General Question

shrubbery's avatar

Do you have OCD tendencies?

Asked by shrubbery (9833 points ) June 5th, 2008

Everyone has their little things that they hate or have to do, but is yours a little bit over the top? I can’t stand powerpoints being switched on without anything plugged in. I hate it. I have to turn them off, even if the powerpoint is on the roof or something, I have to find a way. The only thing I have to live with is where I work, at an electronics store, all the switches on the new powerboards are switched on and since they’re sealed in a packet I can’t turn them off. I have to resist cutting them open and switching the switches off! Even all my teachers know about this because if I notice one on in the middle of class I just automatically get up and walk over to turn it off. Also, I have to have the volume on the TV in increments of five only. When I was little I had to have the same amount of my steps on each paver and I absolutely could not walk on the cracks. Either that or I had to step on every crack in between the pavers in the line in front of me that I was walking. I forced myself to get over that one. There are a couple of others that I can’t think of right now so they’re not as severe but yeah, do you reckon I’ve got OCD? Haha what are your little quirks?

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45 Answers

sndfreQ's avatar

I believe my OCD tendencies are related to ADD, and I catch myself double-checking door locks, and driving around the block to double-check my garage door closing all the way. Could also be that I’m always rushed to get somewhere…

Hollister0221's avatar

this is just weird

chaosrob's avatar

Tendencies? No. Flaming, full-on OCD? Maybe.

shrubbery's avatar

Haha, I don’t suppose you’d like to share?

Hollister0221's avatar

Counting your steps and not stepping on cracks? Buddy how you get through your day. Wow. Buts that’s cool, I have heard of this problem. It sounds like it can run your life

shrubbery's avatar

That was when I was little, I said I got over that one. I am sorry for the people who are actually diagnosed with real and severe OCD and it does run their lives, it must be very hard.

robmandu's avatar

What’s the opposite called? I must have that.

Instead of paying attention to real work in front of me, I’m responding to Fluther.

shrubbery's avatar

Maybe you are obbsessive compulsive about fluther…? :P

waterskier2007's avatar

I have to lay pencils parallel on my desk for tests. I always check my door locks and garage door closing. My volume on car stereo has to be an even number.I But perhaps weirdest (you will know what ok I’m talking about if you use
iChat) when you pick a buddy from the list it highlights their name. I hate to see the highlighted name after I start the chat. So I scroll to the bottom of the list, pick the bottom name, and scroll back up so the highlighted name is not visible

wildflower's avatar

I have obsessions (shoes, mostly)......and at times get really odd compulsions (like buying a Hello Kitty AK47 if I could), but OCD? nah!

cheebdragon's avatar

I am very weird about my jewelery, I will wear it untill it accidently falls off. Its too bad because I have a ton of really nice rings that I won’t wear because I think it will give me bad luck. I’m also very weird about reading things, I can’t just read part of anything, I have to read the entire thing, so I won’t use the tv guide because it usually only shows half of the description and I have to hit the info button and read it all, it takes forever to find something to watch because of this. If I pick up a book I won’t put it down untill I finish the entire thing regardless of how long it is or how boring. But i can read incredibly fast now because of this.

shrubbery's avatar

Cheebdragon, I too have to finish reading things such as the tv descriptions. I do not always read novels all in one go but a lot of the time. I do feel I have to read a whole webpage or brochure or things like that all the way through. Also, I really hate skipping songs if I have decided to listen to an album. I make sure I have enough time to listen to the whole album all the way through because I hate stopping somewhere in the middle. I feel as though I haven’t been fair to the songs I haven’t had a chance to listen to.

elchoopanebre's avatar

I do the “don’t step on cracks” thing, and my room, car, and booksack have to be organized EXACTLY like I like them or I will freak out.

I’m a lot less OCD than I used to be, though. I seem to have slowly gotten more and more functional and less picky through the years.

jlm11f's avatar

Hmm lets see…I am germophobic in respect to personal hygiene. So I use gloves for dishwashing, any type of cleaning. I often shower twice a day. I wash my hands every 30 minutes. I wash my face every 1–2 hours. I don’t ever open public doors if I don’t have to, sometimes I pull up my sleeve so I, myself, have no contact with the door. I have a very strict ritual of washing my hands in public bathrooms, first i take some paper towels from the dispenser, turn on faucet with hands, wash hands for 45 seconds, close faucet through the paper towel i had taken out earlier. Use same paper towel to pull out more for drying my hands. Use the latter paper towel to open bathroom door to exit.

