Why having OCD stinks

Discussion in 'Community' started by Plymouthbreezer, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #1
    So today, having nothing else to do and being alone in the house (which I did - of course I have tons of stuff to do!), I decided to clean. Serious cleaning. So, for about 4 hours I cleaned the kitchen. Everything in it. I washed the walls, cabinets, refrigerator doors, floor, table, chairs, counter, polished the sink and stovetop, etc. I went through all the food in the kitchen and threw out about two bags full of stuff. I organized the dishes/bowls/cups as well as the forks and utensils. Feeling productive, I cleaned the inside of the oven too, and the microwave. And you'd never guess how dirty the underside of the sink gets - so, I cleaned that too. Yep.

    Needless to say, it all looked wonderful, until my mother cooked dinner. There goes my nice clean kitchen! Gah... Oh well.

    Anyway, as you can see, I basically wasted a few hours of my life, but my head tells me they weren't. Rationally though, I know thats not good to do on a regular basis.

    So, does anyone else suffer from OCD like this? Ideas, suggestions, should I go see the shrink? :eek:
     
  2. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
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    visiting from downstream
    #2
    If you clean it all again TOMORROW, then I'd worry.

    But there's nothing wrong with every so often trying to restore everything to its original state... she can't have messed up EVERYTHING. Much of what you cleaned will remain clean for a long time (under the sink, for example).
     
  3. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

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    #3
    I wouldn't bother seeing the shrink unless it's really debilitating or interfering with your life. It's not that serious if all you do is thoroughly clean things every so often.
     
  4. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4
    I hate OCD, it manifests itself in many different forms. I know that there is a family history of it. I am curious about the reasons behind why it exists. Is it genetic, or is it a result of consumption. Either way, I've realized that caffeine consumption is a no-no, among other uppers. I've yet to find a source of information that I find really satisfying when it comes to understanding OCD though.
     
  5. me_94501 macrumors 65816

    me_94501

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    #5
    Don't take me as being a mental health professional (I am not) I think you're fine. I think it's a fairly normal reaction to get annoyed to see the result of hard work get messed up. I get that way sometimes too. As others said, I wouldn't worry unless you spend hours cleaning like this everyday and/or it interferes with your life.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #6
    Doesn't sound like OCD to me. Just sounds like you got into the groove of whatever you were doing.

    Talking about OCD, when I drink from a cup, I always have to wipe the rim area of the cup with my thumb, particularly the area where my lips touched the glass when taking a drink. Freaks me out if I don't, and I HATE HATE HATE it when a drip of liquid remains and runs down the side of the glass and onto the table. :mad:

    It seriously bothers me just typing about it. I'm staring at my cup right now, checking it for stray water drops. Seriously. :(
     
  7. Plymouthbreezer thread starter macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #7
    Oh, no, I do have it. I guess I should have mentioned I do this a lot. I have tons of little things that shouldn't bother me. This just kinda got me thinking more about how bad it is.

    For me, I feel threatened and worried when things are "not in order" or not up to my idealistic standards. To reduce the threat, I have to carry out a compulsive response. I do this with anything in the house. Shoes, books, drawers must be organized my color, size, shape, purpose, etc. In many public places, I wipe bathroom countertops (or wherever) because leaving the "mess" would bother me to no end. In stores, I've reorganized items on shelves because they aren't in order. I pick up trash outside and on the floor at school; and line up desks in the classrooms. Yesterday actually, I spent about 20 minutes hand picking any tiny debris off the driveway after I swept the entire surface (I also do this for the street, but to a lesser extent). I went through the mulch beds around the house and removed every leaf or foreign object - even long blades of grass. I vacuum/shake the mats of the cars everytime I get out, or someone else gets out. I also have nervous breakdowns when people walk across the snow in my yard and leave footprints during the winter. If the snow gets messed up, I have to fix it by either clearing the entire surface, or "re-fulffing" the disrupted areas. Speaking of fluffed, un-fluffed pillows make me worried, as do wrinkled sheets. For school work, my binders get replaced every three months in order to keep them looking new. And, all my bookcovers must be consistent, and not we written on - a small mark on one will force me to recover it. I also can't sleep with anything in the sink, or having water drops in it. And, I have to make my bed with a 13" overhand of the sheets, because thats what is "correct."

