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OCD May be Debilitating But Is There a Cure?

Updated on May 3, 2015

Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?

OCD may be debilitating; it may be fun, at times; it can be jolly useful (Look at Hannibal; where would have been if he hadn’t been a collector of elephants?) but take heart there can be a cure; there is a cure. It is in the hands of the individual.

I remember relating the tale of the trauma I experienced with the Dragon cutlery that I had purchased from IKEA. I really left you, gentle readers, in a vacuum after the truly upsetting experience of the extra Bread and Butter Knife that Denzel had forced into my unwilling hand. I won’t go into the precise details, but the trauma resulting from this episode has been written up very thoroughly in ‘The Lancet’; that very respectable; weekly general medical journal; one of the world's best known, oldest, and most respected general medical journals.

Take note here. I didn’t want to be the subject of this medical investigation, but it is nice to see one’s name in print, if only in this type of situation

Personally, I find very few things more satisfying than wandering around in a familiar supermarket and just enjoying the shelves having been laid out so neatly. And if there is any room for improvement, then there I am; ready to lend a hand and a keen eye.

Sometimes I don’t even need to be in there for shopping. Sometimes it’s just satisfying being able to spend some quality time there and then go home and know that, for a time at least, that

“The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

Everything’s arranged in orderly rows;

God's in his Heaven;

All's right with the world!”

George Orwell you were right. ‘Big Brother’ is watching us.

Mind you, it’s not so easy at IKEA. There is something about that place that draws me unrelentingly, and I find it almost impossible to come away empty handed. There’s a primeval magnetism that draws me, a plaintive cry from the white porcelain, in serried ranks, calling to me; pleading; shrill little voices raised above the hubbub of a London store. Like the Sirens in Ancient Times who sat and sang their wicked songs, combing their long golden locks and urging pathetic sailors to draw closer in the surge and spray of storm tossed seas, to perish on the cruel rocks on which those pitiless Sirens sat.

A little background information:

We have, in the United Kingdom, one of the many departments of Government, the NHS (National Health Service), which is responsible for the Welfare and Health of the Population. It is the largest employer in the country, and although complaining, on a regular basis that it is under funded, it has what one could only term a “Slush Fund” raised for undesignated purposes, especially unnecessary experimentation on individuals, corrupt practices, such as bribery or graft; and sometimes, solely for their entertainment.

There are a lot of Doctors and Nurses sitting around with nothing to do and I don’t know whether stories and experiments on sufferers of OCD falls into the category of meddling, entertainment, corrupt practices or simply interfering, but I am sure that that is how I “fell under their eye”… or came to their notice.

The first clue to their dastardly designs is when you go in for a flu jab or a repeat prescription and that lovely receptionist says something like, “Step over there and we’ll take your measurements,” or “Goodness! We’re looking well today; I wonder how much we weigh. Shall we find out?” She knows how much she weighs; it’s all a ploy to find out what we are up to. . And the next thing they’re asking us all sorts of personal questions.

Or someone says: “Nurse isn’t busy right now. She’ll give you a checkup if you like” and Nurse just happens to be waiting in the wings and before you know it; she’s pushed something in your arm or fiddled around behind your back while weighing you… Tracking devices are very small, you know; they can fit in anywhere, and it would take a better man than most to see what they’re up to. I don’t trust any of them.

George Orwell you were right. ‘Big Brother’ is watching us.

Ah! George Orwell you were right. ‘Big Brother’ is watching us. I’m not talking about the programme on television by that name. That is just a red herring to make us think that ‘1984’ was just the ravings of a paranoid author. ‘Big Brother’ is out there, but under the benevolent guise of the NHS and possibly several other departments of Government. Think of it. How easy it is for the agents of this organisation; this organisation so closely affiliated with ‘The New World Order’, to infiltrate our lives; to peer into our hearts of hearts; to delve below the surface and by doing so, control us and out minds and, eventually, our bodies and our lives.

Their agents are everywhere.

And their agents are everywhere and believe you me; they come in very many guises. Take the example of the cleaning lady I had recommended by my good friend, Judi. Well it wasn’t Judi really; it was her husband Sid. Sid’s a very busy man, and Judi’s a very busy woman, so perhaps they didn’t check this cleaning lady’s credentials too carefully.

She seemed OK. On the surface she was OK.

She turned up one morning and honestly she ticked all the boxes. She came from Ecuador, so she didn’t really understand me; or me her. She’d already developed the knack of talking in Spanish on her mobile phone, whilst cleaning the shower cubicle or mopping the floor. She broke the requisite number of things on the windowsill in the kitchen. She managed to vacuum the complete front living room without moving a single piece of furniture; leaving the tracks of the vacuum cleaner almost right up to the sofa; the occasional table; the display cabinet; even the odd magazine that she left on the floor.