I am very observant of other people’s personal hygiene too. One of my roommates would only shower once in three days. I couldn’t take it. I didn’t keep a watch out but I just always knew whether she had showered or not. I have been known to ask people whether they showered that day before they hug me. I have been known to refuse shaking anyone’s hands if I am confident that they did not clean them after recently eating or something. I probably sound crazy now but it’s really not as bad as it sounds.

robmandu's avatar

you crazy people stay away from me!

nahh-h-h-h-h-h… j/k.

y’know I lurve ya!

jlm11f's avatar

@ rob, well if you didn’t shower today, i promise i will stay away :) :P

lovelyy's avatar

I have to crack all of my knuckles everytime I just do one even if it happens by accident. Also I used to not think this was but in a before question someone said, always having to put the toilet paper upwards so the paper is on top. I do it all the time at friends houses, at restaurants, just anywhere I see it.

btw: I love how you put monk in your topics(:

edmartin101's avatar

@PnL I know you trully believe in your ritual, but if you look under the microscope, you’ll find out a great number of microbes running around on the paper towel you are using to avoid your body contact in public places. Think about it for a minute, where does this paper comes comes from, yeah machines roll it, but is it really surgical hygienically proofed? you would need to carry your own set of disposable gloves for you to avoid all these germs crawling on your hands onto your face and so on…....yucky!!

Please don’t get so obsessed about cleanliness, I know it’s important. I know you are concerned about your health, believe I am too, but if is your turn to get sick, you will. It will come thru the least expected way and boom!! hit you between your eyes…........you will say: “where did that come from?” I had all the ducks in a row and look…..

Prayer will also help you get through difficult times, meditation will help you relax your spirit, your soul, your mind, your body so you can have a better control of it. I’m not suggesting I can control every cell in my body, but give it a try, with time and practice, you’ll develop a good habit and things will change for the better.

edmartin101's avatar

Distractions are all part of our lives…............my worst distraction are sexy women….....lol
But seriously, if your distraction is eating your lunch, you got to do something about it or else you’ll end up losing your sleep, your health, etc.; all of us have filters we develop in the course of the environment we thrive in, some of us can function better than others in spite of them, to some of they are the worst nightmares.
One way I have been been able to get rid of some distractions like noise: tv, radio, ppl talking excessively, etc., is to talk to myself and tell myself that as the noise that I am listening around me it was distracting and not allowing me to concentrate, now it is actually helping me concentrate better and I can function and filter all that crap. A good book on the subject is: “What to say when you talk to yourself” By Shad Hemstteter.
I hope it helps!! sayonara

cheebdragon's avatar

I talk to myself all the time…...like full conversations too….

edmartin101's avatar

hmmmm…..interesting! what do you say?

nikipedia's avatar

There’s this packet of paperwork we use at my job. Someone else prepares them and I mail them out. They have four “sign here” flags. Every single time I mail them out, I remove all 4 flags, change them to matching colors, and line them up so that they stick off the edge of the paper at exactly the same length.

Allie's avatar

I have a checklist when I leave someplace. I always check for “wallet, cell phone, keys, iPod, camera” and I have to recite it out loud as I feel and check in my bag for each thing. My friend just stands there and looks at me funny when I do it then when I’m done she’s like “You’re so weird.”

cage's avatar

who doesn’t! 12345

MissAnthrope's avatar

Yeah, but I have OCD. :P Emphasis on the “obsessive”. Honestly, I think I have a fair amount of control over the compulsion thing, so not a lot of rituals.

Some things.. I usually have to get back up after going to bed to make sure I locked everything or I will obsessively think about someone breaking in after I fall asleep. I try to keep the checking down to once after having gone to bed.

I randomly find myself counting things.. number of steps, how many seconds something takes, whatever.

I have a set way I like to do most things. I find what I consider to be the most efficient way to do something and do it exactly like that nearly every single time.

