could you describe what the symptoms of OCD mean to you, and express for you?
Of course they’re an immense and painful burden, and they cost you incredible amounts of energy.
For me, they mean(t): to create a small and very safe world for me. In this world, I am as protected as well as possible against bad influences, disruptions, general harm. When I find rest after having performed my checking rituals, I can read, listen to music, play my guitar, watch a good movie, whatever.
In brief: I can be myself.
In this respect, my rituals are by no means ‘insane’, or ‘mad’. They’re not even irrational (though the repetition is, of course, dreadful in itself). But is striving for safety, rest, and the ability to concentrate intensely on valuable activities an illness?
I shouldn’t think so. OCD is different from having distorted, ‘false’, experiences of the world (as is the case in a state of psychosis).
Finally: I don’t want to imply that OCD is ‘better’ than schizophrenia, of course.