Ever had a strong impulse to do repetitive behavior? Perhaps maybe an obsession so strong you felt like you would go crazy if you couldn’t do it? If so you may be suffering form an anxiety disorder called OCD better known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. There are many significant traits of this disorder, some may have it minor and some may have a major obsession with it. Traits such as constantly washing their hands or moving something slightly to position it correctly each time. For some people this disorder can be helpful to help keep them organized but for others it can be a nightmare and keep them from having a normal daily routine.
It’s hard for people with OCD to understand that they have a disorder. To them their impulses are normal and everyone else has problems because they don’t do the same thing. For instance, if someone doesn’t wash their hands as often as you, then you may think that they are unclean even though they do wash their hands when they need to. Others who don’t keep a perfectly neat work space or home may seem messy to someone with severe OCD.
I have seen different types of OCD over the years and I myself have some traits of it. I think the funniest thing I have ever seen was when my daughter was 4 the teacher had little plastic bears that were different colors. She put 2 piles in front of my daughter and the object was to look at each pile and determine without counting which pile had more. Before the teacher could explain the rules, my daughter sorted them by number and color. She lined them up 1 green bear, 2 blue, 3 red, etc. Funny thing is she still does it. When she’s easting M&M’s she sorts them the same way and eats them in order from the least amount to the most. She is also bad at decorating a Christmas tree as all the red ornaments go together on one side, then all the blue, then all the green and so forth. She always has to have things equal and symmetrical. Having said this, she is also a very messy person otherwise. When it comes to laundry and trash and such she will leave messes everywhere she goes but there are certain things that have to be in order.
She is also bad with food touching, she finally started eating some foods together but normally she will eat all her meat, then her potatoes, then veggies. She rarely eats them together and OMG if her ketchup touches her fries on her plate she will refuse to eat them. Even though she is going to dip them in it she will not allow them to touch beforehand. It’s behaviors like this that will drive a non-OCD person insane.
The best thing to do is to try and overlook their little obsessions but that can be hard at times but we have to understand that they are overlooking us as well. When we do something that they think is wrong, like when my food touches and my daughter flips out I tell her that I eat it my way as she eats it hers and she accepts that. As long as we don’t force them to adapt to our ways, they won’t try to force us as well.
I am planning to make a podcast on this subject to do a more in-depth coverage of it.