You might have OCD if ...

Years ago Ann and I weekly watched Monk, a TV show about a brilliant detective who suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). If you are unfamiliar with OCD I suggest that you read about it at sites like this one.

As I watched Monk on TV I started to identify with some of the things he did. Monk loved even numbers. He was all about symmetry and order. Monk was literally driven by his brain and, in a sense, was very uncomfortable with the issues of the heart. Consider these common OCD symptoms and my commentary:
  • Obsessive need for order or symmetry:
    I think that many computer programmers identify with a bit of an obsession for symmetrical order and see beauty in the programs that they write. I can also identify with once thinking that there was some sort of formulaic order to the Bible.
  • The inability to discard anything because it "may be needed sometime."
    I can relate to this sort of thinking. On the flip-side - I loved downsizing last year.
    Yet I do wonder if there was even a bit of OCD in that exercise.
  • Repeating routine activities for no logical reason.
    I do wonder if some of the things I once considered discipline was more of a compulsion. I am not really sure why I did a few of them.
  • Repeatedly checking to see if a door is locked or an appliance is turned off.
    I can relate to turning around, sometimes after I had driven several blocks, and checking if my garage door was closed - and it always was closed.
Looking at my writing above I have to chuckle about how I chose to make a bulleted list. It is so OCD. I hope that you cannot identify with Monk but don't think it bad if you do.


  1. I obsessively don't want to keep things.

  2. My Mother in law never wanted to get rid of anything in case it could be used at another time. We found that out when we had to dispose of her things after she died. Oh my!!

  3. Heard a story of a family going through their dear departed mother's house, and among her things found an envelope with very small pieces of string. Written on the outside of the envelope was "Pieces of string to small to do anything with"
    I think she qualified!!

  4. My folks grew up during the Depression, and when I went to clean out their house I found a number of boxes in the attic that were empty. I'm sure they were holding on to them "just in case."

    I double check door locks and the alarm on my clock radio.

  5. co_heir - You would have to remind me about locks and alarm clocks. :)

  6. Based on this description I am probably mildly OCD. Perhaps that's why I always enjoyed Monk!

    I have always loved symmetry and evenness. Over the years it has stayed more in my thoughts than my actions though.

  7. OCD is pretty harmless by itself but can be serious if combined with other conditions or mental illness. I was shocked to find out that for years my son had a daily ritual before school.
    He'd empty his backpack to make sure everything was in it, put it all back then empty again....and repeated it several times before being able to leave the house. This combined with obsessive worry and anxiety it created a lot of panic and fear.

    My sister and my aunt are both VERY obsessive when it comes to keeping things. I once saw my aunt retrieve the lid of an old pan from the trash, remove the knob on top and put it in a drawer just in case she ever needed it for anything.


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