Is There An OCD Song?

Reviewed by Whitney White, MS CMHC, NCC., LPC

Published 06/27/2022

Many people write about their lived experiences, including their experiences with mental health. It's also true that some people reference mental health conditions without having experience with them or depicting them appropriately. Music can be very cathartic for anyone, including those having mental health struggles. In fact, hearing music that reflects similar feelings can be really comforting during times of struggle. If you live with obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD, you may wonder if there is an OCD song.

Woman with headphones listening music

Songs About OCD

There are several songs that either mention OCD or OCD symptoms. Here are some of them:

"My OCD" - Rhett And Link

Rhett and Link are best known for their YouTube channel, Good Mythical Morning. If you're searching the web for "Rhett and Link my OCD," "OCD Rhett and Link," "OCD song lyrics," "the OCD song," "it's my OCD song," or "youtube OCD song," the song you're likely looking for is a song by Rhett and Link called "My OCD." In the description box of the YouTube video for the song, the two-state that they understand that OCD is a serious mental disorder and provide a link to an extensive discussion on the topic on their Good Mythical Morning channel, saying, "NOTE: We understand that OCD is a serious mental disorder that significantly affects the lives of millions of people (including Rhett's wife). This song is not intended to make fun of people with OCD, but rather to demonstrate and poke fun at the tendency of so many people to point out things that are off-center, off-balance, etc., and say, "It's driving my OCD crazy!" We have an extensive discussion about this very thing, as well as what OCD really is, on an episode of Good Mythical Morning."

“Obsessions” - Marina and The Diamonds

Marina from Marina and The Diamonds has been open about her mental health and a variety of interviews. Though she has mostly spoken about anxiety and depression, this song Is written on the topic of obsessions, making it a notable mention. Here is a verse from the song

“Obsessions” by Marina and The Diamonds could be used as an example:

“Supermarket, oh, what packet of crackers to pick?

They're all the same, one brand, one name, but really they're not

Look, look, just choose something quick

People are staring, time ticker-quicking, skin is on fire

Just choose something, something, something

Pressure overwhelming

Next minute, I am turning out of the door

Facing one week without food

A day, a day, when things, things are pretty bad

But don't let it make you feel sad

The crackers were probably bad luck anyway”

“Here Comes A Thought” - Steven Universe Soundtrack

This song isn’t about OCD, but some people say that it reminds them of a few specific symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder - mainly, intrusive thoughts and rumination. Steven Universe is a well-loved animated show. The verse that best fits the theme of intrusive thoughts and rumination goes like this: “Here comes a thought that that might alarm you/What someone said and how it harmed you/Something you did that failed to be charming/Things that you said are suddenly swarming.” These words are indeed bound to be relatable for many, as rumination and intrusive thoughts aren’t just symptoms of OCD, but other disorders, too. Additionally, many people struggle with thoughts such as “oh no, what if I said/did the wrong thing?” regardless of if they have a mental health disorder or not, making this tune a comforting one.

Woman in White and Blue Long Sleeve Shirt and Blue Denim Jeans Lying on White Bed

At the end of the day, the song that brings the most comfort and sense of understanding will vary from person to person. You might come across a song that’s completely unrelated to a lyric that stands out to you or another song or verse that seems to depict a specific symptom. Many other media pieces, including TV shows, books, and movies, also mention obsessive-compulsive disorder. One famous example of a media piece about OCD is the book "Turtles All the Way Down" by John Green. Public figures who live with and have spoken about living with obsessive-compulsive disorder include but are not limited to John Green, Neil Hilborn (who wrote the famous slam poem titled "OCD"), Howie Mandel, Fiona Apple, and Daniel Radcliffe. For personal experiences with OCD, memoirs about OCD are something to look into. For clinical information or self-help, there are several books about OCD and techniques (such as behavioral therapy techniques) written by mental health professionals that may be beneficial.

What Is OCD, Really?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a genuine mental health condition that can be challenging to live with. OCD is a recognized disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. It can impact a person's ability to function at work, school, and other important life areas, such as one's social life and interpersonal relationships. To be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, your symptoms have to significantly impact your life, cause clinically significant distress, or take up a substantial amount of time. Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is not the same as preferring that things remain orderly, being a clean or tidy person, or having quirks that are not invasive to one's life. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized mainly by obsessions and compulsions, alongside other potential symptoms, that disrupt a person's life and can be debilitating.

Obsessions in OCD are defined by the American Psychiatric Association or APA by saying: "Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that cause distressing emotions such as anxiety or disgust. Many people with OCD recognize that the thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of their mind and are excessive or unreasonable. Yet, these intrusive thoughts cannot be settled by logic or reasoning. Most people with OCD try to ignore or suppress such obsessions or offset them with some other thought or action. Typical obsessions include excessive concerns about contamination or harm, the need for symmetry or exactness, or forbidden sexual or religious thoughts."

