Tag Archives: obsessive-compulsive-disorder

What’s your obsession?

According to the dictionary, obsessive-compulsive-disorder, or OCD, is an anxiety disorder in which patients are driven to repeat the same act, such as washing their hands, over and over again, usually for many hours.

Being of Sri Lankan heritage, I have a little OCD.

I don’t wash my hands continually in an “out, damned spot” Macbeth- kind of way, but I do run lists in my head that must be completed before I leave the house. Dress, do my hair, pack my bag, make the bed, eat breakfast and brush my teeth.

I also do a walk-through of each room in the flat, making sure it is neat and tidy. Not clean. Most people mistakenly think the place is clean- but that is merely the illusion that tidiness creates.

I know my Sri Lankan mother also has this problem as it drives me nuts when I am waiting for her to come and visit and she can’t seem to leave the house early as she has to do a quick tidy up first.

There is also a running list of chores that I need to do in my head. Fortunately this one doesn’t run every day or I may never get out the door. This may also be part of the reason why I don’t want a bigger place to live.

After leaving home, I lived by myself for a number of years and the OCD was easy to manage. Everything was still where I left it that morning when I returned from work each night.

Living with a partner, on the other hand, can sometimes be a challenge. Probably not just for me.

The only way I can deal with someone else’s mess is to allocate corners or areas where everything of theirs gets dumped and then I don’t have to think about it. Not very nice of me I know, but perhaps I just have an understanding husband who also likes the benefits of having a tidy house.

Over the years, I have heard stories of Sri Lankan aunts who suffer from the same disorder to varying degrees. Is it a cultural thing? Or a genetic disorder? Or a female thing?

The theory is that OCD is learned behaviour and distorted beliefs that could either be genetic or the result of chemical, structural and functional abnormalities in the brain.

So, for now, the jury is still out. But I can still blame my mum right?

Replublished to Story2Share.