I've mentioned in many of my posts that my husband J has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When I talk to people about my husband's OCD, they just imagine a perfectionist clean freak, kind of like how the TV show Monk portrays OCD.
Well, that is not how it is. My husband is the most sloppy, messy person in this house. He leaves paper towels EVERYWHERE, never cleans up after himself.. always spills cereal, or other foods on our counter and never cleans it up. Just because he had OCD doesn't mean he is clean at all.
I thought I'd write a few facts about OCD so maybe you can get a better idea of what OCD is and how it can affect a person.
OCD causes a lot of Anxiety
I have anxiety, but my husband has it a lot worse. The obsession he experiences Causes him a lot of anxiety. That's where his compulsions/ rituals come in, to try to lessen the anxiety he is feeling.
My husband is a germaphobe. His OCD is based on contamination. He thinks he is contaminated with germs if he touches something he thinks is dirty. Bathroom stuff is his worst nightmare.
Many OCD sufferers know they have irrational thoughts/ compulsions
Have you ever thought that maybe your belt, or pants button might have pee remnants on it? How about if the pants were just washed and you just put them on for the first time. Would you think they still have germs? My husband thinks that even if pants are clean and haven't been touched, he still needs to wash his hands after putting them on.
Not rational, he just can't help it. And he knows it's probably not dirty and it's a waste of time to wash.. but he can't help it because his obsessions make him think that maybe they didn't get clean enough to get those germs off.
Even if he convinced himself not to wash his hands, the thought that he didn't wash would suit in his brain giving him anxiety and his thoughts tell him he is putting bathroom germs all over everything he touches.
OCD Can’t Be Diagnosed Using a Blood Test or X-Ray
If you think you have OCD, you will need to see a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, to get a diagnosis. The funny things about this are when I got married to my husband, neither of us knew he had OCD. I thought he was just very particular with certain things and loved to be clean. But after have a bunch of fights with him, I felt like there was something not normal with his way of thinking. I researched online about specific things he would do and after about a month, I came to the conclusion that he was OCD. I told him about it, he researched it online as well and agreed. We never really had him officially diagnosed. But now that he is seeing a psychologist, we have confirmed it's OCD, and he has a very severe case.
Stress Can Make OCD Symptoms Worse
Keeping stress levels in check will go a long way toward reducing the severity and frequency of OCD symptoms. J works with his family and is a sales guy for a living. He hates it. It's just not in his personality to be a salesperson. He does well though, which is great. His brother and dad are both sales guys. They are both type A personality, they could sell anyone anything. Because my husband is around them all day, he puts this constant stress on himself to try to be as good as them. And I can tell you, that stress is exactly what caused the severity of his OCD.
Those are just a few facts about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and how they can affect someone with that disorder.
I don't always know what to talk about with OCD, because there is just so much that goes with the disorder. If you have any questions, please ask!