OCD isn’t just about washing your hands like Lady Macbeth. OCD is the disease of anxiety on steroids. Fear is in charge & by thinking obsessively or following compulsive rituals you create a sense of “safety” which is stolen from fear. The French once called OCD ‘la folie de doute’ which translates to ‘the doubting disease’.
When getting ready for a party or packing for a trip we may describe ourselves as “a little OCD”. Having the disease means your OCD interferes with functioning in your life.
We all want an OCD surgeon or an OCD wallpaper hanger because they will be hyper-careful & most likely be excellent. We want all doubt extinguished in these activities. An OCD employee will most likely be organized & very on top of things.
OCD often means missing out on fun & pleasure just like the perfectionist. Enjoying themselves is not easily done. Correcting, fixing & constantly being productive are often hallmarks of OCD. Accepting things as they are, not their strong suit.
OCD people are addicted to shoulds. Things should be a certain way. I called him & I wouldn’t wait two days to call back so how can he?!?! Rolling with things as they happen, not really on their radar. Flexible is not their best thing, so they can be hard to work for.
There is an abundance of help. Consider exploring this first book, even if you are massively obsessive without the compulsive component. Brain Lock by Jeffrey Schwartz, includes diagrams of the brain to help you understand what is happening. He also has a 32 minute video of four steps that can help you be in control: www.ocduk.org/four-steps-video
Another book is Freedom From OCD by John Grayson. There is an online OCD support group in the yahoo self-help groups.
Dr. Phillipson has written an excellent online article saying that two places OCD people can get stuck are 1. sexual orientation & 2. whether or not a relationship is the “right” one. He offers a lot of insight on his website: ocdonline
In conclusion, it is crucial to learn to accept that ambiguity, being uncomfortable emotionally & embracing uncertainty is a normal part of living life well. Soothing your brain to cope with confusion instead of trying to falsely shove yourself into delicious black & white certainty.
Everything has tradeoffs. It’s the goods & bads intermingled that make us all human. Every city, person, relationship, career, decision is a mixture of strengths & weaknesses. There are only answers that you have to decide are right for you, accept that all answers are not perfect. We must learn to live with the pain of not knowing we are absolutely right.