Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder. Or Not

I wake up in the morning
And wash my hands real well
Scrubbing all the germs away
The ones that our lives dwell

To finish this wash 
Takes me about an hour
And before I know it
It’s time for my shower

As I scrub every nook and crevice 
With a new soap each time
I make sure I’m very clean
And there’s a new towel on my line

In my closet you will see 
Clothes sorted oh-so-neatly
Reds, blues, purples, blacks
All colour-coded and perfectly stacked

Not once will you find
A green blouse amidst a blue
Nor will you find my underwear and socks
Strewn all over askew

Making brekky is a chore
As the toast needs to be perfectly square
It means I get rid of many
But fortunately have several to spare

As I finally leave for work
There is a ritual to follow
Lock the door once and check it twice
Go to my car, but head back to check just once more

These rituals keep my life in order
Strange as it may seem to you
I’ve been told I have obsessive-compulsive disorder
I try to think that it isn’t true

What is wrong with keeping clothes colour-coded?
And since when did neatness become a crime?
So I like to thoroughly rid myself of germs
And agreed, I don’t get to work in time

I may have obsessive-compulsive disorder
But this is what I really think
It’s society’s obsession with perfection and being ‘normal’
That will bring us all to insanity’s brink!

Disclaimer: Not everyone suffering from OCD has all of the above; some people have checking compulsions, others have the need to have things in a certain order and still others may have a phobia of germs. There are also obsessions where people fear they may hurt someone or someone they love will die and they engage in compulsions like counting or praying or avoiding certain things. Read this to find out more about OCD. It is a legitimate mental health problem for some people and in those cases they certainly need therapy or medication to assist them. We all may have our little quirks and obsessions and compulsive behaviours but it becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with your general functioning. For the record, I do not do any of the above! I have other obsessions and compulsive behaviours but none that warrant therapy.  

***This has been written for One Single Impression Prompt 182***

Until next time,


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  • R.Bit
    25 August 2011 at 12:32 am

    My closet is fully colour coded and organised according to height as well. 😛 I have been told I’m OCD about symmetry, several times. 

  • Psych Babbler
    25 August 2011 at 12:37 am

    Lol…okay, one way we are not alike! I like neatness and can be a neat freak but not like that. Comes from living with parents with OCD for 20 years of my life…I am very curious to see your closet now. Had a client once who had that among other compulsions and would get very agitated if someone moved her stuff around.

  • BlueMist
    25 August 2011 at 5:47 am

    I need things clean and germ free. closet organized and things in places alocated to them like shoes in shoe racks , socks in laundry bag etc. now that is OCD right ? Color coded closet is way way far from me 😛

  • Psych Babbler
    25 August 2011 at 10:43 am

    NAh Misty…that’s not OCD! I have a drawer for undies and one for night clothes and one for socks and gym wear…it’s not extremely neat but it helps me find my stuff! So yours is just smart thinking. And yes, I like shoes in shoe rack too!

  • Soulmate
    25 August 2011 at 12:45 pm

    My closet is not color coded but yes neatly stacked.. everything has its place and it has to be there only.. but yes, I do wash my hands quite regularly… Also I want things around me to be neat and clean… its more of being cleanliness freak….

  • Magali
    25 August 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Very nice poem. I know a lot about it, but I think my first exposure to OCD was from tv shows I like- Monica in FRIENDS, Adrian Monk in Monk, Bree in Desperate Housewives etc.
    I love how you write poems that rhyme & make sense as well as spread awareness about mental health conditions. Freakin’ brilliant.
    I am a very messy person but sometimes I get obsessive. Like yesterday I spent 2 or 3 hours uploading photos into my Lomo account, arranging them chronologically, tagging & geotagging etc.

  • Scribby
    25 August 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I’m on your side..I think you missed this one http://myexpositions.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/2529/

  • Jim
    25 August 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I love to watch the Monk TV programs.  He is about as extreme as I could imagine.  Poor soul.  I like his having a 24/7 care giver and wish that  those like him in real life could have one.

  • priyankavictor
    25 August 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Did I hear OCD? 
    You have seen my blog? The one with chocolate?:P 
    I’m much worse in real life.

    And how do you come up with stuff like this from one word?
    Every word makes perfect sense unlike some abstract nonsense some other people put up.

