"Compulsive" and "obsessive" have become
"I'm compulsive" is how some
people describe their need for neatness,
punctuality, and shoes lined up in the closets.
"He's so compulsive is shorthand for calling
someone uptight, controlling, and not much fun.
"She's obsessed with him" is a way of saying your
friend is hopelessly lovesick.
That is not how
these words are used to describe Obsessive-
Compulsive Disorder or OCD, a strange and
fascinating sickness of ritual and doubts run wild.
OCD can begin suddenly and is usually seen as a
problem as soon as it starts.
Compulsives (a term for patients who mostly
ritualize) and obsessives (those who think of
something over and over again) rarely have
rituals or thoughts about nuetral questions or
What are their rituals about? There
are several possible ways to list symptoms of
OCD. All sources agree that the most common
preoccupations are dirt (washing, germs,
touching), checking for safety or closed spaces
(closets, doors, drawers, appliances, light
switches), and thoughts, often thoughts about
unacceptable violent, sexual, or crude behavior.
When the thoughts and rituals of OCD are
intense, the victim's work and home life
Obsessions are persistant,
senseless, worrisome, and often times,
embarrassing, or frightening thoughts that repeat
over and over in the mind in an endless loop.
The automatic nature of these recurant thoughts
makes them difficult for the person to ignore or
The essence of a Compulsive Personality
Disorder is normally found in a restricted person,
who is a perfectionist to a degree that demands
that others to submit to his\her way of doing
things. A compulsive personality is also often
indecisive and excessively devoted to work to
the exclusion of pleasure. When pleasure is
considered, it is something to be planned and
worked for. Pleasurable activities are usually
postponed and sometimes never even enjoyed.
With severe compulsions, endless rituals
dominate each day.
Compulsions are incredibly
repetitive and seemingly purposeful acts that
result from the obsessions.
The person performs
certain acts according to certain rules or in a
stereotypical way in order to prevent or avoid
compulsive personalities tend to be excessively
moralistic, and judgmental of themselves and