OCD or O-NOT-CD; THAT is the question

NIMH · Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD.

Ok, so to finally put this one to rest, I thought I’d look up OCD to find if I actually do fall into this category.  One the one hand, I’d say I’m more than normally concerned with being prepared for as many unforeseen circumstances as possible.  Does that mean I’m obsessive?  Perhaps.  But the other side of that equation is “compulsive.”  I don’t think any stretch of the imagination could interpret me as compulsive.  Yes, I like to have plenty of supplies on hand, both perishable and otherwise, to get me through a weather emergency or an unexpected lack of funds for a prolonged period of time.   Yes, I need to make sure I’ve got a Plan A, B, and C, in case something goes wrong.  But does that make me compulsive?  I don’t think so.  I think this is mere preparation since I’ve got precious little resources and virtually nobody nearby on whom to lean if I DO have an emergency.

Case in point: I make sure I get all scheduled maintenance on my vehicle to keep it running reliably for as long as possible (Plan A).  I make sure I know how to change a tire and and have a full-sized spare on the vehicle at all times in case I run over something unexpectedly (Plan B).  (Oh, yeah, thanks, Dad!)  None of that makes a lick of difference, however, when I walk out of work and find the car battery dead, like the other day.  Chances to get a jump are dramatically increased if I have jumper cables with me, rather than hoping some kind soul will be both WILLING to give me a jump and ABLE to because that kind soul has jumper cables of his/her own. (Plan C).

OCD symptoms include:

1: having repeated, upsetting thoughts (obsessions). So the thought of breaking down on the highway and having nobody to call for help, while it is upsetting…and repetitive (which is why I constantly pay for maintenance service on the vehicle), I do not believe amounts to “obsession.”

2: Doing the same thing over and over again to try to make the thoughts go away (compulsions).  So going back out to the car the other night to make sure it started before I went to bed, while humorous, probably wouldn’t qualify as “compulsive.”   It was definitely not repetitive, since I did this once, not “over and over again.”

Although, by verifying the car still started, the obsessive thoughts went away…so I was able to sleep…..



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