Even if I just put them in my bag, I have to stop and double-check that my keys are with me, either when leaving the house or car, just to make sure I don’t get locked out.

I could be SO germophobic, being a biologist has not helped in this regard.. I’m only too aware of all the microbes out there. I don’t let myself get too freaky about it and try to remind myself that humans lived a very long time without modern sanitation. I could be a total freak about germs, though.. it’s a fight to stay sane.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I understand the talking to myself, I am an introvert, and I usually seek out the kinds of jobs where I am alone most of the time. Talking to myself is normal for me. But some of these things make me thnkful my most OCD behavior is double or triple checking the doors and windows, and making sure all the electrical appliances are off before leaving the house.

Habitual hand washing? cleanliness rituals? Whew, that’s some heavy stuff.

lizarrrrd's avatar

i have a really weird sock thing. Like when i have socks on and my two first toes are touching i can’t stand it. I’ll be fine but once i realize i’m wearing socks and i am aware of it i have to take them off because it bothers me so much. it’s weird.

Darbio16's avatar

I can’t use a drinking glass for another beverage after putting milk in it until it has been washed.

evegrimm's avatar

I definitely have OCD tendencies…mostly, I can’t stand to have residue of any kind on me…i.e. I hate when my hands are sticky (really, really, really hate that) or if I don’t wash off all of the soap, etc.

I also enjoy reorganising my computer—i.e., moving things to my external hard drive, putting things in better-organised folders, etc. I like seeing lots of free space on my HD!

gottamakeart's avatar

oh yes…and sites like this just feed it. But I don’t mind :)

Maharet's avatar

i’m not saying i do or don’t have OCD. i’ve never actually been diagnosed. i also did the sidewalk thing or the foot tapping thing when i was a kid. i also chewed my nails. i counted and sometimes checked and rechecked that something was closed, off or on. all habits i outgrew or forced myself to outgrow. with every bad habit i outgrew another surfaced. just silly things that i really had to think about, nothing serious or debilitating.

the thing that gives me the most worry nowadays is the habit of picking my upper lip. i’ve always been a picker. scabs, allergic reactions, scratching any skin eruption…all of that, but picking the skin OFF my upper lip? i never noticed that i did that.

after my divorce and subsequent remarriage that problem has become progressively worse. i blamed it on the adderall (for ADD) and recently came off it. i’m still picking, but am working on a way to stop. giant fake nails helps, doing them myself keeps my hands occupied. it’s funny trying to pick my lip with fake nails, i can barely catch the skin, by the time i actually get a hold of something i catch myself and stop.

but the skin….i can feel it. it’s like it’s taunting me. LOL moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

MissAnthrope's avatar

I was just rereading the responses here and @PnL, we sound a lot alike. I have to use gloves while doing the dishes. One reason is I don’t want to get the food and stuff on my hands and the other reason is that I absolutely can. not. stand. the dry, wrinkly feeling of my skin afterward. I also hate touching dry cotton balls for the same reason, it evokes this horrid reaction in my body. It’s worse to me than fingernails on a chalkboard and it makes me shudder. Ugh.. I hate it.

As a server, I think the worst part for me (aside from asshole customers) is the fact that I have to touch people’s used plates, glasses, and silverware. It’s mainly knowing what kind of narsty germs could be lurking there, but also knowing they put the stuff in their mouth and had their hands all over it, not to mention the normal disgustingness of scraping other people’s plates and getting that food or dressing or whatever on my hands. I was driven half-mad at my last job because there was a distinct lack of hand sinks with soap and I pretty much wash my hands after every plate load carried into the kitchen.

Oh, and the people that leave used tissue wads on the table for us to clean up? It happens way more often than you’d expect. Don’t even get me started.. uuuughgghghh.

coolbeans77777's avatar

Only 2% of the population have been diagnosed with OCD. Being one of those people, I’ve done a LOT of research on the subject. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder runs hand in hand with many other disorders, one of them being Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Trichotillomania and is usually triggered by a stressful, traumatic, or even scary/bad event. When a person has OCD, it comes from a place of fear and they do things like unplugging everything before they leave a room (which I do) or touching every pole when they walk down a street do it because they believe that if they don’t, or they miss one, something bad will happen (usually the thing that sparked it). The fact that you do things because you hate doing the opposite, tells me that you just get bothered by that specific thing.

coolbeans77777's avatar

Oh, and the whole, Monk thing. He has a very over exaggerated case of severe OCD. This is usually not the case, ever. Someone who has OCD, if you saw them walking around, you would usually not be able to tell unless they told you.

Makstatic's avatar

I prefer doing things in threes but I can move on easily without doing so.

GracieT's avatar

I don’t think that I really am OC, but I do catch myself getting “paranoid,” checking to make sure I have EVERYTHING. I also have a small place next to my front door for keys. If all of my keys are there and my purse is in our bedroom with everything in it, actually “all is right in my world.” (until I start to think! :0)

GracieT's avatar

I also have some things that I can’t stand to touch, some I can’t eat because of the texture, and even several words I can’t say because the sound of them bothers my ears. I don’t think I actually am OC, I just have some strange ideas and needs.

Moegitto's avatar

Differences between OCD and ADD-

OCD is when you can’t help yourself but to preform a compulsive action, kinda like a need to. Your body sends all the signals to fool you into thinking you HAVE to do that action. ADD is when you can barely stay focused on a action/task at that moment, but all your energy is trying to be focused/centered on something your brain is telling you needs more attention.

I’ve been diagnosed with mild OCD and HIGH ADD. As a kid people used to not understand how I could be so smart but do bad in school. I couldn’t stay focused for crap. Even though I sucked at it, I had to draw, in class after school, in the bathroom, wherever I could do it. When I rode in cars, I used to count the concrete slabs uninterrupted moving my eyes down to count, and up to move to the next. I would walk in circles in my living room for up to 3 hours. One summer by doing that I lost 20 pounds, I was only 7 pounds overweight then. ADD makes it REALLY hard to focus/care about something that I might find sub-consciously boring. OCD is kind like a drug addiction, except it’s not drugs it’s actions. You go into panic attacks if you don’t execute that action, kinda like a user goes into convulsions if he/she doesn’t get their fix. Besides my need to turn off all the lights in whatever room I’m in, my OCD is pretty controlled. My ADD on the other hand causes me to be awkward. I talk too much sometimes and I don’t show the proper emotions at certain situations. Been thinking maybe I was Autistic, but then my doctor says he doesn’t see it, and then asks if it would matter. Also, one of my huge OCD quirks is my apparent thirst for knowledge, not to be smarter or anything, just to know. If I think of a question, I HAVE to find the answer/reason for it, to completion, no holes or doubt left. SO my last few sessions have been with me arguing with him about if me being autistic matters, leaving me with a 40% answered questions, which makes me anxious and angry….grrr!!!

MissAnthrope's avatar

@Moegitto – You are partially right about what defines OCD, but what you’re talking about is solely the compulsive aspect. Don’t forget there’s an obsessive aspect, as well. It’s a common misperception that one must have many compulsions, or that the compulsive aspect be prominent, for it to be OCD. The truth is, you can have OcD or oCD or OCD.

Moegitto's avatar

@MissAnthrope The obsessive is the part where it consumes you, the compulsive is the random part. That’s why is diagnosed as a disorder, because your being compelled to do something out of the ordinary. It’s part of the DCM-VA manual in the mental discrepancies part. In the military (Army especially) OCD is being classified as a 60 to 80 percent disability now due to people having it and being accidentally diagnosed as having PTSD.

But remember, even though a doctor or a book defines normal, what IS normal? This is normal to me…

MissAnthrope's avatar

@Moegitto – I’m afraid that your understanding is a bit off. I have OCD, so I know. I also dated a clinical psych PhD and have been in therapy for all my various brain issues. The truth is, you don’t have to have loads of compulsions. I’m rational enough to where I can squelch a lot of the compulsions. You can be mostly obsessive with some compulsive and still be considered OCD, is my point. There is a gradient. It’s not all about rituals and compulsions. It’s just as much a disorder, and just as much OCD, if you have obsessive thoughts you can’t control, if you have distressing thoughts/images that you can’t control or stop, etc.

