Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Compulsions: Door Checking, Nail Biting, Hoarding
Watched OC87 last night and watched it with great interest to try and better understand myself. One thing that really stuck in my mind was the sink in his bathroom that had water in it. It was clogged and it had been that way for six months. Its not what you think. I was thinking Oh God I can relate to that. Do I also have OCD? I thought OCD was washing your hands multiple times or opening and closing a door multiple times checking. I didn’t judge him and I didn’t feel repulsion at the disarrange and uncleanliness. I understood. Today as I write this I have tears running down my face. I wondered too if l also had OCD. I looked up the definition of OCD and discovered Onychophagia among one of the traits. What is that you may ask? Nail biting.
I have done the door checking thing when leaving the house, in particular with the locking of the door and setting the alarm. And if I really am honest with myself I still do it to a degree. DH pointed out the fact that I did this a little often. I listened to what DH said and the logical side of me realised this too. I knew it was obsessive but I knew if I didn’t check the door or the alarm I couldn’t relax for the time that I was away from the house. I have been away on holiday and still worried that I had locked the house and set the alarm. In fact if I really admit it, it was at the back of my mind the whole time. Before a holiday I am learning to lock the house and set the alarm with DH watching and checking so that he can confirm that it had been done properly. I really hate if I am asked when I am 5-10 minutes down the road and I am asked did I set the alarm, because after that I will have the idea that perhaps I didn’t do it running around in the my head. I need to go back and check or I just worry about it continually. As I write this I realise that this is not the actions of a normal person and it makes me feel sad. I can see the illogical nature of the checking but I can also see the need to reassure myself to reduce the anxiety. I say reduce here, not remove, as I do not think I am ever free from anxiety ever.
Tip: A really good idea to know that the doors, windows are locked, gas or alarm is set is to go around the house and take photos of yourself pointing at what you did. Especially useful before you go on holiday. You can reassure yourself that you have done the checks by checking your phone. Peace at last?
Back to the nail biting or Onychophagia. Wow there is a name for this. I have always wanted long nails. The only time I get my nails growing is when I go on holiday. They start to grow and then when I get back home they are back to their usual short self. I have tried the anti-nail biting liquid. And I have painted my nails with it. Even this foul tasting stuff does not deter me to stop. I find of late that they are even shorter than the usual. Perhaps not a good sign. I think reading about OCD terrifies me. Reading about Depression makes me want to read more to try and control or weaken the affect of it. Yet Aspergers brings me relief. Does being older and more mature allow me to face my demons and be able to cope better with it? As I watched Beating the Black Dog, an Australian documentary about Depression, I noticed that the social services/hospitals are not able to cope with the huge numbers of people with mental illnesses. One woman who lives rurally isn’t able to access services that would be available to her if she were living in a more urban environment. I noted to myself that I never wanted to live rurally again. But I did remember saying that to DH this week. I need the stimulation of big cities. I realise that now. I have forced DH to live in physically isolated places as I thought that was the best way to cope with the world but I now realise that I was wrong. You can still live in a big city and be isolated too. The best thing about it though is that you can just close the door and shut out the world when you want, you don’t have to move far.
I keep belongings longer than I need. I noticed on OC87 that Bud kept belongings that were in tatters or broken and they were congesting his home, making it difficult to live. His books were all over the floor and were restricting his movements inside. I didn’t look at this with horror. I looked at this with understanding, or recognition that I too do this. I know I do this. I know its not healthy to keep belongings that are of no use and prevent you from enjoying home life. I understand this. Taking action to solve this is hard. It is exhausting just thinking about it too. Knowing there is a problem is one thing. Knowing how to overcome it is another. Embarrassment is an emotion that I feel as I discover about myself. I have not gone to a doctor about any of this. They say never to go onto the internet to try and self diagnose. This is what I am doing. However in my case I feel justified in not getting professional help. For now anyway. I will leave the door ajar on this but I chose not to open it. Society today does not accept people with mental illness as one of their own. Discrimination is there in the work force and in social settings. I understand why people try to hide what they are going through. Society places great stress on people to act certain ways. With large populations I get that we need to have organisation and order to function but if when this infringes on people’s rights I believe this is going too far.
Obsesion – Aventura