Thursday, 17 January 2013

Saying goodbye to my social life and sleep is possibly one of the hardest things I've ever had to do

Seriously, it sucks being an engineering student for this exact reason. And I have literally NO motivation, whatsoever. Anybody got any tips on how to get motivated? At the moment I'm just surviving off energy drinks, and they're not doing much to keep my eyes open.

I'm currently on my fourth can of Monster and I'm still dozing.

Anyway, during one of my procrastination sessions I came across this:

If you didn't figure it out, it's about a man with OCD. If he's to open one door, all the other doors have to be closed or something bad will happen; in this case it's a curse that would set a demon free to attack as many humans as it pleased. And it made me wonder:

Why do some people develop an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

I'm sure the majority of us feel the need to have something a certain way; my compulsions include spelling and grammar (I even used to correct my counsellor)  and wearing odd socks (I can't not wear odd socks!). But when and how does something so trivial start to take over a person's life? And how do we define the line between taking over a person's life and not? Are all strong compulsions a form of OCD and some can make more of an impact on a life than others?

So many questions, Claire!

I know! But surely I'm not the only who asks these questions. Right? ...Right?

So following Dr Internet's assistant, Mr Google, I found some interesting stuff:

"The experience of having unwanted, intrusive thoughts are very common. The question is therefore why for some people this gets out of hand and becomes so troublesome. Research is still at an early stage but there seem to be a number of answers to this question.
First, it appears that people with OCD may simply be more likely to become tense and anxious than most people are. So any upsetting experience may be worse for them than for someone else.
Second, people with OCD often have extremely high standards, particularly in the areas of morality and responsibility. This means that a thought which someone else would just shrug off is extremely distasteful or unacceptable to the person with OCD. Third, we know that upsetting thoughts become worse at times of stress. OCD often begins at such times, especially if it involves coping with extra responsibility (for example around puberty, when starting a new job or when having children. After OCD has begun, it usually gets worse if the person is under any kind of stress. Finally, we know that people find worries harder to control when they are very distressed. The result of all these effects is that people with OCD become very distressed when they have certain thoughts. This distress then actually makes it harder to just dismiss the thoughts, as someone else might. Thus people with OCD, trapped between severe worries and their inability to control them, look for some other way to cope. They tend to develop 'rituals.'"

And then there's even more information here, which is also pretty interesting if you fancy reading it.

So what have we learned from looking through these webpages?
  1. People who are more likely to become stressed and anxious, or have extremely high standards, are more likely to develop OCD.
  2. Some people may find that obsessions appear or get worse when they are depressed.
  3. Minor obsessions and compulsions are really common but they don't necessarily affect the person by causing unwanted thoughts, or by affecting their daily life. OCD affects a person's daily life.
  4. A lot of research is still needed to be done for us to understand OCD better.
Now I'm sure, especially looking at the last link, there are people thinking:

"Oh Lordy hell! I have OCD!"

I was too. My obsession over spelling and grammar makes me triple check all my emails, texts, blog posts, etc before I send or post them. And sometimes there's still a mistake afterwards and it's the END OF THE WORLD. And if someone asks me to read something they've written I nowadays have to refuse because I will correct the whole freaking lot!

I'm sorry, Heather! I CANNOT read any more of your stories until you invest in an editor!

It's a shame because her stories are actually pretty good once I decipher them...

Anyway, back to the point. There are probably a few people now freaking out that they have OCD.


Has it really affected you? No? Then you have nothing to worry about. Is it quite severe? Go talk to your doctor. If you're still in doubt and it really matters to you that much, go talk to your doctor. I was merely procrastinating.

Do I have OCD? I don't know. The fact that I have to at least triple check stuff I write before sending/posting it, and feel I have to correct all mistakes other people make points to yes. But I don't know. It's a tricky one. Of course it's nowhere near as severe as Albert Whale's in the video, but perhaps it is OCD. I'd rather think I'm just a perfectionist...but isn't that a form of OCD?

OCD is quite a controversial subject if you think about it...

Anyway I'd best get on with my CAD coursework that's due soon. In the meantime, what do you guys think about OCD? Let me know in the comments section.

Keep smiling!



  1. From an engineer to an engineer - you're doomed!

    BUT, you know what's the best part of studying this marvelous discipline ? You're very likely to develop a superiority complex the more you get into it. Complex math will be your best friend for the rest of your life, and your mates that don't know what a logbook is will be referred from now on as "those people". It's a wonderful life!

    **btw, do you know what the 10 rules of engineering are ?

    Oh, and about OCD - it's one of the coolest "mental disorders" a person can have (that, and Stendhal's Syndrome :D)... well, as long as it doesn't get you into jail. My OCD is a tad more freakier than yours, but I still like it, always keeps my mind alert and active. Live fast, be furious and die young! Grr!

    Here's a good one - something really nasty to ocd'bout - if it keeps you awake at night, than that's it, there's no hope for you

    P.S: in respect to your obsession, I've done the spelling check for this post myself, and it came clean. OCD-proof 100% ! :D

    1. NOOOOO! Don't say that! I can't be doomed at such an early stage in life!

      I don't know if the 10 rules I've known are the same as the ones you have; enlighten me.

      As for your opinion of OCD, I guess in some ways it can be beneficial (e.g. people who OCD about cleanliness and tidiness are more organised, your OCD keeps you alert, etc). But others can just be awful to live with. Can you imagine suffering the way Albert Whale does in the clip? It would be difficult to have a social life.

    2. Haha, oh come on, I liked the introduction to the article a lot and thought of just teasing you a bit; engineering's awesome!

      But, as I said, there are some laws:

      1. There are at least 10 types of capacitors.
      2. Theory tells you how a circuit works, not why it does not work.
      3. Not everything works according to the specs in the logbook.
      4. Anything practical you learn will be obsolete before you use it, except the complex math, which you will never use.
      5. Engineering is like having an 8 a.m. class and a late afternoon lab every day for the rest of your life.
      6. Overtime pay? What overtime pay?
      7. Managers, not engineers, rule the world.
      8. Always try to fix the hardware with software.
      9. If you like junk food, caffeine and all-nighters, go into software.
      10. Dilbert is not a comic strip, it's a documentary.

      Whatcha think, experienced at least some of these yet ? Haha

      Well, as far as I'm concerned, there's 3 ways to deal with it:
      1. Doctors, which I'm not a very big fan of. Especially when it comes to medication that involves neuro-stimulating drugs.
      2. Cope with it and pretend it's not there - this one's hard to pull off, as it requires lots of self discipline and control.
      3. Find something good in it, and turn it from a flaw to something positive, that makes you stand out.

      Well, it greatly depends on how nasty it is, of course, no one should have to cope by himself with such a bad case of OCD as the guy in the clip... really disturbing.

      Here's something you pointed out perfectly:
      "being a perfectionist is another form of having OCD" I couldn't agree more!
      Most of the world's most brilliant minds throughout history had a sort of compulsive disorder that enabled them to stay focused on one task and one task alone. Nicolai Tesla, the greatest inventor of all time, although he was perceived as a sex symbol at that time had absolutely no interest in women, all he cared about was his work and work alone. Michelangelo - another example, he despised people and social interaction with all his heart, yet somehow his sculptures never fail to capture the quintessence of some of the most complex human emotions. Just goes to show there's a very thin line between genius and insane, don't you agree ?

      This is a really, really interesting topic to talk about!


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