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poisonedantidote's avatar

Does everyone have O.C.D.?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21648points) October 13th, 2010

obsessive compulsive disorder, do we all have it in one form or another?

I ask this because over the years, me and a close friend of mine have discovered that we share the same obcessions in certain things.

For example: Neither of us can play a stratergy game on the computer without making all our regiments comprised of even numbers of soldiers. 13 soldiers are obviously better than 12, but if we have 13, we will kill off or sacrifice 1 unit to make sure we have a balanced regiment.

The same goes with the volume setting on the television, I can have the volume on 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16. But not on 9, 11, 13 or 15.

Does this qualify as a mild kind of O.C.D? and if it does, so we all have it? what are some of your obcessions?

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24 Answers

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Always blow into a cup before pouring liquids into it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’m a magpie. When I’m outside I compulsively pick up things that are brightly colored or shiny, a plastic bead from a child’s necklace, a Lego block, a shiny zipper pull, paperclips, stuff like that. If it’s broken or not shiny I don’t have any desire to pick it up. When I get home I put the stuff into a glass jar. I have no idea why, I just do. Maybe that’s why I have so many DVDs…they’re so shiny and pretty!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Not everyone has it. In fact, most people do not. It has become a term synonymous for labeling someone who shows any type of questionable preference for cleaning or checking something.

Get to know someone with OCD, and you will find that it is a slight, just like it is to ask a person if they are deaf or retarded when they are clearly not.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

No. We actually had this discussion on fluther recently, and my opinion has not changed. No. Most disorders like OCD are normal human behaviors blown out of proportion. OCD affects our lives, it is disruptive and consuming. Most people do not deal with that.

heresjohnny's avatar

Minor compulsive behaviors like that seem to be fairly common (anecdotally; this is from my own observation. I am unaware of any research on the subject).

This is NOT OCD, or “mild OCD” as you put it. To be OCD, there have to be obsessions (hence the “O”), which are thoughts that increase anxiety. Things like fear of germs which leads to the behavior (or compulsion, C) of washing hands excessively, in order to reduce the anxiety. It’s called a disorder for a reason. It interferes with someones daily life.

That said, I can’t have my food touching, I hate my hands being wet and dry them quickly and completely, I put my left shoe/sock/glove/whatever on first,and I tap and count things. But, since there are no accompanying obsessive thoughts or anxiety, I do not have OCD.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I guess I misinterpreted this question. I thought it was about odd compulsive quirks people have, I thought the OCD reference was perhaps innocently overstating it. Sorry, no disrepect intended.

downtide's avatar

Heck no. I don’t obsess over anything. Not for long anyway. (I kind of have a little of the autistic-spectrum type of hyperfocus but I’m very fickle, and the subject of my focus changes often. It’s why I have so many unfinished novels on my computer).

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

As someone diagnosed with an obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder, I will say that I can differentiate between my quirks and unique habits (like vacuuming a specific pattern into my carpet because I think it looks nice) and the behaviors that are truly related to the disorder. The obsessions are consuming, often irrational, and can quite literally rule your thoughts. The compulsions that follow are so frustrating, for me at this point, that I will avoid doing even the most mundane or “normal” things in an attempt to just avoid the rituals it takes me to get there. It is not nearly as cut and dry as many people perceive. I can understand why someone might think the symptoms are similar to behavior that everyone can relate to, but it is so magnified in comparison to a healthy person’s habits, to see them compared side by side would be surprising, I believe. The all-consuming nature of the disorder and the obsessions combined with the compulsions are really quite significant compared to a preference or a habit to do things in a certain, albeit quirky, way.

marinelife's avatar


It is a horrible disease and no one should joke about everyone having it.

It is very life disabling.

muppetish's avatar

Zen asked a form of this question, as @TheOnlyNeffie mentioned. There were some interesting answers in the post.

When I was a kid, I clung to routine (especially at night.) I had to wash my hands several times until I felt they were clean. If I felt even the slightest inkling that I had to use the restroom, I had to go relieve myself. I checked that the front door was locked at least twice before I could go to sleep. I had to wave goodbye to my dad every morning before going to school. I steadily grew out of these toward the end of primary school. None of these compulsion ever reached the degree that I would have a nervous breakdown / panic attack if the compulsion was not followed through.

Most of us have patterns and ticks we follow, but it’s not the same. I know I do not have Obessive Compulsive Disorder. I am friends with a number of people who live with it (no medication, no therapy.) I think it’s a misunderstood disorder (especially when people confuse it with mysophobia – not the same thing!) and it’s difficult for those of us who have not lived with it to understand what it is like.

Coloma's avatar

I am quite un-OCD, I am much more of a free spirited, hedonistic and undiscliplined type. lol

I once was in relationship with a very OCD kinda guy, not a match, noooo! I cannot tolerate extreme rigidity or ritual. lol

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No. I look at OCD as some trait or habit that is so pronounced that it becomes disruptive, negative, debilitating, etc. I liken the things you write about as quirks, most people have quirks.

xxii's avatar

No, I don’t think so. To me, that’s a little like saying everyone who is myopic is blind. Blindness is an extreme case of a common condition, and it is disruptive to living a “normal” life. Such is the case with OCD. Just my potentially un-PC opinion. Sorry if I offended anyone.

Coloma's avatar


Yes, that would be my definition as well.

Liking to keep your house in basic good shape is not the same thing as not being able to leave the house without hand separating the fringe on your area rug as you crawl out backwards with paper towels taped to your knees. lol

Ltryptophan's avatar

I don’t have OCD

Ltryptophan's avatar

I don’t have OCD.

Ltryptophan's avatar

.I don’t have OCD.

josie's avatar

It appears that nobody can exist these days without a disorder. That way, you can beg forgiveness for any silly thing you do. Why not OCD?

Gamrz360's avatar

No, like everybody else said most people do not but some people do.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I agree with everyone that said ‘no’ in one form or another – people who actually have it…fuck, it’s tough…it’s not at all like when I need to touch a paw of every lion statue I pass…if I don’t touch it, it’ll be okay…but for a person with OCD, they simply can’t move forward with some things until they do it 300x or more…it’s disabling.

ucme's avatar

Yeah Modern Warfare II is awesome. Looking forward to the release of Black Ops next month though. Oh & it’s C.O.D silly :¬)

answerjill's avatar

No, OCD is a real disorder that has the potential to take over the sufferer’s life, unless s/he can get some help to keep it under control and has the strength to cope with it. Medication and cognitive therapy, often of the painful “exposure-response prevention” type is prescribed. Also, as others have mentioned, OCD can take many forms. For some, the compulsions are mainly mental rituals, for example.

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