OCD – Can You Deal With It?

Everyone knows what OCD is.  They either suffer from it in some degree or know someone who does.  One thing you may not know is it can be just as annoying to the person who has it as it is to the person who doesn’t but has to deal with the person who has it.  I myself have a mild case of OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  For me it’s a couple of things.  First everything has it’s place so put it there, you have a clothes basket for dirty clothes so put your dirty clothes in it not on the floor right beside it.  Second, things should be in order either alphabetically or numerically or by date from oldest to newest on top.  Like my movies or music, I mean if they were just randomly put on the shelf in no order what-so ever how would I ever find the movie I want?  I’d spend 30 minutes just looking for it; but having them in order makes it quick and easy to find the movie or music CD with no fuss.  Third, if I have a thought in my head and I have already started speaking it, I have to finish it I don’t care if you walked away pissed off, I will say it out loud to myself but the sentence must be finished.  I started to say if for a reason and that reason was because it was important, now if you don’t want to hear it that’s your problem but I’m going to finish my sentence I don’t care if I have to wait 20 mins to do it.

Now I also live with someone who has OCD and his OCD has similarities to mine but he also has different OCD issues and I can say they annoy the hell out of me.  Personally I think he is OCD about having his dirty clothes on the floor right beside his dirty clothes basket.  There can’t be any other reason not to put them in the basket.  It has to be OCD and he is compelled to put them there which is in total contridiction to my OCD of everything has it’s place and should be put in it, which in turn annoys me to no end.

So let me explain a little bit about OCD to you.  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD is an anxiety disorder in which people have thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).  A person may have both obsessions and compulsions.

OCD is a potentially disabling illness that traps people in endless cycles of repetitive thoughts and behaviors.  People with OCD are plagued by recurring and distressing thoughts, fears, or images (obsessions) they cannot control.  The anxiety (nervousness) produced by these thoughts leads to an urgent need to perform certain rituals or routines (compulsions).  The compulsive rituals are performed in an attempt to prevent the obsessive thoughts or make them go away.  Although the ritual may temporarily alleviate anxiety, the person must perform the ritual again when the obsessive thoughts return.  This OCD cycle can progress to the point of taking up hours of the person’s day and significantly interfering with normal activities.  People with OCD may be aware that their obsessions and compulsions are senseless or unrealistic, but they cannot stop them.

Below are a few symptoms of OCD

Obsessions or compulsions that are not due to medical illness or drug use

Obsessions or compulsions that cause major distress or interfere with everyday life.  An example would be excessive or repeated handwashing to ward off infection.

Excessive cleaning

Repeated checking

extreme hoarding

Preoccupation with sexual, violent, or religious thoughts

Aversion to particular numbers

Nervous rituals, such as opening and closing a door a certain number of times before entering or leaving a room.

Fear of dirt or contamination by germs.

Fear of causing harm to another.

Fear of making a mistake.

Fear of being embarrassed or behaving in a socially unacceptable manner.

Fear of thinking evil or sinful thoughts.

Need for order, symmetry, or exactness. (That’s me)

Excessive doubt and the need for constant reassurance.

Common compulsions include:

Repeatedly bathing, showering, or washing hands.

Refusing to shake hands or touch doorknobs.

Repeatedly checking things, such as locks or stoves. (I do this when locking my car only)

Constant counting, mentally or aloud, while performing routine tasks.

Constantly arranging things in a certain way. (I do this)

Eating foods in a specific order. (I do this)

Being stuck on words, images or thoughts, usually disturbing, that won’t go away and can interfere with sleep.

Repeating specific words, phrases, or prayers.

Needing to perform tasks a certain number of times.

Collecting or hoarding items with no apparent value.

These symptoms can be alienating and time-consuming, and often cause severe emotional and financial distress.  The acts of those who have OCD may appear paranoid and potentially psychotic.  However, OCD sufferers generally recognize their obsessions and compulsions as irrational, and may become further distressed by this realization.

What Causes OCD?

Although the exact cause of OCD is not fully understood, studies have shown that a combination of biological and environmental factors may be involved.

