Finally Time For Me to Share About My O.C.D.

Some people with O.C.D. bite their nails off on a continual-basis
Some people with O.C.D. bite their nails off on a continual-basis

Note: This is a serious piece never before published on HubPages or anywhere else. Thanks, Kenneth

Imagine that right now, you are peeking through a magic curtain that allows you see people in the passage of time. You, like me, would go nuts looking at historical-events, famous births, and many milestones that has helped to build this arena of life that we compete in, and with something or someone each day of our lives.

Suddenly you see this guy, 22 years of age, clean cut, respectful to his parents and others in his life, but you instantly-notice that there is “something” unusual, not wrong, with him. You wait and watch and then nothing happens. You are almost ready to shut this magical curtain to look somewhere else when this clean-cut guy opens and closes the door to his living room at least 12 consecutive times. 12 mystifies you. You cannot speak to this guy since he is a hologram of the past, so you assume that 12 is his favorite number, the perfect number of the universe. Then this guy trods to his kitchen and when reaching for a glass to get a cool drink. He opens and shuts his cabinet door 12 more times. Just like a rehearsed ballet, each movement in a timed-action. No time wasted.

Howard Hughes was probably the best-known for his O.C.D. practices as well as other strange behavior
Howard Hughes was probably the best-known for his O.C.D. practices as well as other strange behavior

O.C.D. CAUSES STRANGE BEHAVIOR IN ALL PEOPLE

Now you cannot move for the 22-year old going through his day doing strange counting rituals on his car door, shoelaces, and even the arrangement of his fork, knife, plate and drink at lunch. Other people who do not understand this addiction of discipline just softly voice their sympathy (for him) to other coworkers. This neat-looking guy is strange in his ways, but good at his job. He is not like others, but he is never without a smile for anyone he meets.

This 22-year old guy is me. And since the age of 12, I have battled, endured, and stood against O.C.D. which in long-form means: “Obsessive Compulsive Discorder,” which some noted neurologists state that this is an affliction to the nervous system and by a person doing their own set of rituals, they are bolstering their self-esteem and keeping away the dark evil that they “know” somehow, will attack them or someone they love. This is the footnote version of O.C.D.

Other tasks that “I” had to have just right before eating or heading to bed:

  • Everything in my room or house had to be straight—parallel with the edge of the table or shelf
  • No newspapers, magazines tossed-around on the floor or couchs
  • No dirty dishes left-over from supper
  • All dirty dishes, silverware washed, dried and put away before bedtime
  • All dirty clothes, mine or others’ clothes had to be put into the laundry hamper

THIS IS NOT EVEN A 'SCRATCH IN THE SURFACE"

This list is just a sample of what I had to get done every night of my life. Many other people in our United States have longer and more-tedious lists. With 3.3 million people, or 1 in 40 people having OCD, it is a fair estimate now than when this figure was published in 2012, there are more.

O.C.D. is curable, but one must start with “self,” first and face whatever fear, source of distrust or low self-esteem is causing this “beast” to rule your life. Similar to going “cold turkey,” on whiskey, one has to just bear down, grit their teeth and do lots of self-convincing and re-building new and easier patterns than counting, washing hands, keeping objects straight and also know that never-stopping these rituals could lead to one nearing a mental breakdown or growing into a hermit lifestyle, and one doctor told me that when O.D.C. is nearing its defeat, cases have shown that O.D.C. can somehow reproduce a back-up plan to keep the O.C.D. to engineering a person’s life.

I WON'T LIE TO YOU. IT TAKES DEDICATION AND DETERMINATION

When the sweating and facing the O.C.D. honestly is over, and you, like I, are living in a more-peaceful life even with these “new” building blocks, then a more-trusting, confident self-image and esteem will birth in you and you can lead a normal life just like the rest of mankind.

Continually washing the hands is one sign of O.C.D., feeling that hands are not clean
Continually washing the hands is one sign of O.C.D., feeling that hands are not clean
Frustration
Frustration
Checking one's complexion continually
Checking one's complexion continually
Howie Mandell suffers from O.C.D.
Howie Mandell suffers from O.C.D.

OCD explained . . .

  • Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear or worry (obsessions), repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety (compulsions), or 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 are time-consuming, might result in loss of relationships with others, and often cause severe emotional and financial distress. The acts of those who have OCD may appear paranoid and potentially psychotic. However, people with OCD generally recognize their obsessions and compulsions as irrational and may become further distressed by this realization. Despite the irrational behaviour, OCD is associated with high verbal IQ.
  • A number of psychological and biological factors may be involved in causing obsessive–compulsive disorder. Standardized rating scales such as Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale can be used to assess the severity of symptoms. Other disorders with similar symptoms include: obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), an autism spectrum disorder, or disorders where perseveration (hyperfocus) is a feature in ADHD, PTSD, bodily disorders, or just a habit problem.
  • Obsessive–compulsive disorder affects children and adolescents, as well as adults. Roughly one third to one half of adults with OCD report a childhood onset of the disorder, suggesting the continuum of anxiety disorders across the lifespan. 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.

Source: Wikipedia

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Comments 21 comments

sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk

A very interesting and brave piece of writing. It is always good to read articles like this which help people to better understand the complex workings of the human condition. Thanks for sharing.


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

Thank you Kenneth for talking about this. I clicked on it expecting your usual funny lists of "You know you have OCD when..." Reading your funny hubs I would never have guessed your secret. You have my admiration for all you have accomplished and overcome.


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 2 years ago from the South

Very brave hub Kenneth. I'm proud of you for sharing this because it will help others who have that condition. I'm also glad to hear you overcame it. Great work, my friend.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 2 years ago from Sunny Spain

What a fascinating Hub Kenneth giving a real insight into a condition which I knew almost nothing about. Your final video has ended up with me having to go over to YouTube to see the outcome. I think that I might end up watching the series lol..


sassypiehole profile image

sassypiehole 2 years ago from the ATL

And sadly, I have passed my OCD gene on to my seven-year-old daughter. I hate that about myself, but I get it honestly. My father is the king.


vkwok profile image

vkwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

Thank you for sharing this insight in a condition. I do have some hints of OCD, though not as serious as I'm sure some people have. I hop to overcome it eventually. I wish you the best.


Amanda108 profile image

Amanda108 2 years ago from Michigan, United States

Thank you for sharing your experience with OCD, Kenneth, and as always your writing is superb, finding just the right words to describe something that - in this case - is not always easily explained. As a fellow sufferer it means a lot to me when people are brave enough to voice their health problems.

I've struggled with OCD symptoms my entire life. They started as "quirky behaviors" and turned into actions that caused distress in my life sometime in my teens. I once had a bedtime ritual so involved that it took me almost two hours! I know how demanding this illness is of one's time and sanity.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

I've known about this for a long time but it's interesting to find out more of the background information and the details of such a thing.

Many people (including me and my granddaughter!) have a thing about putting a pattern straight, say, on a plate on the table, or superstitions about doing certain things. My theory is that we all have a certain amount of that in our make-up but in some people it's heightened and becomes obsessive.

Thanks for sharing this important information; it's always better when others understand properly.

All the best.

Ann


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Ann,

I agree with your comment. I also do the pulling of the pattern thing--especially the bedspread on my bed. It worries me but not like in days past.

This one should make you think. I would be having a conversation and if I made an unnoticeble error in pronouncing a word, I would stop, go back and say the entire sentence again---for I thought that an incomplete image being emitted from me meant I was not complete.

Talk about a bondage.

And thank you for understanding.

Merry CHRISTmas.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

sallybea,

Thank you for your kind comments. I was secretly-hoping that this might help ONE person get free from such a "beast," and a "beast," O.C.D. can be at any given time. Even on vacations.

Keep in touch with me and do not let O.C.D. near you or your family.