Compulsions in OCD are defined by the American Psychiatric Association or APA by saying: "Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession. The behaviors are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or a feared situation. In the most severe cases, a constant repetition of rituals may fill the day, making a normal routine impossible. Compounding the anguish these rituals cause is the knowledge that the compulsions are irrational. Although the compulsion may bring some relief to the worry, the obsession returns, and the cycle repeats over and over."

Click here for the full description of obsessive-compulsive disorder as it appears on psychiatry.org, an APA website.

OCD Subtypes

Crop person disinfecting steering wheel with antiseptic spray

The stereotype of OCD often surrounds one subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is called contamination OCD. As with all other subtypes of obsessive-compulsive disorder, contamination OCD is serious. It is typically noticed through compulsions (common examples include excessive washing or sanitizing) and obsessions with avoiding contamination. However, only about a quarter or 25% of those living with obsessive-compulsive disorder live with this subtype of OCD. Other subtypes of OCD include:

  • Symmetry OCD
  • Harm OCD
  • Purely Obsessive OCD, also called "pure O"
  • Relationship OCD
  • Religious OCD, also called "scrupulosity"
  • Real Event OCD

Of course, this is not an extensive list. Obsessive-compulsive disorder manifests differently for everyone, and no two people are the same. For more information about some of the common subtypes of OCD, read our blog post titled "What Are The Different Types Of OCD?"

Who Can Get OCD?

Here are some statistics about the prevalence of OCD and who is the most likely to get it:

  • Research shows that roughly one out of every 40 adults lives with OCD, and roughly one out of every 100 children under 18 lives with OCD.
  • OCD can impact people of all ages and genders.
  • Comorbid or co-occurring mental health conditions are common in those who live with OCD. Frequently seen co-occurring conditions include but aren't limited to anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • There is no known direct or singular cause for OCD, but risk factors that may contribute to the likelihood that someone will develop OCD include family history and environmental factors.

According to the National Institute on Mental Health or NIMH, over 50% of those 18 and above living with OCD experience a significant impairment. This statistic was measured using the Sheehan Disability Scale, which is used to assess functional impairment. OCD isn't a laughing matter, and jokes about OCD can be harmful and damaging, so it is essential to spread awareness about the disorder's reality and amplify the voices of those living with it. To be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, you must see a medical or mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist, who can diagnose mental disorders.

Finding OCD Support

Again, songs and other media pieces can be cathartic, but they aren't a replacement for treatment. Therapy is commonly used to treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. ERP or Exposure and Response Prevention therapy are one commonly used form of treatment for OCD. For all information regarding specific treatments and therapies, make sure to reach out to a medical or mental health professional. There are some ways to find counselors or therapists in your area who work with OCD, including:

  • Conducting an online search for "OCD therapy near me," "OCD therapist near me," or another similar applicable term.
  • If applicable, contact your insurance company or visit their website for information on the providers and specialists they cover near you.
  • Using an online directory or provider search tool, such as the one in the Mind Diagnostics website's upper right-hand corner.
  • Asking your doctor for a referral to a counselor or therapist near you who specializes in OCD.

Woman in Gray Hijab Sitting on Couch

If you're interested in remote counseling or therapy, consider using an online counseling website like BetterHelp. The counselors at BetterHelp are all licensed with at least three years and 1,000 hours of experience under their belt. Online counseling is often more affordable than traditional in-person counseling or therapy is without insurance. Note that you don't have to have a mental health condition or a diagnosis to see a counselor or therapist. People see mental health professionals for many different reasons, including but not limited to coping with life stressors such as work and school, relationship concerns, familial concerns, mental health concerns, and more.

The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) resource directory is another excellent resource if you're seeking support for OCD, whether you live with OCD yourself or have a loved one who lives with OCD. The IOCDF resource directory can help connect you to a number of resources, including support groups, therapists, and more. Peer support options such as support groups and online forums for obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health disorders aren't a replacement for treatment, but they can be highly advantageous. Support groups and online forums provide a sense of community and understanding that can be life-changing. Don't be afraid to reach out for help if you have OCD or think that you might. While there's no cure for OCD, it is highly treatable, and if you live with OCD, you are not alone.

Take the Mind Diagnostics Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Test

Are you wondering if you could have obsessive-compulsive disorder or symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder? If so, consider taking the Mind Diagnostics Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder screening test. The Mind Diagnostics Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder test is not a replacement for a diagnosis from a medical or mental health professional but taking the test can give you insight into your symptoms, and it might just be the first step to getting the help that you need. Although OCD can affect people of all ages, the Mind Diagnostics Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder test is for those aged 18 and above.

To take the Mind Diagnostics Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder test, click the following link or copy and paste it into your browser: https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/OCD-test.