25 alternatives to the word “OCD”

It’s not news that a lot of people misuse the term “OCD” when they don’t actually mean the debilitating disorder. Plenty of people (myself included) have written about why this is harmful (delays diagnosis of people who actually have OCD, increases stigma, etc.) and how to approach starting a conversation. I’ve gotten a lot better at being open to talking without being angry and confrontational.

What I’ve heard is helpful is providing examples of alternative words. So, here are 25 other words someone could use. As a perk, most of the words are way more specific than using “OCD.” Why not improve your vocabulary as a bonus?

  1. Particular
  2. Clean
  3. Neat
  4. Tidy
  5. Orderly
  6. Organized
  7. Anal
  8. Anal-retentive
  9. Precise
  10. Perfectionistic
  11. Pedantic
  12. Exact
  13. Systematic
  14. Meticulous
  15. Fussy
  16. Fastidious
  17. Finicky
  18. Overscrupulous
  19. Specific
  20. Detailed
  21. Thorough
  22. Exhaustive
  23. Careful
  24. Accurate
  25. Detailed



  1. This is great! I don’t personally like being called OCD, especially, when my super-organizational, clean-freak behavior is not the result of actual OCD. Thanks for sharing your list with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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