Merry CHRISTmas.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

catherine,

You are welcome.

It was tough writing about this. I admit that, but when I kept in mind that someone might get one nugget of information to help them, then it became easier.

But it takes patience, prayer, and persistent behavior. And there is failure even in the most-disciplined.

Thanks again.

Merry CHRISTmas.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

@ catherine,

I am sorry that I disappointed you in this hub not being a "List Hub," but believe you me, there are more of those in the works.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Catgypsy,

My thanks to you for your sweet comments. Brave? Think you, but as I wrote this, I sweated at times. O.C.D. is rough to talk about. And one can say with clarity and correctness, "O.C.D. is the thief of confidence."

And that is how it operates.

Thanks again and Merry CHRISTmas. My Love to Your Little Ones and You too.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

maggs224,

Thank you, friend, for your comments. Knowing is a great start in standing against O.C.D..

And no matter how many specialists of the psyche write papers on this condition, I do not believe there will ever be a complete-cure.

Just keep in touch with me and

Merry CHRISTmas.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

maggs224,

Thank you, friend, for your comments. Knowing is a great start in standing against O.C.D..

And no matter how many specialists of the psyche write papers on this condition, I do not believe there will ever be a complete-cure.

Just keep in touch with me and

Merry CHRISTmas.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

sassypiehole,

Thank you for chiming in on O.C.D.

But about your daughter, do not panic. You noticed this at just the right time, so when you can form a written outline, sit her down, and in the most-simple terms, explain to her, and have it just you and her, that she is not sick and being neat is not wrong then gently lead her into that area where not using moderation can lead to where O.C.D. can rule her life.

You will be okay.

Merry CHRISTmas.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Amanda108,

Thank you for joiing this conversation. I got help from your comments.

When I w

as in my late teen's, I had a ritual that was one hour--to the second or I went back until it was EXACTLY an hour, or I felt worthless.

True story.

And thank you for your sweet compliments on this hub.

I hope that we all can band-together and help fight this stuff and live a more-useful life.

Merry CHRISTmas to you.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

@ Everyone to commented on THIS piece:

"I sincerely thank you all for your warm and understanding."

"I appreciate and love you all."

Kenneth


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 2 years ago from North Texas

Kenneth,

You have made a significant contribution to understanding of OCD with this hub. Thank you for writing it.

The disorder has shown up in my family, not in a big way, though. One family member seems to have problems mainly in the area of scrupulosity. And the OCD is not even the worst problem that he has!

If the obsession happens to be in that area, and if the person belongs to the family of Christ, then I believe it is especially important that they find the right church. A sufferer like this will make a moral dilemma out of something that the Lord never intended to be an ethical or moral dilemma. Stay away from legalistic thinking, I say.

But absolutely, I butt out. I may have strong opinions, but that doesn't mean I have to prescribe what is good for that individual. I must have confidence (and especially so, for this is a young person) that God will lead them in the correct path, however long that may take.

I must say, though, that it is disheartening when some in our society downplay the role of certain mental disorders in our society, or even pretend that they don't exist. Evidently, they have not walked a mile in the shoes of those with panic attacks, clinical depression, OCD, or a host of other disorders we could name.


Ibidii 2 years ago

This must have been a heavy burden on you and your family. I am glad to hear that you have overcome it and are brave to share this with the public. You have a lot of support here at Hubs and I am sure other places. May the Lord continue to bless you with overcoming this issue. Merry Christmas to you! ~Sherry


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, Ibidii,

It was a heavy burden for I did not know until later that your family suffers with you in these ritualistic games, for lack of a better word.

I am still in the fight with a few areas of this disease, but thank God, I am not what I used to be.

Dear gracenotes,

Doing this hub helped me release a big part of the O.C.D. It is a tiring, demanding set of regimented rules that we feel we must do. It is like we are controlling fate, if there is any.

But the support of family and friends, such as YOU and Ibiddi, are such a geat help.

Thanks so much.

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