obsessive-compulsive disorder?

i was having a meeting with my colleagues and leader this afternoon. someone mentioned something about compulsive disorder in one student. the rest started joking about their different mild compulsive disorder. intrigued, i searched for ‘compulsive disorder’ on the net. found that there is really such a condition except that it is properly termed ‘obsessive-compulsive disorder‘ or ocd (remember jack nicholson’s role in ‘as good as it gets’?). after reading about it, discovered that this is a rather common condition. then i realise that i, too, have some traits of ocd. perhaps the rest of you also have some similar traits which we can know here. send me a mail if you have some interesting or unique traits, and with your permission, i can publish them here.

allow me to start (albeit mine are probably very trivial and mild):

canterbury soul
* minutes after lying in bed, will get up to check if the main door is locked
* after walking some distance from my car, will walk back to check if the car doors are locked
* will wash my hands after touching every thing (big or small) deemed unclean (and yes, i wash my hands after putting on my shoes)

Oh I am totally OCD–phobia of germs, phobia of touching shopping carts and handrails and handholds on the subway. I don’t like when people sneeze, and I also pick my hands and feet on a regular basis. It’s awful! I’m sure there’s more that I do.

susan abraham
Yes, I admit…I admit. Me too…
But not at the moment…
Before yes, once or twice. A phase.
Thank God, it wasn’t constant.
Checking for running water from taps…or lights.
At night, in bed.
Did I turn off the tap? Did I turn off the lights? That kind of thing.

I have a reusable bag that I bought from my local supermarket. After using it I fold it carefully and put it back in the little pouch it comes with. As I did this absently one day I watched as my colleagues eyes bugged out and became flabbergasted before one finally burst out: “What the fuck are you doing?” Who knows what other crazy little things I do without thinking about it. Although I do wear matching underwear ALL the time. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that though. OCD is called TOC in France.

I’m the same. I go to bed and then have to get up again to check if I’ve switched off everything and that the doors are all locked. As for germs, I have to wash my hands as soon as I get home. Imagine all those germs you can catch on public transport! I also wipe the bottom of my shoes with anti-bacterial wipes.

gingermiss offers some important lessons of ocd. Please read…

One of the points that most information on obsessive compulsive disorder tries to emphasize is that everyone has “obsessive compulsive tendencies”. The difference between people who do this normally and who do it within the definition of the disorder:
1. Their compulsions (checking the lock on your door over and over, washing your hands over and over, hoarding, etc.) take up a significant amount of their time and impede the progress of their lives.
2. Their anxiety/need to perform these behaviors (called “rituals” by some) causes them a discomforting amount of distress or anxiety.
Compulsive checking and compulsive washing are two of the better known compulsions that OCD sufferers have, but there are many more. Some forms of the disorder focus primarily on having obsessive, intrusive bad thoughts that you can’t control or obsessively worrying about unrealistic and illogical events.
People with severe OCD live in a constant state of anxiety and are often trapped within the confines of performing their rituals. Their obsessive behaviors isolate them from other people and act as a source of embarrassment. Consistently maintaining such an intense level of anxiety takes a toll on your health and often causes other physical issues like abdominal pain, shaking, nausea, and gastrointestinal problems. Some medications and therapy are successful in helping patients manage the disorder while others OCD sufferers are unable to find something that will help them.
On the flip side, there are some positive characteristics that certain specific people with OCD often exhibit:
– an above average level of intelligence and mental functioning
– attention to detail
– an above average level of conscientiousness and commitment to fulfilling their responsibilities
I posted this information because I think that, as obsessive compulsive disorder has come into the mainstream social consciousness, a lot of people have been misinterpreting what it really means to have OCD. Also, I think some of the people who do have these problems may not realize that they have them, or that there are ways to alleviate them. If you know someone you think may need help, I encourage you to share this information with them. Thanks.

Published in: on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 6:27 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very interesting article! I too suffer with OCD, I have to carry out lots of routines before bed just in case something bad happens too me, and i hate doing them and relise its stupid.. but i feel really anxious if i don’t do them! Things like: Looking out the window 5 times.. and then one for luck! Putting my mobile phone off without blinking, Making sure all my drawers are closed, Have to sleep with my window open.. i have a huge list of things i must do!

  2. Oh my goodness CS,
    The three things you list are EXACTLY MINE. You knocked me down. If I hadn’t read yours, I would’ve listed these three. Totally obsessive! 🙂

  3. i guess we’re both ruled by some strangely-common genes in our chromosomes that lead to us having similar ocd signs. Thanks Shameless for dropping by! 🙂

  4. the majority of these things are very normal. None of them however point to OCD. “obsessive compulsive” is used way too loosely in the general population and in the majority of cases is anxiety or stress brought out into action (such as checking and germs etc)! OCD is much more complex and is one of the top 10 disabilities (in terms of lowering quality of life) according to the GMC (general medical concil)!

    Im not some big no-it-all. Im doing an essay on OCD and bruckner (how its related to musical creativity) and stumbled onto this site!

  5. I read with interest, that “Damian” is doing an essay on OCD and Bruckner (the composer). Please send this mail to “Damian”. He should contact me, because I’m writing a thesis on the same topic.

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