OCD
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30-10-2012, 06:51 AM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2012 08:13 AM by Vera.)
OCD
Since a lot of people here seem to have a mental quirk or two and since there already are more serious threads about it, I was wondering if someone might like to share their experience with OCD.

I myself have been known to have a compulsion or two (and to have gotten rid of one or two).

When I was a kid I would add letters while reading, until I got a sum total of fifteen; sometimes I could only use two words (e.g. one with 7 and one with 8 letters), sometimes - three, but they couldn't have the same number of letters (e.g. 3, 3 and 9 wouldn't work, but 3, 4 and 8 would), etc. I got to be very good at knowing exactly how many letters a word had just by looking at it for a second.

Then one day I was watching a subtitled movie (that was way back when I still didn't speak English) and I realised it was too much, having to follow the plot, read the subtitles and add the letters from the words in the subtitles. So that's when I realised I had to quit (or learn EnglishWink). Luckily I managed to do both.

I'm not saying that other compulsions didn't take its place (some have been religious), but still, it's not an easy thing to get rid of a compulsion or an obsession.

Anyone else had to struggle with compulsions or obsessions?


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30-10-2012, 09:51 AM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2012 09:56 AM by Misanthropik.)
RE: OCD
I posted mine in another thread to make a point.

I believe the thread was about "omens" and "doing rituals before certain activities".

Edit: Found it Big Grin

"When I was young, I had pretty out of control OCD. I mean BAAAD stuff. For those of you who have never experienced true OCD (not the colloquial kind that far too many people like to pretend they have), I assure you, it's a living hell. Remember "Don't step on the crack or you break your mother's back" that we used to say in grade-school as we walked down the halls? Well imagine that cute little rhyme (and the fun hopping game that it inspired) taken as literal fact in your mind. The delusion that if you step on the crack - or perhaps a specified number of cracks in sequence - something bad will happen to you or to someone you love. Or, imagine a child, innocently playing a Super Mario Bros. video game and driving himself mad because he feels an overpowering urge to collect ALL of the gold coins; lest his father die trying to put out a house fire. More humiliating than either of those, however, is the urge to stop, take 4 or 5 steps backward, then continue walking as you stroll through the mall with your friends, because when you took that last step, you happened to be thinking of something sad or unsettling, and in order to prevent it becoming a reality by literally "walking forth" into that line of reasoning; you have to reverse your steps, imagine something more calming or joyful, and then proceed forward with THOSE thoughts in mind. Maybe you're in school as a child and, as you write word problems and math equasions in your textbook, you're unable to supress the drive to tap the pen X-number of times at the end of each sentence; making what should have been a "period" into a scribbled mess.

Perhaps the most emotionally torturous part of all of this is the fact that you're constantly aware that what you're doing has no actual impact on reality. You know full-well that the feelings and thoughts that cause you to act as you do are unfounded, and your actions are completely pointless. But you do them anyway (and become emotionally unhinged if you're prevented from doing so), because you feel such a deeply-seeded drive within you to do them. Thankfully, I grew out of this disorder when I entered my teens. Or, if I didn't actually grow out of it, it's certainly manifested itself in a completely unnoticable way.

Because of my experience, though, I can personally attest to the obvious parallels that can be drawn between OCD and superstitious behavior. Superstition is agenticity, patternicity and (this is only MY claim, mind you) OCD-type reasoning gone out of control.

No, there are no fucking omens. There are no magic little rituals that will have any impact on one's performance or the outcome of an event. If there is any effect whatsoever, it is purely psychological. Meaning; you believed doing X before a certain activity would help your performance, which, in turn, eased your mind and allowed you to do that activity more effectively. X was nothing more than a placebo.

Be serious."

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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30-10-2012, 10:04 AM
RE: OCD
Still don't know what kind of OCD this stem is from, but for me it was visually. It had to do with negative space. For some reason, I felt there was a line down the middle of my sight, and the negative space had to reflect equally on both sides. I used my raised hand to keep things as level as possible. I got a lot of high-fives back.

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30-10-2012, 10:19 AM
RE: OCD
(30-10-2012 06:51 AM)Vera Wrote:  
Since a lot of people here seem to have a mental quirk or two and since there already are more serious threads about it, I was wondering if someone might like to share their experience with OCD.

I myself have been known to have a compulsion or two (and to have gotten rid of one or two).

When I was a kid I would add letters while reading, until I got a sum total of fifteen; sometimes I could only use two words (e.g. one with 7 and one with 8 letters), sometimes - three, but they couldn't have the same number of letters (e.g. 3, 3 and 9 wouldn't work, but 3, 4 and 8 would), etc. I got to be very good at knowing exactly how many letters a word had just by looking at it for a second.

Then one day I was watching a subtitled movie (that was way back when I still didn't speak English) and I realised it was too much, having to follow the plot, read the subtitles and add the letters from the words in the subtitles. So that's when I realised I had to quit (or learn EnglishWink). Luckily I managed to do both.

I'm not saying that other compulsions didn't take its place (some have been religious), but still, it's not an easy thing to get rid of a compulsion or an obsession.

Anyone else had to struggle with compulsions or obsessions?


I don't, and haven't, but that word game obviously reflects a verbal ability FAR beyond your age level, when you were a child. It was probably a good exercise for you. My mom tells me I used to "do" this thing with my fingers, in "3's" .. ie rapid sequences of 1. thumb, 2. pointer, 3. middle, to 1. pointer, 2. middle, 3. 4th finger, etc etc progressing across to the next finger, in 3's, constantly for a while when I was about 3-6 months old. She says she knew I was going to play the piano when I kept doing that. I still do it, but backwards, unconsciously, in class, once in a while. Weeping

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30-10-2012, 10:27 AM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2012 11:32 AM by Vera.)
RE: OCD
(30-10-2012 10:19 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I don't, and haven't, but that word game obviously reflects a verbal ability FAR beyond your age level, when you were a child. It was probably a good exercise for you. My mom tells me I used to "do" this thing with my fingers, in "3's" .. ie rapid sequences of 1. thumb, 2. pointer, 3. middle, to 1. pointer, 2. middle, 3. 4th finger, etc etc progressing across to the next finger, in 3's, constantly for a while when I was about 3-6 months old. She says she knew I was going to play the piano when I kept doing that. I still do it, but backwards, unconsciously, in class, once in a while. Weeping

Well, you're obviously a genius, so don't come bragging to us, mere mortals (who are also struggling with OCDWink). All kidding aside, my sister does something similar (something with her fingers), while to this day whenever I'm reading something on paper (even when I'm editing my translations) I need to have a pencil (length and shape are important, doesn't need to be one you can write with; it often is eyeliner, actually) in my hand, to sort of play or tap with. That's pretty insane, I know, and I got it from my sister, but it really relaxes me Sad

EDIT: And I really wasn't young enough for this to be considered a sign of giftedness, at least I don't think so Sad

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30-10-2012, 10:28 AM
RE: OCD
I will confess to the least embarrassing one I have...

I can't start work if I haven't had an orgasm!

If I'm running late, this has been known to make taxi drivers very angry.

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30-10-2012, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2012 11:21 AM by Vera.)
RE: OCD
(30-10-2012 10:28 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I will confess to the least embarrassing one I have...

I can't start work if I haven't had an orgasm!

If I'm running late, this has been known to make taxi drivers very angry.

Have you considered you may be suffering from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlibido and not OCD? Cool

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30-10-2012, 11:02 AM
RE: OCD
(30-10-2012 09:51 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  I posted mine in another thread to make a point.

I believe the thread was about "omens" and "doing rituals before certain activities".