Biological Factors:  The brain is a very complex structure.  It contains billions of nerve cells — called neurons — that must communicate and work together for the body to function normally.  The neurons communicate via electrical signals. Special chemicals, called neurotransmitters, help move these electrical messages from neuron to neuron.  Research has found a link between low levels of one neurotransmitter — called serotonin — and the development of OCD.  In addition, there is evidence that a serotonin imbalance may be passed on from parents to children.  This means the tendency to develop OCD may be inherited.

In addition, certain areas of the brain appear to be affected by the serotonin imbalance that leads to OCD.  This problem seems to involve the pathways of the brain that link the area of the brain that deals with judgment and planning, and the area of the brain that filters messages involving body movements.  Studies also have found a link between a certain type of infection caused by the Streptococcus bacteria and OCD.  This infection, if recurrent and untreated, may lead to the development of OCD and other disorders in children.

Environmental Factors:  There are environmental stressors that can trigger OCD in people with a tendency toward developing the condition.  Certain environmental factors may also cause a worsening of symptoms.  These factors include:

Abuse

Changes in living situation

Illness

Death of a loved one

Work- or school-related changes or problems

Relationship concerns

OCD is the fourth most common mental disorder, and is diagnosed nearly as often as asthma and diabetes mellitus.  In the United States, one in 50 adults suffers from OCD.  Obsessive–compulsive disorder affects children and adolescents as well as adults.  Roughly one third to one half of adults with OCD reports a childhood onset of the disorder, suggesting the continuum of anxiety disorders across the life span.  The phrase obsessive–compulsive has become part of the English lexicon, and is often used in an informal or caricatured manner to describe someone who is excessively meticulous, perfectionistic, absorbed, or otherwise fixated.  Although these signs are present in OCD, a person who exhibits them does not necessarily have OCD, and may instead have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), an autism spectrum disorder, or no clinical condition.  Despite the irrational behavior, OCD is sometimes associated with above-average intelligence.  Its sufferers commonly share personality traits such as high attention to detail, avoidance of risk, careful planning, exaggerated sense of responsibility and a tendency to take time in making decisions.  Multiple psychological and biological factors may be involved in causing obsessive–compulsive syndromes.

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13 thoughts on “OCD – Can You Deal With It?

  1. Shannygirl

    Now imagine if you will… you live w/ someone who has OCD traits and it annoys the hell out of you… right? Well, I live with 2 OF YOU.. and you both annoy the hell out of me.. OH.. and I hear you when you finish your sentence after I’ve walked away and I have to chuckle to myself at the thought of you standing in whatever room alone finishing you sentence and thinking “I told her!” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.. and my dirty clothes go wherever I put them!!!

    Reply
    1. radaronelson Post author

      I can only imagine and I didn’t say anything about your OCD issues with throwing your dirty clothes everywhere but in the dirty clothes basket. I only mentioned your son and how I think that is one of his OCD traits and that is why he does it because there is no other reason for it.

      Reply
  2. nudememphis

    I’ve been married for so long that I guess I had come to believe that all women are OCD. Are you seriously suggesting that some women aren’t? Who are these women and where might I find them?

    Reply
    1. radaronelson Post author

      Yes it is true not all women are OCD, I am married to one of them. Where to find them, I’m not sure. It is difficult to find them, I was just lucky I guess, that is if you are looking for someone who is not OCD LOL.

      Reply
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  5. Kitt Crescendo

    Like you said…everyone has their OCD things. I have a few. First…Money…this is going to probably sound stupid, but I need all bills to be facing the same direction. Second…books and music…all must be in alphabetical order. It is a bit issue I have with going to buy movies or cd’s. I literally will find myself alphabetizing their sections because it makes me batty to look for something and see utter disorganized chaos.

    Reply
    1. radaronelson Post author

      OMG I am the same, my bills need to be the same way and $1 on top with the highest dollar amount on the bottom or as it sits in my wallet $1 on the inside to high dollar to the outside. Yep all my books and music are alphabetical as well as my movies.

      Reply

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