Obsessive compulsive disorder is a psychological disorder commonly misunderstood. Mainstream media depicts OCD as being about having to repeat patterns and attain to a very specific lifestyle so as not to induce anxiety. OCD is not about being out of control of one’s behaviors as it is about being in strict control of one’s behaviors. OCD is often stemmed out of trauma, which is a violent event in which one feels out of control. OCD develops as a coping mechanism to create calm, order, and control. Definitively, OCD is “a pattern of unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions).” At its worst, OCD can mean not being able to leave the house unless a certain pattern of behavior is completed. OCD can interfere with the quality of one’s life and create more chaos than calm.
The wind could blow dirt in every two minutes and you would be there to clean it up. Dirt is a sign of chaos and a reminder of difficult memories past like a dirty stain on your life. Obsessive and compulsive cleaning is a way many with OCD compensate. Afterall, there’s nothing wrong with a clean environment. However, obsession with cleaning can get in the way of the natural flow of life…which tends to get a little messy.
Routine is very important to human beings. For those with OCD, routine is a matter of survival. Without routine being followed the same exact way every day, someone with OCD might feel like their lives are spinning out of control.
It is simply impossible not to straighten someone’s tie, adjust a picture hanging on a wall in a friend’s house, or adjust the dinner setting just a slight inch to the left so everything is symmetrical. Some call fixing perfectionism, but it is an obsessive compulsion.
Part of OCD is the inability to let go- you feel challenged in letting go of your obsessions, your compulsions, and your patterns of behavior. Hoarding is a manifestation of the inability to let go. Even though a collection of things might lead to an unending need to obsess, you cannot help but continue collecting.
Avalon By The Sea proudly boasts the title of one of California’s few certified treatment centers for mental health disorders as a primary condition. Our residential treatment programs welcome those in need of recovery through obsessive compulsive disorder, as a primary condition or as a co-occurring disorder with another mental health issue like substance abuse. For a confidential assessment or more information on our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.