The life of a person with an OCD.

Essay by Mia451 April 2006

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OCD is shorthand for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Yes, that's me. It's exactly as described; I'm both obsessive about things, and I often do these things compulsively. For me, this means doing things "in threes". The number three, you see, is a good number. It feels right, it feels good and everything, in my head at least, is counted or acted out in threes or multiples of threes, or sometimes, its just numbers with the number three in them. It means that when I do things, such as swallow, I have to swallow a minimum of three times. On a bad day, I will feel the need to swallow six, nine, even up to thirty times. It completely takes over my life in ways that most 'normal' people can't even begin to imagine. I am obsessive about switching off and unplugging plug sockets. Generally this means that I have to check every single plug socket in the flat to see that it is switched off, and I do that a minimum of three times otherwise I feel like something bad will happen.

That sounded wrong, I know nothing bad will happen, but I feel really, really strongly compelled to do it and it feels very wrong to me if I don't.

It's an odd thing to live with because you realise when your OCD goes away, that while you were suffering from it, that you never have the time to think about things yourself. I am always counting things in my head, whispering things under my breath. For example, seeing one magpie is traditionally bad luck and superstition tells us that to combat this bad luck we should say good morning to the magpie three times. Magpies are very common in Glasgow and this has completely taken over my life.