I have always been a little OCD - I like things to be neat, tidy, and in their place. But it wasn’t until recently that I learned what this meant.
As I have grown up, my OCD has become more common and is starting to interfere with my life. I often feel an overwhelming urge to be “in control” of everything around me. It feels like if every little detail isn’t perfect, something bad will happen. This can lead to subtle behaviors as well as a compulsion to do certain tasks or activities over and over again.
When it comes to physical items, for example, it’s hard for me to throw anything out because of the fear that I might need it later on. Or if someone comes into my room without asking me for permission first, my initial reaction is an immediate feeling of rage.
My perfectionist habits reach far into other areas of my life too. For instance, when taking tests in school or doing homework assignments, I’m so worried about making sure each answer is perfectly right that it takes me significantly longer than most people - way past the allowed time limit (which stresses me out even more).
It’s taken a lot of therapy, self-reflection and understanding of what OCD actually is to help acknowledge these symptoms and learn how to manage them better (e.g., reframing unhelpful thoughts and learning new approaches for challenging irrational beliefs). It hasn’t been easy by any means but it gets better with practice! Seeing a mental health professional may be beneficial for those dealing with similar issues so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.