Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

If you're reading this, you might be curious, or maybe you think you do have this as well. Then, read on.

Define: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry; by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety; or by a combination of such obsessions and compulsions. Symptoms of the disorder include excessive washing or cleaning; repeated checking; extreme hoarding; preoccupation with sexual, violent or religious thoughts; relationship-related obsessions; aversion to particular numbers; and nervous rituals, such as opening and closing a door a certain number of times before entering or leaving a room. 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.
######[Definition by Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsessive%E2%80%93compulsive_disorder)

I think I do have this. Maybe I agree on some of the things mentioned here (except for the psychotic part), maybe I don't.

Personally, I believe that this disorder can be turned around. But, before I start confessing my OCD-ness, I want to say that I have been able to make this work for me. And if you're in the same boat as I am, then read on.

My obsessions

I'm obsessed with order and cleanliness. Maybe to some extent, it is a burden to live with me, and I recognize that. I don't want seeing hair on the tiles. I don't like to see dust on my cabinets/furnitures. I hate it when things aren't in their specified place (like remote controls everywhere, or stuff on the dining table).

I rise up and always fix my bed to my liking (meaning, no wrinkles on the bed cover) and everything neatly folded on the pillow or beside it. No funky smell allowed at home. I have a very ridiculous list of chores every Sunday. Sometimes I wonder how I get by because a disorderly/unkept house ticks me off.

I'm obsessed with healthy stuff. I engage myself in healthy activities and keep to a routine meal. Yep, it is extremely boring to eat the same stuff every morning and every night, but as with anyone with OCD, these things we do to our liking only because it keeps us at peace.

I read the nutritional facts at the back of the food before I buy. If two things both taste good, the one with the healthier option will always win. I drink 3-4 cups of tea a day and usually only 1 cup of coffee a day. No alcohol, no soda.

I have a calendar full of activities I want to do, and try to keep to, like swimming on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Yoga on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A 30-minute walk in the late afternoon and a 7-8 hour sleep everyday.

I became health-obsessed only until late college when I was rushed to the ER because of severe gastro-entiritis with peptic ulcer. After that, I no longer drink alcohol nor sodas, nor smoke.

I'm obsessed with planning. I like to plan my days when I wake up. If I need to leave the house for errands, I try to fit in most of my other todos in one go. I list them down, look for my shortest path and estimate the time it will take me to finish the task. Believe it or not, I can do 2-3 bank runs in only 3-4 hours, including grocery, bookstore errand, document printing, haircut plus travel time to and fro the house.

I schedule events, but also welcome interruptions. I push myself at work to deliver as much as I could in one seating. I under-commit and over-deliver.

Cons

The cons are, well.. its time consuming! Who in the world would waste 1-2 hours after wake time just for these tedious things when you can already shower, call/sms friends, watch tv, etc?? Answer? ME!

Sometimes, in order to get inspiration to do 'boring' or stuff that takes long to complete, I render long hours to do something to satisfy the 'need'. To better illustrate, before I started writing this post, I was preparing dinner.

I start out with defrosting the meat for cooking, soaking vegetables, and cooking rice. After all the cooking has been done, I wash dishes, and I end up seeing dirt around the kitchen tiles and I started scrubbing. Scrub, scrub, scrub until 30 minutes has passed! Oh my lord! :D

And then, I'm satisfied. The food tastes good, the tiles are clean, oh but wait! The floor has drips of water and some hair and some more mess! Scrub, scrub, scrub. 15 minutes has passed! Oh lordy! :D

And, I realize, I'm not alone in this. I need to share my story and hope that it turns out well for us all OCDs.

Pros

See?? There are pros! :) ..if you know how to make them!

Well, if you let yourself be spontaneous, you will definitely lose time! However, since we are OCDs, clock yourself! Don't let yourself nore your thoughts wander. Be obsessed with time! :) It will almost always, be to your benefit.

I usually give myself cut-offs. Like the 'required' daily activities should be done according to schedule. When I accomplish it, I feel happy. If you need instant gratification, write it on your todo list and cross it out! That feels great, doesn't it?? :) I use Any.do for my lists and it ties well with Any.do's Cal app too!

You can pick the things you obsess about. If you think you are obsessing about negative things, try turning them into positive ones. An example would be, if you like watching movies, why not write reviews and probably earn from them?? If you are a gamer, why not build characters and sell??

OCDs are really great people. If we love what we obsess about, we always win in the end! So, don't think of it as a disorder. Make it work for you and it will be great!

Just always keep your eye on your goal. A list, a schedule, a reward system would always keep you motivated.

For those who aren't OCDs, are you not even close to being jealous at us? :D just kidding!

Maricris Nonato

I turn tech ideas into websites using Ruby. I'm a budding Buddhist practitioner, passionate about health & fitness, and a cat fanatic!