Yes, some of the compulsions have to do with the obsessiveness, but that is not the end-all-be-all of the disorder. I agree there is a connection and as an example, I recently started checking inside my covers for spiders. I don’t know why I started and I wish I hadn’t. Because I now cannot go to bed without checking for spiders. If I forget, I’ll remember once I’m in bed and then I feel like I have them crawling on me and I have to get up to look.

kiahliz's avatar

I know I have some degree of OCD. We have 3 different colored plates because my husband thought it looked cool but when I put them away they just happened to make a pattern (yellow, orange, green) now I have to keep them in that pattern no matter what, weather I am setting the table washing them putting them in the drying rack (we don’t have a dish washer yet) or putting them away.Same with our salad plates (blue, purple, red) bowls (orange, red, or red, yellow two stacks of each) coffee cups (green, red, purple, orange) even silverware (one with stripes, one without stripes). I even color code my school books. I am going to college for business management and I have to have a black note book to go with my black pen and black edged note cards (also have all blue, red, and green) all organized on a schedule with color matching spaces so I know what class I have and what colors I will need. My husband picks on me by switching one of the plates to a different spot or taking one of my pens just because he knows it bothers me so I get him back by making one of our pictures crooked (that is the one thing he is obsessed with) I also have ADHD and understand how hard it can be to resist the compulsion to “fix“the things I see wrong.

VS's avatar

I think I have a little bit of OCD where my kitchen counters are concerned. I had light gray ceramic tile installed and I am pretty compulsive about keeping it cleaned and wiped off. Sometimes I will find myself wiping and wiping again even when I know it’s clean. I want things OFF the counter and only certain things belong on there, but if some dishes get left unwashed, I won’t lose sleep over it.
I work with a lot of casefiles at work, and am very compulsive about wanting all the holes in the top in line so that the papers are not all willy-nilly in the file. No one else seems to care and their files look like crap, but mine are pretty neat and organized. A little OCD is not always a bad thing, but I guess unless it bothers you or interrupts your life, it’s not really OCD.

lolitalyss's avatar

I am 17 and well, since I was really little (probably 4 as far back as I can remember) I have always had little “perks” that would eat away at me. For example, with my grades if I get anything lower than a 90% on ANYTHING (this includes homework, quizes, tests, and worksheets) I end up feeling just utterly depressed, like I can’t get out of bed because I dread what’s going to happen. Another example is, is that whenever I have to leave a room (anywhere) if I have to open the door I have the pull my sleeve over my hand tap the doorknob three times and then wipe my hand on my jeans three times. If I can’t do that, then I end up feeling worse. I wash my hands every 30 minutes, 10–30 times a washing (depending on how “clean” I feel) and that usually takes 5–10 minutes just to wash up. I am pathalogically shy, if there is a new person I can’t even face the same direction as them. but i’ll try to be nice and talk but i’ll be facing away from that said person while i’m talking to them. It takes months for me to work up to even glancing at their eyes. Years before I become close to anyone. Also, for lunch everyday I get the same thing, because I just crave the routine of doing things. Over the summer I feel almost lost, and I find myself more depressed because I lack the routine. Another thing, I can walk up the stairs if there is an odd number of them. I can only listen to my mp3 player or TV if it’s on a number divisible by 5. Every night before I got to bed I HAVE to brush my teeth for 5 minutes, 8 strokes on the top right, the front, the top left, bottom left, bottom front, bottom right, and then inside top right, inside top front, inside top left, inside bottom left, inside bottom front, inside bottom left, and then my tongue. Then I make my bed four times over just to make sure it’s right. I fluff my pillow 8 times before laying on my bed. I have to fall asleep with the TV on otherwise I lay away and end up going over different things and redoing things. Sometimes I stay up all night “fixing” things. Sadly enough, both of my parents don’t believe that there might be something wrong with me. Any advice for a troubled teen? :) lol.

Kathy12's avatar

I’m really young but I have OCD tendencies. I hate it. I repeatly tap my foot. If I don’t i start to feel anxious, or feel like crying. Then, theirs when I like to organize certain things in ABC order. Or smallest to biggest. If I don’t i feel like something bad is going to happen to me. But the worst one is I like to repeat a lot of stuff. Like clicking pens, playing with my hair ALOT. that people get annoyed but I can’t stop _

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