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Old 07-31-2007, 02:26 AM   #31
trisherina
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I had about a solid year of full blown OCD at around the end of elementary school. It resolved spontaneously when the rituals grew to take too much of my day, and one night I was unable to stay awake to complete them all. The next day, it was easier not to do them all, and in the fashion of systematic desensitization, it grew easier and easier not to do them over time until they have all been virtually eliminated. It took a very long time, a couple of decades.

But at their peak the rules were endless. For instance, I had to neutralize certain overheard spoken words by repeating them by a multiple of seven, aloud if necessary, and these were fairly common words, so I looked much of the time like I might be talking to myself -- lips moving. And that was just one of well that part is really rather boring isn't it? There were many, you'll have to trust me, and they all had exacting, spectacularly irrational rules. And if I had a bad day, if things went wrong, it was because I had been lax and not done one of them right the day before. There was just no question.

Maybe the one thing I retain even now is a deterministic view of the world. Some part of me always screams that good or bad things happen for a reason, to look for the pattern and make it all good from now on. I always have to remind myself about randomness, which is bloody embarrassing.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:50 AM   #32
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-i reorganize my desk each time i finish a job
- i never open the window at night in a room that has the light on. If a window is open, it has to be somehow curtained off by another security door.
these are good ones. is there a reason for the window thing?
mosquitoes ! and their stupid little light sensors
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Cubed tomatoes, hmm… is that anything like cherry tomatoes without the crust?
a little bit. i usually chop cherry tomatoes into quarter spheres if they are too big though.
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whenever I set my alarm, it can't be on a multiple of five.
ideally it should be three past some random multiple of ten past the last hour. seven works too.
if possible not a multiple of 5 and Never a multiple of ten (otherwise it feels like i haven't completely optimized my sleep time). Usually ends with 3 !!
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:54 AM   #33
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Maybe the one thing I retain even now is a deterministic view of the world. Some part of me always screams that good or bad things happen for a reason, to look for the pattern and make it all good from now on. I always have to remind myself about randomness, which is bloody embarrassing.
Gaining a level of abstraction on your thought processes is a bloody good thing, and the mindfulness you apply to reminding yourself of randomness is also something very precious, in my opinion. Whenever i can remind myself not to take my thoughts too seriously it really takes a load off of my back.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:57 AM   #34
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if possible not a multiple of 5 and Never a multiple of ten (otherwise it feels like i haven't completely optimized my sleep time). Usually ends with 3 !!
I usually set it three minutes after the hour or half-hour so that I get 3 minutes extra sleep.

I always write stories in black ballpoint pen and do work in blue ballpoint pen. It has to be exactly those pens, although poetry can be in blue felt-tip or black gel pen.

I have to have the radio on when I'm in the shower, even if there's nothing interesting on.

When I play a card game in which you have your own pile of cards in front of you, I always keep mine in a neat pile all facing the same way and sometimes I tidy up other people's if they're about to fall off the table.

My bed has to be next to a wall, preferably two, facing away from the window and not directly visible from the doorway. If it's not next to a wall I can't sleep. Once I dragged a hotel bed over to a wall.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:23 AM   #35
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My bed has to be next to a wall, preferably two, facing away from the window and not directly visible from the doorway. If it's not next to a wall I can't sleep. Once I dragged a hotel bed over to a wall.
I had a bed compulsion that's gotten a lot better over the years - for a very long time I could not sleep properly unless the bed was facing north-south and my head was at the north end.

one night after a particularly bad bout of jetlag I actually did drag my hotel bed around so the head was facing north. I was having a lot of problems because the hotel faced east-southeast and the diagonal was messing with me. I kept feeling like I was falling.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:18 PM   #36
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I loathe scrapey noises of all kinds--teeth on forks, glasses, plates, forks on plates, etc. I go to great lengths to avoid making them. Metal on metal is the worst, but glass on glass and metal on glass gives me chills too. I own no metal spatulas for that reason.

I CANNOT finish eating at a restaurant without cleaning up the table afterward. I stack the plates, put all silverware and napkins on top, collect empty sugar and creamer packets, etc and put that on top as well. I get very jittery and anxious if I try to leave everything spread out on the table.

When eating potato chips, I root through them and eat all the broken ones first. No idea why, but my sister does this too.

Last week I was on a conference call and was eating a bag of Gardetto's. When I finished the call I looked down and had sorted everything into piles: pretzels, melba toast (separated into dark and light piles), those twisty things. I hadn't even realized I'd done it.

My husband has some too: when he uses tools from his toolbox, he can't put them away until he's cleaned and wiped down all of them, even the ones he didn't use. His shirts are sorted by color and must all be facing the same way in the closet. I don't share that compulsion and it drives him crazy when I put his things away and they're "not right". He can't even bear to look in my closet.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:23 PM   #37
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I had about a solid year of full blown OCD at around the end of elementary school. It resolved spontaneously when the rituals grew to take too much of my day, and one night I was unable to stay awake to complete them all. The next day, it was easier not to do them all, and in the fashion of systematic desensitization, it grew easier and easier not to do them over time until they have all been virtually eliminated. It took a very long time, a couple of decades.
It sounds like you stumbled upon behavioral modification, which is one of the most effective treatments for OCD. You're quite lucky to have done so in childhood. Even so, lots of people continue to have OCD personalitly disorder, which I once read described as a "disorder of philosophy" rather than personality, and as such, it's quite difficult to treat successfully.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:47 PM   #38
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whenever I set my alarm, it can't be on a multiple of five.

ideally it should be three past some random multiple of ten past the last hour. seven works too.
my alarm clock always has to be set 2 minutes past any 5 minute increment. never :05, but :07. never :30, but :32.

i've tried to do a 3 minute increment but it never works. i think about it instead of falling asleep and then i finally i just have to adjust it back to a 2 minute increment.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:58 PM   #39
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I had about a solid year of full blown OCD at around the end of elementary school. It resolved spontaneously when the rituals grew to take too much of my day, and one night I was unable to stay awake to complete them all. The next day, it was easier not to do them all, and in the fashion of systematic desensitization, it grew easier and easier not to do them over time until they have all been virtually eliminated. It took a very long time, a couple of decades.
i have another theory that all human beings teeter on the brink of true OCD at some point during adolescence (as opposed to the quasi-OCD of the sort included throughout this thread).

when i was around 11 or 12 i developed a few weird tendencies. if i turned around to look at something i ALWAYS had to turn back around the same way. if i turned a full circle i felt uncomfortable in my skin until i rotated back around to my original starting point. it felt like turning around had pushed me through a thin membrane into a parallel perspective. i still think about that in the shower if i turn to grab the razor or shampoo or something. i don't entertain the compulsion anymore, but i think about the time when i did.

i also used to have to repeat actions. always in pairs. sometimes multiples of pairs but it would get exponential fast. like if i tapped my finger three times, i would want to do it three more times to pair up the set. then i might want to pair up the paired set and get to twelve. i would do this with blinking sometimes, too. i would want to blink twice in a row with the exact same weight of reflex and muscular contraction.

generally this struck when it was a combination of actions. it wouldn't just be the finger tap, it would be if i tapped my finger just as i bumped my elbow or something. then it would become a compulsion to exactly repeat the combination. like the turn-to-look factor. if i turned to look at something and i happened to blink or inhale or whathaveyou right at that moment, i would need to repeat the action exactly as i did the first time, to recapture that exact experience.

i remember becoming aware of it one day when my mom was in the basement, calling up the stairs to me, and i approached the doorway from the right, to catch sight of the side of her face beyond the door jamb. i remember rocking back and forth on my feet to replicate the movement of her face into my field of vision. suddenly she gave me a funny look and said, "what are you doing?"

then it struck me that i was doing very weird things and i weaned myself off of the behaviors.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:11 PM   #40
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i have another theory that all human beings teeter on the brink of true OCD at some point during adolescence (as opposed to the quasi-OCD of the sort included throughout this thread).

when i was around 11 or 12 i developed a few weird tendencies. if i turned around to look at something i ALWAYS had to turn back around the same way. if i turned a full circle i felt uncomfortable in my skin until i rotated back around to my original starting point. it felt like turning around had pushed me through a thin membrane into a parallel perspective. i still think about that in the shower if i turn to grab the razor or shampoo or something. i don't entertain the compulsion anymore, but i think about the time when i did.
you might be on to something.

this strikes me as a bit of where certain weird religious rituals might come from.

when I was 12 I had strange geometrical compulsions - more than the "don't step on cracks" kind - the "I can only step on every fourth square in a diagonal line with an equation of x=4y" - the math teacher thought I was a genius though

I also couldn't bear to be in a group of people who walked different ways around the same obstacle.

like you, I realized I was being weird and quit doing these things. I have a friend with full-blown OCD who used to wash all the skin off her hands at the same age - she's got it very much under control now, but she says it helps immensely just to have someone around her who understands what she's going through, and to tell her "you're being silly" when she gets stuck in a loop. it's like she lacks the internal interrupt switch and needs an external aid.

I remember reading Oliver Sacks' "Awakenings" - about the victims of epidemic encephalitis - they could often perform tasks and were able to walk, but were unable to start actions of their own accord.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:19 PM   #41
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it's like she lacks the internal interrupt switch and needs an external aid.
a characteristic identified as a factor of autism.

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they could often perform tasks and were able to walk, but were unable to start actions of their own accord.
also a characteristic identified as a factor of autism.

i was reading recently about how the scientific community is starting to regard autism as a much broader spectrum of characteristics that include these sort of autistic-like characteristics. like OCD or tourettes might all link in to autism as though it were something more like an overarching super-disorder.

now i'm off topic.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:51 PM   #42
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off topic?
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:57 PM   #43
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^That's very interesting. But I think I'm going to start fighting my compulsion to read this thread.
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:50 PM   #44
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I have a love hate relationship with psychology. As much of it that helps, there is always someone out there willing to exploit the results. I have a feeling those who conducted these experiments and documented their results, would later take the wipes.
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:27 AM   #45
trisherina
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when i was around 11 or 12 i developed a few weird tendencies. if i turned around to look at something i ALWAYS had to turn back around the same way. if i turned a full circle i felt uncomfortable in my skin until i rotated back around to my original starting point. it felt like turning around had pushed me through a thin membrane into a parallel perspective. i still think about that in the shower if i turn to grab the razor or shampoo or something. i don't entertain the compulsion anymore, but i think about the time when i did.

i also used to have to repeat actions. always in pairs. sometimes multiples of pairs but it would get exponential fast. like if i tapped my finger three times, i would want to do it three more times to pair up the set. then i might want to pair up the paired set and get to twelve. i would do this with blinking sometimes, too. i would want to blink twice in a row with the exact same weight of reflex and muscular contraction.

generally this struck when it was a combination of actions. it wouldn't just be the finger tap, it would be if i tapped my finger just as i bumped my elbow or something. then it would become a compulsion to exactly repeat the combination. like the turn-to-look factor. if i turned to look at something and i happened to blink or inhale or whathaveyou right at that moment, i would need to repeat the action exactly as i did the first time, to recapture that exact experience.
Google "evening up" and "Tourette's."
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