Edit: Found it Big Grin

"When I was young, I had pretty out of control OCD. I mean BAAAD stuff. For those of you who have never experienced true OCD (not the colloquial kind that far too many people like to pretend they have), I assure you, it's a living hell. Remember "Don't step on the crack or you break your mother's back" that we used to say in grade-school as we walked down the halls? Well imagine that cute little rhyme (and the fun hopping game that it inspired) taken as literal fact in your mind. The delusion that if you step on the crack - or perhaps a specified number of cracks in sequence - something bad will happen to you or to someone you love. Or, imagine a child, innocently playing a Super Mario Bros. video game and driving himself mad because he feels an overpowering urge to collect ALL of the gold coins; lest his father die trying to put out a house fire. More humiliating than either of those, however, is the urge to stop, take 4 or 5 steps backward, then continue walking as you stroll through the mall with your friends, because when you took that last step, you happened to be thinking of something sad or unsettling, and in order to prevent it becoming a reality by literally "walking forth" into that line of reasoning; you have to reverse your steps, imagine something more calming or joyful, and then proceed forward with THOSE thoughts in mind. Maybe you're in school as a child and, as you write word problems and math equasions in your textbook, you're unable to supress the drive to tap the pen X-number of times at the end of each sentence; making what should have been a "period" into a scribbled mess.

Perhaps the most emotionally torturous part of all of this is the fact that you're constantly aware that what you're doing has no actual impact on reality. You know full-well that the feelings and thoughts that cause you to act as you do are unfounded, and your actions are completely pointless. But you do them anyway (and become emotionally unhinged if you're prevented from doing so), because you feel such a deeply-seeded drive within you to do them. Thankfully, I grew out of this disorder when I entered my teens. Or, if I didn't actually grow out of it, it's certainly manifested itself in a completely unnoticable way.

Because of my experience, though, I can personally attest to the obvious parallels that can be drawn between OCD and superstitious behavior. Superstition is agenticity, patternicity and (this is only MY claim, mind you) OCD-type reasoning gone out of control.

No, there are no fucking omens. There are no magic little rituals that will have any impact on one's performance or the outcome of an event. If there is any effect whatsoever, it is purely psychological. Meaning; you believed doing X before a certain activity would help your performance, which, in turn, eased your mind and allowed you to do that activity more effectively. X was nothing more than a placebo.

Be serious."

Thanks for finding it. You are so right about OCD. Actually, that's why I could never get into Monk (not that I really tried) - it's really difficult for me to see the humour in OCD. I mean, I know some rituals may appear funny, but what it boils down to is that it's often a debilitating condition. And getting rid of one is so hard... actually, getting rid of one of mine was what finally led me to admit I wasn't religious (it had to do with praying and making the sign of the cross, which over time eroded into something completely meaningless and distorted). Or maybe it was the other way around - I knew I wasn't religious, so there was not even a semblance of reason behind it anymore. Still, it was tough as hell to stop and it did reoccur when I was in Brazil and kind of stressing out.

You're also right that knowing that what you're doing is not really helping just adds to the annoyance factor.

It's also quite annoying when people tell you "nah, you're not OCD, OCD is just about arranging things in a particular order and washing yours hands many times". Grrr....

There's a great clip from QI about superstitions and pigeons and religion, but it has been removed. But it kinda proves your point about rituals.

(30-10-2012 10:04 AM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  Still don't know what kind of OCD this stem is from, but for me it was visually. It had to do with negative space. For some reason, I felt there was a line down the middle of my sight, and the negative space had to reflect equally on both sides. I used my raised hand to keep things as level as possible. I got a lot of high-fives back.

I'm not even sure I understand what exactly you mean and how it works. But it sounds debilitating.[i]

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30-10-2012, 11:18 AM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2012 11:31 AM by cheapthrillseaker.)
RE: OCD
I'll try a visual with paint in abit.

Hope that makes a little more sense. The negative space in the example is the tree.

Basically, anything was taking up too much negative space, I had to hold up my hand to calibrate the equality. Me, a kid at six, already training to be a Guru with her hand constantly up in the air.


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30-10-2012, 11:36 AM
RE: OCD
I,m a counter. I count everything. If I spend three hours raking leaves, at the end I can tell you how many strokes I took with the rake. Sometimes I need to start over. For example, the other day I was cutting up potatoes, when I realized I hadn't counted the cuts. I had to throw out the potatoes I had already cut and start over.

Usually it all happens almost subconsciously. I won't even realize I'm doing it until half way through. I can carry on a conversation, do multiple tasks (even if they are counting tasks) or whatever. But sometimes (like with the potatoes) it really sucks.

Just visiting.

-SR
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