• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

I don't really understand any of these diagnostic categories

  • Thread starter Turnitoffandonagain
  • Start date
T

Turnitoffandonagain

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
179
I don't know if I have OCD or not, (I don't have 'rituals' as such) but I have always had huge issues with hoarding. Which is clearly driven by a form of anxiety - the idea of things being 'incomplete' or imperfect, drives me absolutely to distraction, and my hoarding and collecting is always an attempt to cope with that.

I've been like that as long as I can remember, since a very young child, when I'd always be collecting things, usually to excess, and then exhuasting myself trying to maintain those collections 'perfectly'. As I remember it, it was always about trying to fill an overwhelming feeling of emptiness.

I also have issues with ruminating (boy , do I, can get stuck for days trying to put things in order in my head, to find a mental resting place, to quell an unbearable feeling of lack of order).

Days and days can go past constantly and intensely brooding over whatever I'm currently obsessed with, and collating and ordering things.

On occasion it feels as if my life has become a frighteningly-demanding mission of perpetual curation and maintenance of collections of 'things'. And I constantly struggle with my accommodation physically filling up with objects (though it's not rubbish, as in the extreme cases they love to show on TV - it's usually things which do have a little bit of value, but which most people would not need 50 different versions of.)

But the 'things' don't have to be physical objects - I can get exactly the same way about 'digital hoarding' or, indeed, collecting academic qualifications or other non-physical things (the spirit in which I passed all those exams was much the same as that in which I accumulated physical objects - collecting knowledge and qualifications rather than objects).

It actually makes me anxious that I now have all these digital things I'm going to have to constantly transfer to new media for the rest of my life, for fear of losing some "important" file.

I get into a loop of competing anxieties, because the desire for 'completeness' often conflicts directly with the equal anxiety of 'not wasting any money'!

But I've seen mental health professionals umpteen times over the decades and never gotten any help that worked (once got diagnosed with OCPD, but I don't know if that is accurate, and even have come to doubt that PDs really exist in the way they are generally defined...I have the impression that even the professionals are not agreed about that)

No-one's ever diagnosed OCD as such. Mostly they seem to just give up on me when I don't change very quickly. I've been pretty much entirely on my own with things for years now. It really doesn't help that the OCD-ish symptoms are just one part of my problems, and not usually the most pressing one (that would be completely crippling unexplained physical symptoms).

In fact I have usually been able to manage these OCDish symptoms, until the physical problems get so bad that only the most unhelpful obsessions are possible, i.e. collecting stuff rather than getting out and doing stuff (like work and academia and physical fitness, all of which seem to me to be far less problematic obsessions than hoarding objects).

One thing that does strike me as quite ironic, is that the psychiatric profession really appear to me to be decidedly OCD-like themselves, with their constant re-ordering of categories of mental disorder (how many different editions of DSM have there been? How many different schemas for categorising personality disorders, say? The way they keep constantly reshuffling and re-ordering everything in their field in their search for a perfect form of categorisation reminds me strongly of my own behaviour.

Just as I feel like they have a kind of collective narcissim (where they delude themselves about how much they actually know about their clients and conceal their real motives from themselves - what I've experienced and seen of others makes me feel this quite strongly) they also seem to maybe have a kind of collective OCD, a fixation on categorising and labelling and ordering things that can't really be ordered.

To be fair to the professionals, I have the impression that they have gradually moved towards a less OCD-like approach to OCD and other ailments, and what really drives the obsessive categorisation they still go in for is the US health insurance industry and the NHS funding system.

Is the current orthodoxy that OCD is a clearly-defined single thing or not?
 
T

Turnitoffandonagain

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
179
I mean, the finessing of OCD into multiple sub-types and sub-sub-types seems even more OCD-like, to me. Again, it reminds me of the ruminations I get stuck in, trying to categorise things with ever more contingent and arbitrary forms of conceptual organisation.
 
Top