On my last visit with my shrink I made a few comments and noticed him furiously scribbling away. Later when there was a lull in the conversation he said, "lets come back to when you said you don’t go to other peoples houses because they are dirty.
"Uggggg, yeah, ummm, can we ignore that?"
No, he wasn’t going to let me.
"Do you have other habits like this?"
"Tell me a few."
"I won’t drink out of a glass at a restaurant, if I think it’s too dirty or scary I ask for my drink served in a to go cup. I will drink out of it, if it is a plastic glass though. If I manage to go to other peoples houses, I prefer not to eat, because I am positive their dishes are dirty. I have two exceptions to this rule and one of them is Katie. I go to Katies house, and even sit on the carpet, because Katie is the cleanest person I have ever known EVER."
"So. You don’t sit on carpet, you don’t like glass, you don’t go to peoples houses, and you think dishes are dirty?"
"There is more, lots more, but we just met and well, I like to save some stuff you know."
he pondered this for a while and finally said. "You know, when we first met, I ruled out Bi-polar, and thought this was just a case of depression. Now, however I’m thinking we need to investigate Manic behaviors and OCD."
"Do you ever have obsessions?"
"Oh boy do I."
From there we discussed my obsessive thoughts of my kids dying, how I can’t make a decision with out overthinking it to the bone. How I will lay awake at night obsessing over something as simple as what time I should take a shower before I go to todays doctor appointment.
After that he came up with a chore for me. Compile a list of things that make me tick, and a list of my biggest stressers.
I will give you my partial list of Ticks. You can’t have the stressors because they mention people that I don’t feel like dealing with after they read this. I say it is a partial list of ticks because I am only writing them down as they come to me, obviously I don’t know them all off the top of my head!
First a little about OCD, taken from the OCD foundations website. I will bold the things that I am guilty off. Luckily, so far I seem not to have compulsions.
Obsessions are thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again and feel out of your control. The person does not want to have these ideas. He finds them disturbing and intrusive, and usually recognizes that they don’t really make sense. People with OCD worry excessively about dirt and germs and become obsessed with the idea that they are contaminated or contaminate others. They may have obsessive fears of having inadvertently harmed someone else even though they usually know this is not realistic. Obsessions are accompanied by uncomfortable feelings, such as fear, disgust, doubt, or a sensation that things have to be done in a way that is "just so."
People with OCD try to make their obsessions go away by performing compulsions. Compulsions are acts the person performs over and over again, often according to certain "rules." People with an obsession about contamination may wash constantly to the point that their hands become raw and inflamed. A person may repeatedly check that she has turned off the stove or iron because of an obsessive fear of burning the house down. She may have to count certain objects over and over because of an obsession about losing them. Unlike compulsive drinking or gambling, OCD compulsions do not give the person pleasure. Rather, the rituals are performed to obtain relief from the discomfort caused by the obsessions.
3. Other features of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
OCD symptoms cause distress, take up time (more than an hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person’s work, social life, or relationships. Most individuals with OCD recognize that their obsessions are coming from their own minds and are not just excessive worries about real problems. They realize that the compulsions they perform are excessive or unreasonable. When someone with OCD does not recognize that their beliefs and actions are unreasonable, this is called OCD with poor insight. OCD symptoms tend to wax and wane over time. Some may be little more than background noise; others may produce extremely severe distress.
Individuals with OCD often have substance-abuse problems, as a result of attempts to self-medicate.
And now my list. I will update this as I think of more. I do not feel these are all attributes of OCD, they are mearly my personal ticks, or quirks. I post them so you can all laugh at how dorky I am!
MY WEIRD TICKS
o I cannot put lotion on my feet.
o I can not touch my feet if they are wet
o I must eat food on both sides of my mouth or it feels uneven
o If I eat candy I must put it in groups of two and eat in order of least amount of colors up to the most amount of colors
o I don’t go to anyone’s house who has dogs (I make an exception for Ginger but I don’t sit on the couch), (also if I am forced to go to a house with a dog I immediately shower after or everything smells like dog and I can’t handle that. I also can’t handle the smell of lake. Lake Tahoe is an exception it smells pretty)
o I don’t pet dogs or cats they are dirty (I got rid of my cat because of this)
o I don’t eat at peoples houses. I will pack food to go to my mother in laws
o I have to put socks on before I put on my pants. If not I will spend the rest of the day stressed out about my socks
o I can not handle repetitive noises, pen clicks, tapping, gum popping, it sends me over the edge
o I get abnormally angry when people put hot sauce or fish sauce on the food I make. I have no reason for this, it just makes me angry. Fish sauce makes me see red.
o I can not handle dish clothes. They are gross and dirty. Sponges freak me out. I don’t like them, won’t touch them and don’t like them on my dishes
o If I use a wash cloth on my son, that is it is done and has to be washed. You can not use a wash cloth more then once
o I obsessively pick my face, back, arms, anything. I love to pick. I can’t walk by a mirror with out picking. When I sit at my desk I find myself suddenly picking. When I am cranky I instinctively look for something to pick.
o I cannot flush the toilet at night. If anyone does flush it at night I lay awake upset over it for hours
o I live by the philosophy POUR DON’T GRAB. I hate when people reach in and take things. Get your grubby paws out of my snacks.
o I did not eat cereal for almost 3 years because I worried there was bugs in it
o I have a hard time talking to people with bad teeth, and or bad breath. It makes me want to gag. I know, I’m an asshole. Buy some gum and I will talk to you.
Okay that is all I can think of for now. There are more. People who know me in real life, feel free to add input on more quirks.
I haven’t even begun to research mania. First we need to get this out of the way and go from there. Oy vey!