    Kudos to you:)

  • Adayinlifeofmom
    25 August 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I wash my hands thoroughly & frequently (part of reason – I have an infant at home)
    My closet is organized, I like to hang all shirts together, facing one direction only, same thing for pants or any other clothing. I like to put socks, undergarments in separate drawers.
    I have a schedule of cleaning & I stick to it. If I don’t then all the mess makes me sad.

    But I don’t loose my sleep over any such things… Is it the beginning?

  • Psych Babbler
    25 August 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Yeah sounds like a cleanliness freak more than anything else…I can be that too but only with certain things…like I’m very particular about how clean my kitchen is compared to say, the lounge room!

  • Psych Babbler
    25 August 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Monica is a great example of it not being as bad while Monk is a great extreme example. Sadly, my first exposure was through my parents. I reckon they would both easily meet the criteria although possibly dad is more than mum…once I had made the bed and my dad had to remake it because the tag on the blanket was not on the ‘right’ side! And thanks for the lovely comment! 🙂 Sounds like you are virtually very organised. I like my desktop icons to be organised. Can’t have several things on my desktop or they drive me nuts. Need proper folders and have docs in it… 😀

  • Psych Babbler
    25 August 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Oh I don’t think I missed that post Nu…I remember reading it. Just haven’t commented. On that one, hygiene is one thing…but being extra clean and freaking out if someone changes something is a bit extreme. I’m probably more obsessive about cleanliness in my kitchen and get the shits when the flatmate doesn’t wipe down the kitchen counter or spills spaghetti sauce and doesn’t wipe up….drives me nuts!!!

  • Psych Babbler
    25 August 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Haha Priyanka…I think you did a post on OCD too, didn’t you? I remember reading it! 😛 And honestly, I don’t know how I manage to come up with this stuff…generally, I read the prompts, form a general idea of what I want to write about (which more often than not appears to be work-related!) and then just start writing/typing and seeing if it rhymes (because I’m crazy like that!). Go figure…thanks for the lovely comment!

  • Psych Babbler
    25 August 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Well, the cleanliness aspect with an infant around makes perfect sense Adayinlifeofmom. After what you said about the direction, I realise my shirts and tops too face one direction…

    However, this comment here “I have a schedule of cleaning & I stick to it. If I don’t then all the mess makes me sad” may be the beginning… 😛

  • adayinlifeofmom
    25 August 2011 at 11:03 pm

    .hmm, I’ll be on the look out 🙂 And inform DH as well to keep an eye for this habit of mine 😀

  • Psych Babbler
    25 August 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Lol! Let us know of any changes… 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    25 August 2011 at 11:17 pm

    I agree Jim…Monk is a really extreme case! And yes, I too love the show! He does it brilliantly and shows how a massive stressor triggered it all even more…it would be helpful for such cases to have carers but at the same time, I could see how his problems were maintained. Therapy for OCD involves exposure to the feared stimulus (e.g. germs) and preventing the usual compulsive response (e.g. washing) and Monk by having a carer to give him wipes every time he shakes someone’s hands is actually maintaining it!

  • Scribby
    26 August 2011 at 11:55 am

    oh same here…I got 3 room mates changed just for the reasons like not keeping up the bed,scattering stuff on the floor and the likes…same pinch 🙂

  • Dimitri Das
    26 August 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I so so so loved this! Thumbs up !

    And I know what you’re talking about… I too have a certain strange compulsions like placing my bangles in order and make sure they are in d order of VIBGYOR :-/
    And some other small quirks that I am too used to, to alter them!
    But I loved the way you showed it in your verses! 

  • Psych Babbler
    27 August 2011 at 3:49 am

    Hehe… 😀 It’s hard to live with some people, isn’t it?

  • Psych Babbler
    27 August 2011 at 3:54 am

    Welcome here Dimitri! Thanks for the lovely comment! And I had to laugh at the manner in which you organise your bangles…VIBGYOR is an interesting way…don’t think I’ve heard that before! 😀 Do keep visiting!

  • Sandykundra
    27 August 2011 at 2:52 pm

    awesome. though pig that i am cannot relate to it at all

  • Psych Babbler
    27 August 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Lol! Each one to their own…some people are on either extreme…