Those with OCD: What obsessions do you have?

I have undiagnosed OCD, and when I was in gr. 4 or 5, I had this absolutely horrible obsession with grouping all words and letters/numbers/symbols into groups or 4. So I look at a kleenex and think “klee” “nex” the fast that it was a group of 7, not 8, drove me NUTS, so I pictured a period after the “nex”. Very frustrating, and I’m so glad I grew out of that thing.

Another thing I do is pick all of the excess hairs off of my dog. He’s a pretty large dog, about 150 pounds of Malmute/Husky, with thick fur. But in the summer his winter fur starts to clump in, but doesn’t completely fall out. So I start picking at the clumps, with the side-effect that it plucks normal fur out, so it -really- pisses him off. But he knows who feeds him, so I can keep doing it :frowning:

So, what are some of your obsessive compulsive “things”?

Things (especially things that are already compulsions) can’t happen in twos or fours; one extra has to be added or else Probably Everyone I Know Will Die (I wish I was kidding).

I don’t have a serious OCD, but since a young age I’ve been compelled to sniff my drinking glasses before filling them. If they smell in the least bit funny, dirty, or “off” in any way it goes straight into the dishwasher and a new, hopefully cleaner glass is then selected for sniff analysis.

Also concerning drinking glasses, when I want to fill one with tap water, I must turn on the tap and let it run for a few seconds into the sink to “clean the stale water out of the faucet”. Then I turn the water completely off and place my clean, pre-sniffed glass under the tap and fill it so as not to get the sides and bottom of the glass all wet by inserting it into the stream of water while it is running.

I’m very particular about my drinking glasses. Otherwise, I’m relatively normal.

I’m not sure if it’s OCD or just peculiar behavior, but I have these habits:

Washing hands frequently - several times an hour

Groceries in pantry must be arranged by food group, then by size of item, perfectly aligned

Check doors several times before going to bed to be sure they are locked

Vehicles are kept spotlessly clean, inside and out, and maintained to perfection

Fresh towels daily

Clothes in closet arranged by type - shirts on on side, pants on the other, sorted by color

Shoes removed at door and arranged in exact position on their spot on a mat by the door (inside)

Stacks of linens must be arranged by color and perfectly aligned

Tools in tool chest arranged in order of size and function, perfectly arranged, garage kept in perfect order

House kept spotlessly clean, dusted, and every knick-knack and all furniture must be in exact position

Pots and pans, dinnerware, etc. in kitchen cupboards arranged in groups by function, then by size

Etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.

Sort of a Mr. Monk Lite. :smiley:

I was going to write down more of my obsessions/compulsions, but actively thinking about them was making me depressed. I mean, usually I just do them…trying to compile a list makes me realize how absurdly many there are and how much they permeate my life without me typically noticing it on a holistic level.

I never eat the last bite of any meal I eat. (except for things like soup or chilli)
I’m constantly checking my cell phone for any missed calls even tho’ I know the damn thing has been in my pocket and hasn’t rang.
If paper has to be folded; it must be folded PERFECTLY!!

Doors. Damn-it. Did I really lock the doors before leaving the apartment?

It varied. On one of the more unpleasant bouts, it was alternating between the concepts of the blight of urban poverty, and the grim finality of death, maybe every other minute. Being in Washington D.C., and visiting a museum with an exhibit on WWI…didn’t help nothin’.

You know, I think I’d still take SSRIs, even if I had to inject them directly into my brain with an 18-gauge needle, every hour on the hour.

Self-abuse. Picking, in particular. My fingertips and cuticles are the ugliest that I’ve ever seen, and they hurt. But I can’t stop it. I CAN’T! I’ve tried everything, from pretty manicures to dissuade me to psychiatrist suggested meds, nothing helps this problem. I’m pretty uptight and anal so it doesn’t surprise me. I want my nails to be pretty, they feel unsmooth and ragged so I pick the skin to make it smooth and then it bleeds. Then, as it’s healing the texture is off again so the process starts all over, ad nauseum. It sucks. I have to hide my hands when in public so as not to scare small children. In fact, there was one kid I intentionally showed to dissuade him from chewing his nails.

When I was a child I only gnawed the nails, now I mostly ignore the nails and tear up the skin and cuticles. I think I’d rather just chew the nails. This looks way worse and is embarassing and ugly in an otherwise pretty vain me. I also think this is a learned behavior, because my dad did/does it too, but not to the same extent. Can you learn obsessions?

I count off seconds. One thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three…
I do it all the time. I don’t use the timer on the microwave, I count the seconds, one thousand and one, one thousand and two… I measure the accuracy of my speedometer between mile markers, one thousand and one, one thousand and two…

Yeah, I never had them really bad but my Lexapro certainly helps me see things more rationally. It also reduces my attention span and grip on details so that helps too.

