Friday, July 27, 2012

A Little Bit OCD

I watched Jon Richardson's documentary on Tuesday evening in which he revealed the extent of some of his own compulsive behaviour (quite vulnerably, I thought) and then met some people with more serious, yes even life-threatening, versions.

People who know me well will be chuckling at me enjoying this programme. I have some symptoms. Richardson needs tidiness and cleanliness (or order and safety as he would put it) and wouldn't let the cameras into his bedroom, his controlled space. He has some issues with walking on paving stones and likes his plate of breakfast food to be facing a particular way with the items on the table evenly spread left and right. Needless to say, at home, all cutlery items must face the same way in the drawer.

I don't know if this is something everyone goes through and then most overcome. I like order and tidiness but can cope with their absence. I deliberately leave a few things untidy to remind myself I can cope. My CDs are in alphabetical order, so I can find stuff, but I don't always put them away and make a pile on top of the CD case. I had much worse problems with the touched-the-left-side-must-touch-the right thing when younger and have no idea how I got over it so assume I grew out of it when I realised I'd never get a girlfriend until cured.

No, my pet problem, which I never really recovered from but it only affects me and not others, is not being able to get to sleep if wardrobe and cupboard doors are not closed properly. Minor matter but I need to deal with it. I never make someone else do the closing. I take responsibility for my problem. That also sounded like there are lots of other people in my bedroom which isn't the case and it may soon go down to nil if she reads this.

The interesting conclusion to the programme was a thorough analysis by an expert and the verdict that Richardson is indeed obsessive/compulsive but it is not a disorder. He lives within it. It doesn't cause him, or others, harm. The description of some of the inpatients at the only mental health unit dedicated to the disorder was scary.

So, I concur and happily now describe myself as OC but not OCD. Useful programme.

By the way I wonder if the pile of CDs is because then I get a longer time of sorting out, which I secretly enjoy.

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