch powder”? It would be about as appropriate as this product. Again, I don’t dispute what you say about laughing at one’s own “mental defects”. But I do know that OCD research and treatment are still in the dark ages, relatively speaking. And products like this, out in the general public, aren’t going to get people to believe that OCD can be as debilitating as cancer. It needs to be taken as seriously as cancer. Mocking it will almost certainly not help that to happen.

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