My thing was always the belief that if I didn’t fix whatever I was obsessed with, that I would think about it for the rest of the day. Like if I didn’t position something just so and decided to walk away anyway, I would think, but I will have that on my mind all day. Better go back and resolve it.

Cabinet doors would get closed and then closed again, with more finality this time. Same with the fridge.

Everything should balance, and be symmetrical (folding clothes in particular). Cans should be positioned with their labels facing exactly forward.

The volume on the TV has to be set to an even number.

If you and Adrian Monk were on e-harmony dot com, rockets would go off, fireworks like have never been seen before, and the theme to The Love Boat would be on a continuous loop :slight_smile:

Me, I’m obsessively NON organized. I can’t help it, I’m pretty sure I don’t like it, but the idea of actually putting something back someplace where I could find it again pales with just leaving it out so I’ll know for sure where it is…until it gets buried by the next thing I need to leave out so I’ll know where that is. And so on. :o

I’m exhausted just from reading all that . :wink:

I don’t think I have true OCD, but I do some . . . odd things. I mentally “type” license plate numbers as I ride in the car. It drives me crazy and I have to force myself to look at something other than license plates. (The fact that I’m usually able to switch my focus is what makes me think I’m merely odd and not truly OCD).

I also memorize numbers. For some reason it’s easy for me to remember numbers and that’s really handy and all, but then I take it to an extreme and memorize my VIN number and other stupid stuff. Just to show off, I guess.

I bite my fingernails to the point where they bleed and peel, and the cuticle and skin surrounding them.

I wash my hands obsessively, almost to the point of bleeding if something has gotten on them.

I have an allergic reaction to cottonwood, a common tree around here, so during the summer my hands will start to peel. I’ll obsessively peel the skin off until it hurts underneath.

Everything must be even. EVEN. The part in my hair must be even. If I’m arranging things on the shelf it must be even. I don’t mean even numbers, just evenly distributed; if there’s five things, I will put one directly in the center and two on either side. They MUST BE EVEN. If there isn’t a way to make things directly even, I freak out. And I don’t look most people in the face because we’re almost all asymmetrical. I hate looking in a mirror for that reason.

When I smoke cigarettes, I can’t smoke down to the filter. I absolutely must leave at least a quarter of an inch above the filter or for some reason I start flipping out. Even if I don’t inhale it and just let it burn down to the filter I freak. And when I go for a cigarette break I have to have an odd number of cigarettes: one, three, five, et cetera. If I smoke two cigarettes, I have to have another to make it odd.

Punctuation. I’m not just anal about it; it really does start to make me go into a fit when I see a misspelling or a misplaced comma, regardless of whether it’s a mistake of my own or someone else’s. The Internet is probably not a good place for me, now that I think about it…

On top of OCD, I also have bipolar disorder. So I have uncontrollable emotions on top of uncontrollable rituals and urges. It’s a great life!*


*Really, though, life isn’t that bad - I only need to take meds when I’m about to go into a fit. And the OCD doesn’t really interfere with my life that much…except that my desk layout isn’t even and it’s driving me insane…

From what I have heard, this is perfectly correct behaviour, the water will taste better if you have flushed out any that was in the faucet. Not letting the glass get wet is just common sense, they can be slippy when wet.

I have trichtillomania. I pull out my hair - on my head only. Thankfully I have really thick hair so no one notices, but I burn through vaccuums (because of all of the hair on the floor) like no tomorrow. My hairdressers have commented on my “scar” on my head. I don’t have a scar - it’s just where I pull. I mainly pull hairs that feel thicker than others.

I also count. Everything.

Ever since I was little and influenced by my grandparents’ living near Hershey, I have drawn or traced the same pattern on the air with my eyes, on my skin with my fingers: the profile of a Hershey kiss.

If I do it in a certain direction a few times, I have to do it in the other direction to even out the “weight”; I don’t actually count but I do it on either side until it feels right.

Checking doors and windows several times before leaving or going to bed. Sometimes haveing to go back and recheck AGAIN after i drive away or lay down.

Driving back to check that i closed the garage door

repeating phrases, song choruses, words in my head over and over (it doesn’t have to relate to anything I have heard, read or said recently).

Tracing the outlines of any object/objects in the room with my eyes

Counting the words on signs/poerpoint presentations

Tapping my foot, hand, or just mentally tapping in between each mile marker post, utility pole or dotted line on the road

Replaying conversations in my head and rearranging the text and outcomes (sometimes thtings of no consequence that happened 7-8 years ago)

rubbing my thumbs and fingers together for hours on end unconsciously

clicking my teeth together for hours on end unconsciously

Staring at my hands and following the patterns on my skin (not just the big lines but those tiny cracks you see on your fingers and palm as well as fingerprints)

Following the pattern in carpets/walls/paintings/celings

counting tiles, boxes, squares, etc

obcessing on other people’s opinions

and many many more

I must reach this corner before that dog reaches that gate.

Hopefully you locked them after leaving the apartment.

Sharky, Ya wanna get married?