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Sharing the World of OCD

Updated on May 22, 2020
Some people with OCD. bite their nails off on a continual basis.
Some people with OCD. bite their nails off on a continual basis.

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 have helped to build this arena of life in which we compete with someone or something or 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 notice that there is something unusual (not exactly wrong) about him. You wait and watch--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 roughly 12 consecutive times. The number 12 mystifies you. You cannot speak to this guy. You assume that maybe12 is his favorite number, his perfect number to align with the universe.

This guy then trods to his kitchen and, when reaching for a glass to get a cool drink, he opens and shuts his cabinet door 12 times, much like a rehearsed ballet.

Howard Hughes was probably the best known for his OCD practices, as well as other strange behaviors.
Howard Hughes was probably the best known for his OCD practices, as well as other strange behaviors.

My Behavior and the Theory Behind OCD

Now you are in a quandary, for the 22-year-old is 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. His coworkers do not understand this addiction of discipline and softly voice their sympathy among themselves. 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. Since the age of 12, I have battled, endured, and stood against OCD, which some noted neurologists state is an affliction to the nervous system. When a person does their own set of rituals, they are allegedly bolstering their self-esteem to avoid a dark evil tendency attack himself or someone he loves.

Other Self-Regulated Rituals Before Bed

  • Articles straight and parallel with the edge of the table or shelf
  • No newspapers or magazines laying around on the floor or couches
  • All dirty dishes, silverware washed, dried, and put away
  • All dirty clothes, mine or others’ clothes had to be put into the laundry hamper

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 (1:40) people having OCD in 2012, it is fair to say there are more now.

OCD 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. There is the realization, too, that stopping these rituals could lead to one nearing a mental breakdown or growing into a hermit lifestyle. One doctor told me that when OCD is nearing its defeat, cases have shown that OCD can somehow create a backup plan to keep engineering a person’s life.


When the sweating and facing the OCD honestly is over, and you, like I, are living in a more peaceful life with 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
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 Defined

  • 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 behavior, 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 extreme perseverance 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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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