Within one day only she had discovered how to unplug every plug, socket and Scart Lead behind the television and sound system… and disassemble them so that only one of Bill Gates’s top men could reassemble them successfully. She knew how to use a complete Mr Muscle squirty gun for the kitchen counter and nothing else.

She ticked every “Cleaning lady” box all right. She’d obviously passed out with flying colours from the “Cleaning Lady Academy”. So why should I doubt her credentials?

How was I to know that she was, most probably, one of the agents of the insidious NHS?

But the cleverness of this wicked organisation is that this Cleaning Lady, Paulina, wasn’t even the real, the ultimate agent. She was simply their Wooden Horse… their method of infiltrating my home.

So I took her on board and within weeks we had settled down to what passed for a working relationship.

But then came the school holidays and one morning, not only was Paulina, my Ecuadorian Cleaning Lady standing on the doorstep, waiting to come and rearrange my dust and turn chipped artefacts to the wall, but there beside her, stood two mini versions of Paulina major. “Mr Ian,” she explained, “is school holiday and my friend she so busy an my mother she not well can they stay will be no trouble?”

The milk of human kindness sloshes around in my veins in large quantities, so I acquiesced.

The Milk of Human Kindness... or something like that.

First big mistake

But this was my first big mistake. I very soon began to realise that they were plants; agents of the NHS (the National Health System); one of the parts of the Government which has been set up by our rulers to monitor me; to delve into my deepest secrets; to study me in a very insidious manner. Maybe I’m being a trifle paranoid here; perhaps I should have said that the NHS is, I believe, one of the departments of the Government which has been set up by our rulers to monitor us; to delve into our deepest secrets; to study us in a very insidious manner.

But Paulina’s daughters?

I’m not really sure if they were her daughters. In fact, I’m not really sure they were children either, although they looked like a seven year old child and a nine year old child respectively. There was something not quite right about them. It didn’t strike me initially, but after a very short time I began to suspect that they were not children at all, but small adults; and not simply small adults but small adult agents provocateurs.

Paulina told me that they would be no trouble; well that’s what I thought she had said. So they sat in the kitchen all day and didn’t move. When I came in to make myself a coffee, four deep brown eyes followed my every movement. When I left the room with my coffee in my hand, two dark haired heads turned to watch my going; four deep brown eyes followed my departing.

When my dog came in to see what was going on, two dark haired heads turned towards her; four deep brown eyes turned to gaze at her. My dog thought better of it and came to join me. I think she’s guessed that something wasn’t right. Dogs know these things.

Sometimes I would catch them out of the corner of my eye, and they didn’t appear to be watching me. That is when you know that you’re in trouble. That is when you realise how secretive and subversive secret watchers can be.

But looking back, with the benefit of hindsight (and what better way to look back?), I am beginning to feel that these Mini Ecuadorians weren’t Ecuadorians at all, but simply midget Spanish speaking agents provocateurs whose sole aim was my undoing.

Or were they even speaking Spanish. I don’t speak a word of the language. How would I know?

Maybe everything was an elaborate hoax. A hoax to dupe me, and eventually to put into practice, a plan to use me as a guinea pig; to run tests on me; then take advantage of me due to my vulnerability as an OCDer.

But why pick on me for their experiments; their investigations; their wicked researching and testing?

Perhaps someone had reported me to a member of the NHS. Perhaps I had been reported to a Committee. Perhaps I had been seen in Sainsbury arranging the shampoos on a shelf, where some negligent person had perhaps put the ‘Original Source Mint and Tea Tree Daily Refresh Shampoo’ (for all hair types) too close to the ‘Original Source Tangerine and Bergamot Body Boosting Shampoo’ (for fine, flyaway hair).

Or perhaps the ‘Basics’ Toilet Rolls had become mixed up with the ‘Be Good To Yourself’ Toilet Rolls’. What a nightmare situation!

Or the handles of the hand baskets were pointing in all directions and nobody seemed to have either the time or the inclination to straighten them. Perhaps I had been seen there, putting to rights the chaos and the mischief wrought by uncaring hands.

But whether by happenstance or design, it doesn’t matter. These mini Ecuadorians (if so they were) were there right under my nose. They had breeched the battlements; my drawbridge was down; the keep was about to be stormed. There they were and I was not prepared for what they were about to do.

And this, my friends, becomes a tale more Gothic than Edgar Allan Poe ever wrote with a raven’s quill; more reminiscent of a Greek Tragedy than anything Euripides strummed a lyre to; more cloaked in symbolism and fog strewn craggy paths than any Celtic fable.

