How I Became Obsessive-Compulsive
No matter how weird it might seem, one day I decided to experience in my body and brain all of the symptoms one of my patients suffered from. He had been diagnosed as obsessive-compulsive. This would give me a chance to get to know and understand him better. It would also allow me to step into his shoes in a more precise way. It would help me become more empathetic.
In the lines of text you’ll read below, I will explain what one needs to do in order to not develop an obsessive-compulsive disorder. It might make you smile or chuckle once or twice. This article can also give you some important key points in order to not develop a disorder of this kind.
But…what exactly is an obsessive-compulsive? Obsessive compulsive personality is defined as a global pattern of worries regarding order, perfection and mental and interpersonal control, completely sacrificing one’s flexibility, candor and efficiency.
Objectives to aim for in order to become an obsessive-compulsive
In order to be an obsessive compulsive, I had to search for information about what sort of things I needed to change about my personality. Up until now I was a bit anxious, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Once I “got down to business”, the first thing I did was analyze the traits that defined a person as obsessive. Thus, I sought out information in psychology books, and this is what I found. If I wanted to be good at being obsessive, I would have to accomplish the following:
- Worry over details, rules, lists, etc, in a disproportionate way.
- Be such a perfectionist that it interferes with the execution of my tasks.
- Dedicate an excessive amount of devotion to my job. Exclude interpersonal relationships and leisure activities of any kind.
- Be extremely conscientious, scrupulous and inflexible.
- Be incapable of throwing used, worthless, or insignificant objects away.
- Not delegate tasks or work with others without making them submit to my way of doing things.
- Adopt an avaricious style with myself and others.
- Become very rigid and stubborn.
Planting the seed in order to become an obsessive-compulsive
The first thing I did was convince myself that I was perfect and superior to everybody else. This belief would lead me to an unhappy and painful life, but the moral advantage of being superior to others was enough to compensate. Being the model youngest child actually helps a lot. The child who never messed up and which had everyone’s love and admiration. I got accustomed, from a very early age, to knowing what you had to do in order to reach perfection.
I also had to be very careful with the decisions I made. I always had to take into account and compare every factor and consequence, so as to not make the wrong decisions. The only problem was that I had to think a long time before making any decision. This would lead me to rarely make a choice, or do so at strange times. But that’s where the cornerstone of being obsessive-compulsive lies.
When you think too much before making a decision, that’s where the true path of an obsessive-compulsive starts.
I had to learn, above all, to control my emotions: to not cry, or laugh, not manifest any type of hostility, not show fear and never externalize what I desired. I couldn’t be beaten by “the pleasures of the flesh”, and the best thing was to hide my desires in a place where I couldn’t even access them. Thus, it was better to imagine all of the diseases I could develop, count to one hundred over and over, do anything I could to distract myself or even do the opposite of what I actually wanted.
Routine, guilt and cleanliness
Routine should had to form a part of every aspect of my life. I discovered that I couldn’t spend a day without it. In order to acquire dexterity, I gathered the most diverse of collections, be it stamps, coins, pots or simply pieces of papers covered in doodles. I always had tasks to carry out and few chances of losing control. Perfection was within my reach, great
Guilt is another feeling that I can handle masterfully. It became so important for me that I did everything I could to avoid it. If I did something wrong, I thought about it and analyzed it a hundred times in order to make sure I was in the right. Who wouldn’t feel guilty in the face of their honor, devotion, rigor, competence, and in general…their perfection?
A true obsessive compulsive doesn’t throw anything away. They keep everything, even things that are insignificant and useless.
My work was my paradise, but my home became my own personal hell. An impeccable, tidy and clean home has less chances of becoming total chaos (something which an obsessive-compulsive could never stand). The material things I acquired were clean and perfect. I kept everything I could, and threw nothing away. Everything seemed like it could be useful at some point in the future.
My symptoms of obsessive-compulsive neurosis
My friends got me drunk and made me commit some sins (which I leave up to the imagination of the reader). I also had an amorous dribbling with a woman that wasn’t my official partner. She got pregnant the first time we were careless, and that’s where my destiny began. I worried so much about every single detail, that I no longer had time for everything. My memory started to fail me, and I began making huge mistakes in my day-to-day tasks. I knew that I couldn’t improvise if I wanted to be the perfect obsessive-compulsive.
Thus, I had no other choice than to start meticulously verifying everything I did. Doubt led me to verification and an increase in control. I asked people if I was behaving properly and induced them to adopt calming behaviors. I frequently recounted my keys, double checked the locks, and hit switched three times in order to make sure they were off.
Impurity, absurdity and medication
I started to think that I was becoming impure, but impurity can also be cleaned and dealt with. So, that’s what I started to do. Rituals and even more rituals of testing, cleanliness, order… As I was impure, I didn’t have any other choice than to wash myself over and over. A set of impure thoughts began to appear, which I feared and refused to succumb to. I exorcised them with a ritual (washing myself in order to fight that idea of impurity), or I went on to another thought which, in turn, just turned out to be more absurd than the last. This filled me with doubt and then I was forced to go on to the next, and so on and so forth.
Rituals and tests are the main symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorders.
My head was a weather vane: it swayed from thought to thought, although I only thought of the most absurd things. Since my mind was becoming more and more absurd, I began to believe someone could die because of me, if I didn’t count and recount things a certain number of times.
Soon I knew that there was medication that could help fight against my tendency towards obsession. When some psychiatrist talked to me about it, I fled from the session. If I didn’t, I would run the risk of ending the charms of my neurosis. I would have to face the difficulties and incidentals of life, accepting its imperfections, ceasing to be a role model and living like a mere mortal.
As you can see, obsessive-compulsive disorder normally has a start that is slow, insidious and not incapacitating. The problem arises when it begins taking the lead role and takes over your mind with absurd ideas. Thoughts that lead you to repetitive conducts which only seek to reduce your anxiety in the short term, while they reinforce its permanence in the long term.
Thus, now that you have read this tale, fictitious of course, you’ll be able to better understand people who suffer from this disorder. People who really have a hard time. Furthermore, you’ll be able to put in the necessary means in time in order to prevent this from happening to you.