    See... That's my life. Living in a world where you're bound to live up to ridiculous standards that I myself impose. Many say, "well, just don't do that stuff anymore..." but they don't realize that if I stop doing them, I'd be driven into a frenzy and a have a major breakdown. But, a common misconception is that performing these tasks is bothersome and time-consuming for me, but it's not. I actually am really efficient at doing all those things, and it comes as second nature for me.

    *Sigh*
     
  8. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    #8
    Is it wrong that I always (ie every minute) check the Firewire and USB cables running into my PowerBook...? :eek:
     
  9. Plymouthbreezer thread starter macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #9
    A good point you bring up. This is one reason it does become hard to deal with - people around me aren't like this, so obviously they aren't bothered by my compulsions, but I am! And when they "mess up" things, I'm the one that needs to fix 'em. On the flip side, I do understand that my "hard work" will be disrupted, and that I can just do it again and everything will be all better for a wee bit longer, until its disrupted once again. I can live with that for the most part.
     
  10. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

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    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    USA! USA!
    #10
    That is not OCD. Even seen the Aviator? That is OCD.
     
  11. Plymouthbreezer thread starter macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #11
    Yes, great movie. OCD? Maybe.

    It comes in many forms actually. I personally have the "Ordering" form of it.
     
  12. highres macrumors 6502a

    highres

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Location:
    Near the Singularity
    #12
    Plymouth I understand and can sympathize with many of your compulsions. I too suffer from mild "Ordering" OCD and have for many years.

    Just a few:

    I like to vaccum multiple times a day even taking it so far as to make sure that the lines or patterns created vacuuming are straight or form nice even squares.

    I will straighten and re-straighten my bed spread throughout the day so that I doesn't have any wrinkles whenever I feel that is has a wrinkle in it.

    I frequently will cleanup the kitchen or food items while people are still using them, like putting all the sandwich stuff away before people have even used them once.

    When things are messy around me, I literally can't continue with my day until I feel I am working from an "organized foundation".

    I frequently clean and vacuum my moms, brothers and friends houses and "bust them out" for them, partly because I like to make people smile and partly because it is easier for me to spend time in a clean house.

    If I have had friends and family over, I will not go to sleep unless my place is clean and organized the way it was before they came over, including vacuumed.

    I will use a glass and instead of putting it in the sink and then doing it with the other dishes later, I will clean it, dry it and then wipe the sink down so there are no water drops or "unorganized " water drops in the sink.

    I am also this "compulsive" with laundry, organizing my wallet, getting my car cleaned, etc. Maybe I am just neat and clean? I terms of whether it is harmful, IDK, there are many worse addictions or unhealthy habits than overcleaning, I guess... :rolleyes:
     
  13. slb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #13
    I have a thing about things that are brand new. I have to keep them in the box, and the box itself must be bagged and kept in a place free of dust and smudges. I get upset if this changes.

    Also, various things have "levels" of clean and can only touch other things on that same level or in the same bags. It's weird, I know. I guess I have issues.
     
  14. Plymouthbreezer thread starter macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #14
    Yeah, I do all those things too.

    When people ask why I clean/organnize/order the school, public places, other peoples houses, I tell them how I need to be in a "clean" surrounding to function best.

    Same goes for when I'm doing any work - everything needs to have some semblance of order to it.

     
  15. highres macrumors 6502a

    highres

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    #15
    Definitely at work for me too, I do web design so I work on my computer. How many times a day do you organize your "desktop" both virtual and the desk surrounding the computer? Sometimes I will spend more time creating folder structure, organizing and naming files than I will on the actual work itself...*sigh* I guess that is a little compulsive, not just neat and clean... :(
     
  16. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #16
    Oh dear... the closest I get to organised is organised chaos...

    I'm not a tidy person. I know where things are and it never gets 'dirty' but I just figure I have better things to do than constantly dusting and vacuuming; so I don't.

    So... if either of you guys ever feel the need to tidy; you're welcome to visit and make a day of it! I'll even take you out to dinner to avoid messing up your handiwork :p
     
  17. Plymouthbreezer thread starter macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #17
    Yeah, but hey, if it helps us!
     

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