We’ve all heard, and who has not misquoted: “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad”.

Well, I think the gods were well pissed off with me, so it wasn’t a long walk before they pulled out all the stops, and gathered up their worst bits to drive me mad.

But those little Spanish speaking midgets? I had had enough. They unnerved me. I’d only seen them a couple of times and Paulina had brought them again, under some sort of spurious excuse, only a week earlier. I just didn’t trust them. I didn’t know what they were up to, but, whatever it was, I just didn’t like it.

Push came to shove, and one day, when Paulina rang me and said, “Mr Ian is school holiday and my mother she in Birmingham an my friends she so busy an my sister she not well can my leeetle girls they stay will be no trouble or I come next week?”

I thought next week would be better. I thought her daughters would be better occupied elsewhere. I thought this should be a permanent arrangement.

I told her so.

And so the minuscule Ecuadorians (or so they led me to believe) moved on, and so eventually, did their mother. She was fecund in her own charming way, and proved it by leaving my employ to bring forth another small person to inhabit this planet.

But in their going they had left chaos.

In there going they had left chaos. Why I hadn’t checked earlier, I cannot say; for checking, as they say, was my wont. But one bright morning, soon after their leaving, I opened the cutlery draw and started to count; to rearrange; to take stock.

My world, gentle readers, collapsed about me; came crashing down; disintegrated.

The more I counted, the more I realised: I and my cutlery drawer had been violated.

For where there had formally been seventeen table knives, there now were sixteen.

For where there had formally been twelve (a dozen) table forks, there now were eleven

For where there had formally been twelve (a dozen) pudding spoons (also useful for soup spoons), there now were eleven.

For where there had formally been thirteen (a baker’s dozen) bread and butter knives, there now were twelve (a dozen), again.

For where there had formally been twelve (a dozen) short teaspoons, there now were eleven.

For where there had formally been twelve (a dozen) fish knives, there now were eleven.

For where there had formally been twelve (a dozen) fish forks, there now were eleven.

For where there had formally been twelve (a dozen) smaller pudding spoons, there now were eleven.

For where there had formally been twelve (a dozen) smaller forks to be used with the smaller pudding spoons, there now were eleven.

But for some reason there were still two large serving spoons.

And there were still two large serving forks.

There were two cake slices.

There were also two large ladles.

And following this lack of pattern, this organised chaos, there were two smaller ladles.

But one of the two butter knives was also missing.

It was then that the true realisation of what had occurred dawned on my unhappy mind.

The two replica Spanish speaking agents provocateurs had either done this to discover how far they could push a sane and reasonable man till he fell over the edge of his reason into a whirlpool of hysteria and insanity; and this as part of some wicked and heartless set of experiments devised by the NHS; for amusement on their part or simply because they were pushing forward the bounds of medical science


The little girls were simply what they appeared to be; two little girls, with a penchant for stealing cutlery.

My mind favours the former option.

But as I said to Allan: “You make the coffee. I’m feeling a little tired”.

This is one of a series of four hubs dealing with the very distressing syndrome known as OCD (Obsessive–compulsive disorder).

Within these very helpful hubs one may find a self-help manual, a case history and an ongoing description of one particular sufferer.

For ease of understanding and efficacy of providing help to the afflicted, it would be best to read the articles in order of publication.

1. Have you read the first hub Having OCD Is Not Always Fun on this debilitating condition? Well, have you?

If you haven't, I suggest you go to it straight away. There's no point in starting half way... especially if you have OCD. You don't need to be told that, do you?

Well, go on. Don't waste your time.

2. Have you read the second hub Having OCD is Still Not Much Fun on this debilitating condition?

Now you are almost finished, but there is no point in getting off your metaphorical horse mid-metaphorical-stream, now is there? You are almost cured… or you should be.

Go on, read Having OCD is Still Not Much Fun. It won’t take long, and you won’t regret it.

3. This. the third and next hub is very reassuring and it’s well worth a read. Have a good look at it and see what you think, at: OCD May be Debilitating But Is There a Cure?

4. If you have got this far, you are almost finished. Are you sitting comfortably, or would you like to go and have a coffee and a sticky bun? And perhaps spend about ten minutes trying to decide which spoon to use and what cup to use, in case it feels as if it is being left out. I know how this feels. I start to make a coffee and when I open the cupboard door, there are eighteen identical coffee mugs looking at me; begging to be turned so that their handles are all 45 degrees to the left.

When you get back here, have a look at OCD - A Case History – Self Help in Extreme Cases the fourth and final hub.


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    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nemanja, you have to stand shoulder to shoulder with me on this one. It's right. They are everywhere.

