Can’t leave home without hand sanitizer? Does your desk have to be in immaculate order? Certain preferences and striving for excellence is one thing; however having obsessive thoughts is another and pushing the boundaries of perfectionism. OCD is a condition that is characterized by compulsions and obsessive thoughts that affect your life and your relationships. So while it’s sometimes hard to determine if someone is afflicted with this condition or not, putting the pieces of a puzzle together might be important in order to seek the necessary help.
Here are 7 common patterns of those with OCD:
1. You are a cleaning fanatic
If you tend to compulsively clean, you might fall into the “washers” category. Someone with OCD can feel a sense of relief by cleaning the house. The problem is, the relief does not last and the need to continuous clean simply pushes on. If you clean for hours on end and/or feel extreme anxiety if you don’t, seek help.
2. You are an overly avid hand washing
If you are overly obsessed with germs and continuously wash your hands, over and over again, you most likely have an issue. Needing to wash 5+ times just to feel safe and clean is a classic warning sign.
3. You are an obsessive checker
A common sign of OCD is checking behavior. So this means you basically check something over and over again – such as making sure the door is locked or the oven is off. And if you don’t do this, you feel very anxious. If this behavior interferes with your daily life, you should seek help.
4. You repetitively count things
If you find yourself counting objects or tasks in an unusual manner that you cannot control, you might have OCD. Some counts stairs and even have particular rituals that involve numbers and calculating, experiencing stress if not followed though.
5. Organization goes beyond perfection
People with OCD usually take organizing to a much higher level. Everything has to be perfect and symmetrical with not a thing out of place. Keeping everything in a certain order helps to keep anxiety levels down. The problem is it never ends.
6. You experience constant concern
Some individuals with OCD have constant fearful thoughts. They worry about violence and fear that bad circumstances are going to happen. If you have a difficult time trying to suppress such thoughts and it interferes with your lifestyle, you should ask for help.
7. You seek approval from others
Some people with OCD try to relieve their anxiety by constantly and repetitively asking friends and family for approval and opinions. So if you are always inquiring for some kind of validation from other people regarding how you look or how clean your house is, you should talk to a professional.
As you can see, there is a big difference between being a perfectionist and actually having OCD. Without a doubt, the first step is to educate yourself and try to recognize the signs you may be demonstrating. It is then that you can seek the professional help you might need. It’s good to know that this condition can be treated with medication and/or cognitive therapy.