I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I cannot change this, no matter how much I dislike it. I will have it for the rest of my life.
If you are part of my life, then there are some things you are going to have to accept and understand. Some of the big ones are, as stated by the National Foundation of OCD Research, as follows:
These are unwanted ideas or impulses that repeatedly well up in the mind of the person with OCD. Persistent fears that harm may come to self or a loved one, an unreasonable concern with becoming contaminated, or an excessive need to do things correctly or perfectly, are common. Again and again, the individual experiences a disturbing thought, such as, "My hands may be contaminated--I must wash them"; "I may have left the gas on"; or "I am going to injure my child." These thoughts are intrusive, unpleasant, and produce a high degree of anxiety. Sometimes the obsessions are of a violent or a sexual nature, or concern illness.
This is why:
*You should announce you entrance into an area of the house. It will disturb me for hours to come if you do not and I am startled.
*I drive you all up the wall with seemingly endless discussion about one particular thing. If you think its annoying to listen to, try hearing it nonstop in your head...
*I roam the house aimlessly, get the frequent headaches, and sometimes insist on doing things myself. Even if you did it perfectly, I'd still have to do it over again. Don't be insulted.
*I seem completely uninterested in something or someone around me. It's like I'm muti-tasking all the time. Even when listening to you, I'm thinking at length about something/someone else.
*I can be very bitchy at times. I am critical of people, including myself, because I tend to see the fault in things immediately. It could be days before I actually notice the merit in that same thing. The fault or imperfection in things almost lights up as compared.
* "Sometimes the obsessions are of a violent or a sexual nature" Do I even need to go here, or do we all understand where I'm going?
In response to their obsessions, most people with OCD resort to repetitive behaviors called compulsions. The most common of these are washing and checking. Other compulsive behaviors include counting (often while performing another compulsive action such as hand washing), repeating, hoarding, and endlessly rearranging objects in an effort to keep them in precise alignment with each other. Mental problems, such as mentally repeating phrases, listmaking, or checking are also common. These behaviors generally are intended to ward off harm to the person with OCD or others. Some people with OCD have regimented rituals while others have rituals that are complex and changing. Performing rituals may give the person with OCD some relief from anxiety, but it is only temporary
This is why:
*I am ALWAYS relating whatever is being done/said/thought about to what's on my mind.
*Why I ask things over and over, and why I habitually make lists.
*Why I'm repetative, I'm funny about who touches my things, and I rearrange things so much.
*Why I have a tendency of talking down to people and overexemplifying when I'm telling people about things.
*Understand, if I bank on a compusion, then I feel in control for a few moments. It makes the obsessions easier in that it seems that there are fewer things going on in my head.
*Why I can be very depressive and critical and angry if something doesn't work out. It's designed to give me relief, but if it doesn't, then I'm stuck back where I started. Without any solice.
People with OCD show a range of insight into the senselessness of their obsessions. Often, especially when they are not actually having an obsession, they can recognize that their obsessions and compulsions are unrealistic. At other times they may be unsure about their fears or even believe strongly in their validity.
This is why:
*I make running jokes of Conan, Dave Garroway, and even Jean Reno. I understand how this must look from your point of view.
*I CONSTANTLY poke fun at myself for these very things. I find myself rediculous, but there's not a whole lot I can do about it.
Most people with OCD struggle to banish their unwanted, obsessive thoughts and to prevent themselves from engaging in compulsive behaviors. Many are able to keep their obsessive-compulsive symptoms under control during the hours when they are at work or attending school. But over the months or years, resistance may weaken, and when this happens, OCD may become so severe that time-consuming rituals take over the sufferers' lives, making it impossible for them to continue activities outside the home.
This is why:
*I love working and enjoyed school so much.
*I aviod sleep, and can get by with so little of it.
*I always want to be doing something, at all times.
*I hate being alone.
Shame and Secrecy
OCD sufferers often attempt to hide their disorder rather than seek help. Often they are successful in concealing their obsessive-compulsive symptoms from friends and coworkers. An unfortunate consequence of this secrecy is that people with OCD usually do not receive professional help until years after the onset of their disease. By that time, they may have learned to work their lives--and family members' lives--around the rituals.
This is why:
*I don't like talking about myself, or my past.
*I prefer that no one look at me when I'm preparing to go out, brushing my teeth, eating, and why I hate people looking directly at my face.
*It isn't as obvious as you might presume it would be, and you might believe I could just stop if I wanted to.
If you want to understand me better, here's a road map. Perhaps now things I do on a daily basis will make more sense.