      Every time I think of getting a new cleaning lady, I think to myself, "She just may be a Trojan Horse, and the minute she is here and unattended, all those little mini spies will spill out, and I won't know where to run".

      No complete set of anythign will be safe.

    • nemanjaboskov profile image

      Nemanja Boškov 

      6 years ago from Serbia

      Fantastic humor, Ian! Those little agents really did a number on you, didn't they? Those agent provocateurs are everywhere today :)

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 

      7 years ago from trailer in the country

      Well spoken...we aren't paranoid....just more astute and intuitive. We "know", but we can't prove it. Blessings.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nothing is as it may appear, Enlydia. Thank you for coming to have a read and disturbing the skeletons in my cupboard.

      Paranoid? Heavens no. If only the rest of the world realised that the other half of the world is out to get us, we would be well prepared... or better prepared. They'll still get us, you know.

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 

      7 years ago from trailer in the country

      I love your writing...rated it up...thanks for the enjoyable story...I too wonder about things that don't seem to be what they are...does that make me paranoid?

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Lady Wordsmih, a really good writer on HP, is great for stationery. Give her a Post It Note and I think she will be in paradise.

      Back to me! I love wandering around in IKEA, but come away sometimes with yearnings which are quite hard to sublimate,

      Thanks for reading this... I love it when you drop in.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I read part way, left momentarily to read another, and have now returned to finish laughing. I became momentarily lost in dreams of IKEA as well, which is odd since I don't experience OCD, though I admire it tremendously. Stationery stores are also particularly delightful. The fact that you have written a series on OCD is very exciting and I shall enjoy reading more - ADHD has it's merits, too ;)

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Vocalcoach, you are too kind, Thank you so much for that wonderful comment. I only added the correct (as in "grown up") links last night... I must have known that a person of great taste (you) would be coming to have a look around.

      Thank you, again.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      How I love this hub! Quality writing with just the right amount of humor on a very touchy subject. I'm bookmarking this so I can review it from time to time. In fact, I need to begin with your very first hub on OCD and follow through with the rest of them - and that's just what I will do. Brilliant!

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thanks so much for ploughing through it all, Sunnie. Did you know that Franklin Mint have pressed a special commemorative medal for anyone who reads all the OCD hubs? HubPages will be approaching you you soon to book a time and a place for the Ceremony... Mr Obama frequently goes to shake the hands of the Medalists (There aren't such a lot of them) because of their bravery.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      7 years ago

      Very funny and now it all falls together in line..Whewww!!

      I love the humor and understanding you bring to OCD


    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, Shalini. Hm! Robert Browning. I've just been looking at your profile and the list of hubs you have on offer. I'm going to enjoy "checking you out". Thanks again for bothering to read my hubs.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      7 years ago from India

      Pippa passes ... through strange goings on, for sure! just has to be more than a penchant for stealing cutlery - some dark, devious conspiracy is afoot!

      Thanks for the extremely entertaining read, Twilight Lawns!

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you AngRose for taking the time to read this case study. I hope you will not have to wait too long for a complete prognosis or diagnosis or whatever these things are called. There is light at the end of the tunnel as I have already hinted... but as they say, is it just the light flashing off the blades of Dragon cutlery, as some poor soul counts and recounts his, or is it hope incarnate?

    • AngRose profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm counting on you not making us borderline OCDers wait overly long for your next, and final, installation on this story, as that falls into the category of cruel and unusual punishment. Still grinning as I exit this hub.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you Christoph. I thought I was up to them, and perhaps I might be in the end. But is that a light at the end of the tunnel... or is it just the lights of an approaching train? Only my next entry on the subject(and I am pleased to report, my last) will endeavour to lay the beast that is my obsession.

      You're welcome any time you wish in my kitchen. You choose the knives and forks (Dragon, of course) and we'll tuck into your Modern British Turkey roast that you cooked and presented so admirably.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      7 years ago from St. Louis

      Those two midget Spanish speaking agents provocateurs--if they were Spanish--picked the wrong person on which to engage in their subtle thievery, for with you, no dragon fork goes unnoticed. Another hilarious entry that had me laughing out loud!

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Candie, you have opened the floodgates. I have the philosophy that "you can never have enough duvets and pillowcases". I am always so lucky when Judi accompanies to that little OCD heaven on earth (You know where) to make me put armloads of the stuff back.

      But there is light at the end of this tunnel... there will only be one more hub on the 'OCD Saga'. Thanks for your compassion and support.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      The draw, neigh the 'lure' of another's cutlery is only the beginning. Have you counted your napkins? Pillowcases? Firewood? Nothing is safe. Nothing is sacred. The plot.. as they say.. thickens!


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