Thursday, February 07, 2008

Admitting My Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

On Tuesday of this week, our entire church and school staff spent the day in a Crisis Intervention Training. Over the course of six hours we learned facts about the following areas as well as warning signs and how to help someone in these scenarios:

Anxiety and Depression
Domestic Violence
Inpatient Hospitalization
Mandated Reporting
Bullying and Labeling
Sexual Abuse

The training was very valuable but through it I came face to face with the fact that I indeed may have an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I am now ready to come out of the “disorder closet” and admit it. An OCD is defined as a psychiatric anxiety disorder which is most commonly characterized by a person’s obsessive, distressing, intrusive and related compulsions which attempt to neutralize the obsessions. Compulsions are seen by repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigorously.

So what is my OCD? Here it is….I can’t stand to feel sticky, sweaty or grimy. I just can’t stand it. When I feel sticky, sweaty or grimy, I get very anxious. As a result, I have compulsive behaviors, some of which I do in excess. These include:

I can’t stand to go camping because I will not be able to sleep due to feeling dewy!

I will not wear a suit jacket or a coat without a long sleeve shirt on so that my arms don’t feel sweaty up against the vinyl lining of the jacket or coat!

I take multiple showers a day! I really do!
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I must do is to take a shower. Even if I am going to mow the lawn or exercise first thing in the morning (like that’s really going to happen!), I will first take a shower and then exercise or mow the lawn. And when I am finished with the mowing or with the exercising, I will then take another shower. When I go home from work, as soon as dinner is over, I am ready for a shower. And then, even if I do nothing else the rest of the night, I usually have to take another shower before crawling into bed. This is especially true if I stepped outdoors for any reason or if I participated in any other activity other than watching TV. The bottom line is that there is no way I will be able to sleep if I don’t take a shower right before crawling into bed. If I don’t shower first, I will lay in bed obsessed with feeling sticky, sweaty and grimy.

I think I need counseling!!

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