To begin with, I am no expert in psychology, but have dealt with mental illnesses as a caregiver and as a patient. I know not the intricacies of the illnesses– the whys and the hows– but I do know a little about how a mental illness disturbs life, and how one can deal with it, and hence these posts that I share on my blog.
I came across an article in the newspaper last week where the writer shared certain habits and thoughts that had become a part of his daily life. I couldn’t have agreed more with him when he said how these habits get the better of him and leave him feeling frustrated and helpless. I, too, have certain habits that are compulsive in nature and try as I might, I can’t get rid of them.
I am sure many of you must sail in the same boat.
Washing hands a hundred times, waking up or sleeping on a particular side of the bed, checking things again and again to make sure everything’s in order. We often joke about how we suffer from OCD–I did that myself–but on reading about the subject in detail, I realised that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental illness and for people suffering from it, it can be a struggle trying to live a normal life.
I haven’t approached my doctor with this topic during my sessions for Generalised Anxiety Disorder yet; maybe someday I will, just to make sure I don’t need any treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
But, on reading the above newspaper article, I realised how so many of us suffer from certain obsessive thoughts and compulsive habits and how we ignore those, thinking that those habits are just a part of our idiosyncrasies.
Sharing today, those thoughts and habits, fears and worries I have on an everyday basis and hoping to get some help in that department, as well.If you are a psychologist, and if you think I need help, please advice me. I would be forever grateful to you!
I fear germs, so much so, that when my pet dog was around, I would pet him and then scrub my hands clean–this happened each time I petted him, so you can imagine the number of times I washed my hands in a day.
I worry about getting involved in a road accident, so each time hubby revs up the engine of his car, I start palpitating. It’s related to my anxiety, I know, but I have no problem travelling by the bus or the train.
I fear a theft taking place when I am not home.
I have this age-old fear of the gas bursting and also a short circuit burning our house down.
I find it difficult to trust people as I think they aren’t being truthful to me and might have ulterior motives. There are only 3 to 4 people I trust blindly, no offence meant to others who are equally close to me!
I am obsessed about the idea of a perfect life (which I know doesn’t exist) but the obsession is so much, that even if I daydream, I make sure Life is perfect! Do I make any sense here?
I like everything in order…ORDER..and get disturbed even if a tiny thing, like a cushion, for instance, is out of its rightful place. I tend to lose my peace of mind, but I leave everything aside to go arrange the cushion correctly.
I like to make to-do lists and follow my schedule. But, I also wish others around me maintained a to-do list and worked accordingly, and get annoyed if they don’t!
I get very irritated if my schedule gets disturbed and it takes me some time to come up with Plan B, even if it’s something as simple as missing my evening walk.
I am a cleanliness freak and cannot stay in a place that’s dirty or unkempt. And, if I do visit such a place, then I am sure to get some really disturbing dreams full of filthy places…The dreams stay on in my mind for days on end and it becomes difficult getting them out of my head! I feel like puking even as I type these words.
I have the habit of checking if the door is locked perfectly each time someone opens the door, or before going to bed at night.
I check the padlock by tugging at it multiple times fearing I may not have done it correct.
I check the regulator of the gas a few times to make sure I switched it off before bedtime or before I go outdoors.
I am petrified of touching the door handles of public washrooms. I also think a hundred times before holding onto the handle of the seat in a bus or a train, wondering how many germs might be residing on that handle.
I arrange my kitchen cabinets weekly and make sure the labels on the jars face the front.
I can never share my comb or my towel with anyone, not even with hubby!
To be frank, I am not so much of a cleanliness freak as some other people I know. I don’t get disturbed if my nephew spreads his toys all over the room while playing. My home may not be as spic and span as a 5 star hotel, but I like (and need) order, and often get disturbed if I find things in a mess.
I know, there are people out there who suffer from worst symptoms and can’t do without medical help. It is, indeed, a sad life they live.
Calling oneself OCD is definitely hurtful to those who suffer from severe symptoms of this illness. Yet, it is very important that we seek help for what comes in our way of living a healthy and peaceful life.
Do share your own habits and thoughts that you think hinder a normal life. You never know how severe things might be unless you have it in front of you, in black and white!
The one person I trust to give me the right advice on this post–my friend, and psychologist, Sanch–has shared her views on the topic which I am sharing here.
Sanch @ Sanch Writes: