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Could this be OCD.....long.

(15 Posts)
Summerblaze Fri 31-Jan-14 12:15:56

I have been reading a thread in AIBU and started to wonder if the things that I thought were a bit obsessive (in a Monica from Friends) kind of way are or could be in the future, "proper" OCD.

I like my house to be clean but not excessively so. I clean my house once a fortnight properly (upstairs one week, downstairs the next) but in between, just a wipe over when something needs it.

I do like it tidy and like my cupboards to be tidy though. Each morning I go around each room upstairs and check in every cupboard, drawer quickly to see if everything is straight, make the bed and check that the room is tidy. After I have done this, nobody except me goes in the room again until bedtime. If I go in, I count how many thing I have done in my head, 1 open door, 2 open wardrobe, 3 take out box of hair bobbles. I then put the hair bobble away and count back, 2 put box back, 1 shut wardrobe, 0 shut door so I know it is still tidy. This is just automatic now and just say 1,2,3,2,1,0 in my head. I do the downstairs like this once the kids go to bed but don't do the counting thing. I always thought it made sense because if the cupboards never get messy, then there won't be that awful job of sorting the wardrobes out ever.

I can however, not do it (if I am rushing out in a morning) and it doesn't drive me to distraction or make me worried or stressed.

I also worry about my health (in a serious health way) i.e. If I have a pain etc I always think the worst and constantly google and think I am dying. I also can't stand sick. If someone says they have been sick, or feels sick or if the kids have a bug, I get stressed that I will get it. I can take care of the kids and clean up after them but constantly wash my hands.

I do the hand thing a lot too. I wash them all the time. Not a massive thorough clean but after touching a lot of things. Paranoid about raw meat, bins, anything poo related but especially my cats. My hands look like I'm 70 years old. This started when I was pg with DC1.

I was a nightmare when pg. Hand washing, militant about taking shoes off at the door, wouldn't touch my cats without hand washing afterwards, was strict about washing all fruit, peeling veg, not eating anything that was even hinted might not be great to eat while pg. Stressed if I ate something I wasn't supposed to by accident such as certain herbs (even though they said it probably would be ok in cooking), wouldn't eat any ham, pink meat. Ate only vegetarian meals when out or going to a take away as I didn't trust them to cook it right.

After my shower or bath on a night I put my slippers on before putting them on the floor and I don't take them off at all until bed as I don't want to put my feet on the floor and then put them into bed. I don't have a problem the whole rest of the day and walk around without slippers on, put them on the couch etc.

It all just seems a bit hit and miss. On one hand, I know the things I do are weird but it doesn't really affect my life in the sense of stopping me doing things. I don't feel depressed at all and don't think of the tidying thing once its been done or if it isn't done for some reason in the morning and tidy later on. I have 3 dc and we go out, I have 2 small part-time jobs, eat out, visit friends, visit foreign places. I have a very active social life. As I say, my home isn't sparkling as DH is often saying I should clean more, not less. But then on the other hand, sometimes I drives myself mad and wish I could be less tidy. I would get more done if I didn't have to spend ages properly folding everything before putting it away, ironing everything etc and although the dc don't care at the moment, there will come a day soon (DD is nearly 10), when she wants to spend time in her bedroom and won't want me in there straightening things out. She is really untidy so I know it will be a mess.

I don't want to use the term lightly and don't say I am a bit OCD (even though others do) but now I am worried that I am downplaying it.

Sillylass79 Fri 31-Jan-14 12:31:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Leverette Fri 31-Jan-14 12:36:29

See section F41.2 in particular

These behaviours typically arise as a method of allaying anxieties in a displace way, ie the root of the anxiety is not the disorganisation of the drawer contents but something else which you may or may not consciously recognise.

I was interested to notice your mention of your DH pressuring you to clean the house more - does he do a fair share? And how is your relationship generally?

Summerblaze Fri 31-Jan-14 12:53:26

I feel as though I am more organised when everything is more organised, but as I said, I can, not do it. Some days when I am busy, I will just make the beds and tidy round but not bother with the cupboards at all that day. We lived at my parents house for 4 months while our house was being refurbed and I didn't worry while I was there about things being neatly folded or even folded at all.

If I am having a massive sort out (as I did after xmas to fit in all of the new toys etc), I go through all the rooms throwing out things or finding places for others and if I haven't finished i.e the kitchen hasn't been done yet, I am more careful that the others don't get messed up before I do it. I suppose feeling as if everything is sorted all at once, then I don't mind so much after that.

I don't have any thoughts that seriously trouble me about this and I do feel as if I could stop the cupboard checking on a regular basis and stop doing the counting without a lot of trouble.

The germ thing is probably worse. If I open a pack of raw chicken I am so careful not to spray the juice anywhere else and if I spray some on me I change my top etc. If I defrost the chicken on a plate I have to wipe the top under it once I have moved it, even though it hasn't touched it. I am thinking that dettol advert where the mum touches the chicken and then the juices go all over the house.

It doesn't really interfere with the life I am leading as such but would be able to spend less time making sure things are perfect and get more jobs done that I want to (i.e finally finishing the kids baby books, sorting my photos out). Letting the kids have more freedom within the house as in going up to their rooms (dd really as the boys aren't bothered yet). They have the run of downstairs but I must admit to saying they can't get any toys out as I had tidied the room that day and as they were going up for a bath in half an hour then it is a pain as I would have to put them away again. Again, some days I aren't bothered, some I am. It is no different when I am stressed, in fact, if I am worried about something, I tend to not be bothered about doing it at all.

Summerblaze Fri 31-Jan-14 13:03:15

My DH is brilliant. He has a very stressful managerial job and works long shift hours but when he is here, he mucks in. On the days he is around in the morning, he gets the kids ready while I am sorting upstairs out, we take them to school together when I am not at work, if I am, he takes them. He will help me clean the house, washing, do the shopping, tidy up. We do most things together.

On the days he is home at tea time, he helps with the bedtime for all 3 dc, homework etc. Weekends he does what needs doing.

He has daily jobs too. He generally empties the bin, feeds and clean out our cats and empties the dishwasher.

He is happy to stay home while I go out with friends, I do the same for him. We also go out together too.

He is an overly clean person and likes things to be really really clean. I always joke, that I want a tidy house and he wants a clean one. He will clean. In fact, he will get home and start wiping stuff which winds me up as I haven't got to bit yet and I feel as if he is butting in on my job.

We have been together for 21 years (we were 14 when we got together) and we have an excellent relationship. He is my best friend. I really don't have any problems with our relationship at all.

Cleanthatroomnow Fri 31-Jan-14 13:07:43

There was a really interesting episode of Embarrassing Bodies about this a while ago. I would suggest having a search on the Channel 4 website for it. I remember there was an on-line test they had devised which was meant to be a measure of OCD. One of the presenters took it and scored pretty high but it was explained that since it did not impact significantly on his day to day life, then probably not a "clinical" problem. HTH

Sillylass79 Fri 31-Jan-14 13:30:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sillylass79 Fri 31-Jan-14 13:31:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MajesticWhine Fri 31-Jan-14 13:48:14

It could be OCD, or perhaps it could be better described as generalised anxiety (GAD) with you using some excessive caution and rituals to cope with the anxiety. There is quite an overlap between these conditions. OCD is often characterised by intrusive thoughts which are unacceptable, which are then managed by the compulsive behaviour. Whereas GAD is more about free floating and seemingly uncontrollable worries about a wide range of topics, eg germs, health, cleanliness, personal safety etc.

If, as you say, it is not really affecting your life or stopping you doing things, then that is a good sign. The Overcoming series of self-help books are quite good, if you want to get a bit more understanding of your condition, and tools to get yourself out of it. Overcoming worry and Overcoming obsessive compulsive disorder. Given what you said I think the worry one might be more appropriate. But I couldn't be sure.

Mrsmorton Fri 31-Jan-14 14:36:51

I saw a definition of OCD once as it affecting your ability to leave the house. So when I had it as a student, i would miss lectures because I was doing my thing.

What you're describing sounds relatively normal compared to doing one thing all day and not being able to stop to sleep or to eat sad

Summerblaze Fri 31-Jan-14 14:58:27

Thanks for the link. Watched it and don't think that looks like what I do.

This is what I do: I change my baby's nappy then wash my hands (squirt of hand wash, quick rub and rinse), then I take some potatoes out for tea, peel them and then wash my hands, take the chicken out of the fridge, open it and discard of the rubbish, then wash my hands..etc...etc. If I am not doing anything with raw meat, poo, bins, vegetables and fruit, mud then I am fine.

I am putting my washing away this afternoon and MNing. None of this makes me need to wash my hands IYSWIM. So far today I think I have washed my hands 3 times, twice changing DS2's nappy, once when I took the meat out of the freezer although I am trying today to not do it as much. Obviously it varies day to day depending on what I am doing.

I think most of this manifested in pregnancy. Before DC, I wasnt too bothered about germs and stuff. It took me a while to conceive DD and as a result I started googling methods etc and that inevitably brought up things you should/shouldn't do or eat when conceiving or pg. I wanted so badly to have a baby so I did everything to the letter and when I finally did become pg, I wanted to keep my baby extra safe. After my DD, I had a m/c, followed by a DS1 who has MLD. We were decorating during my pg and I tried to move out or keep out of the way when paint and varnish were around but I do have times when I think that maybe this has contributed to his problems even though the professionals say not.

After him, I had 2 more m/c's and so when I found out I was pg with DS2 and were moving into a house with a lot of decorating to do, I chose to stay with my parents while it was being done.

I'm not completely psycho about germs as I do think kids need to be exposed to germs and we do the 5 second rule in this house. DS1 really doesn't care about germs at all and is the dirtiest kid you have ever seen and I don't get stressed about that.

I did the test too. I got low risk. Maybe it is just a germ phobia with regards to the hand washing.

The other thing I will say is that I am a person who likes to be thought of as being strong, in control & organised. When I was younger I was mega organised so much so that it is the first thing people would say about me.

I have thought that maybe my need to keep everything looking great is so that I still have this image to other people even though I know in myself that it is a lot harder to do when you have a DH, 3 dc, 2 jobs etc. So I try not to make a mess in the first place which would take longer to get back to the picture perfect image.

Sillylass79 Fri 31-Jan-14 15:41:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Summerblaze Fri 31-Jan-14 16:58:13

On its own i would just think the hand washing was normal as i dont do it excessively in one go and today was a light day of jobs and not cooking as going out tonight. Some days i could wash them 20-30 +. It was also coupled with the other fears of germs such as not wanting to put my clean feet on the floor before getting into bed and worrying about workmen coming in and leaving their shoes on (they could have walked through anything). Also the tidy house and counting made me worried. It doesnt affect me going out or getting on with life as such. Just things take longer because everything has to be perfect. In fact i am better with all things germy when not in my own home.

MajesticWhine Fri 31-Jan-14 19:39:15

Try and experiment with some of the things you fear and see what happens. It can help break down your fears. Maybe start with the clean feet on the floor. What's the worst thing that could happen? What do you actually believe will happen. Then try it, and see if your prediction comes true.

Mintyy Fri 31-Jan-14 19:46:32

No, you don't have ocd. You have high cleanliness standards.

People suffering from ocd have obsessive and catastrophic thoughts about what will happen to them if they don't (for example) wash their hands. They believe that they will die, or their children will die, or that someone will die.

They don't just worry that they may become ill, or that their sheets will be dirty, or that someone might judge you for having untidy cupboards. They come to believe that something absolutely terrible will happen if they don't carry out their obsessive rituals.

Ocd is totally crippling and sufferers cannot function normally.

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