When Tidiness Becomes a Problem: Recognising Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Posted on: 22 August 2017

Among humans, a certain amount of obsessive or irrationally thorough behaviour is normal. Because of this, quite a few people claim to have obsessive compulsive disorder, believing that their habits and preferences are unusual. For most, however, it's easy to control and doesn't cause much difficulty in daily life.

For people who really do have obsessive compulsive disorder, however, it can be a huge struggle. Normal activities can take far longer than they should, relationships can suffer and it can lead to near-constant anxiety and stress.

If you're an OCD sufferer, there's a good chance you already suspect something isn't right. With that said, some people don't realise there's a problem until someone else talks to them about it. There are different types of OCD, but if any of these signs sound familiar to you, it's important to seek help from a counselling service to overcome your symptoms.

A serious fear of uncleanliness

It's a healthy human instinct to avoid dirt and potential sources of disease, but to someone with obsessive compulsive disorder, this becomes a crippling fear.

This is likely to manifest itself in either obsessively cleaning your home, your body, or both. If you find yourself repeatedly washing your hands or cleaning surfaces in your home multiple times a day, it should be cause for concern.

Unusual routines or rituals

Superstition, no matter how irrational, is something that many people pay small amounts of attention to. With OCD, these beliefs can become controlling.

People with OCD may develop rituals like repeatedly counting things, turning a light on and off a certain number of times, or other similar routines. If they're unable to complete them, it can be a source of major anxiety.

Obsessive checking

Paranoia associated with OCD can lead to repeated checking that doors are locked, the oven is off, a seatbelt is fastened. Checking once or twice shouldn't be a problem, but if it starts to take up considerable time, there's an issue that needs to be treated.

Irrational fear of disaster

There are certain places and situations most people would want to avoid, but for someone with OCD, these can seem like they're everywhere. Avoiding places where there's little to no chance of something bad happening because you're terrified it will is a strong sign of OCD and is one that's not often recognised as being associated with the disorder.

Extreme organisation

A certain amount of organisation around the home helps you remember where everything is and live a stress-free life. But when it becomes an obsession, it can cause more stress than it solves. If you feel anxious or frightened when things aren't organised as they should be, it's likely a sign of OCD.