Friday, June 15, 2007

OCD and Due Diligence

I'm an engineer by training and, therefore, I'm well aware for the need for due diligence when making decisions and completing projects. My OCD, however, was causing me to take due diligence to an extreme. Rather than completing a satisfactory search for codes and design information I would perform an unending amount research. These checks and rechecks began to degrade my efficiency as well as my quality of life.

One weapon that I developed during cognitive therapy was to determine what a "normal" amount of checking would be and then adhere to the norm. One day my therapist asked, "When normal people write a letter, how often do you think they re-read it for edits?"

I was somewhat put-off by the term "normal people". In actuality, I would check a letter and then recheck a letter more than once, even if I never found anything to edit in the first place. I answered with, "I don't know what "normal people" do. Maybe they will check once?"

I now strive to fulfill the norm, but I still catch myself re-reading twice or more sometimes. I find that I am most successful (in terms of cutting down the number of rechecks) when paying very close attention during my first edit. If I expend a lot of effort and attention on the first check, my brain seems to be satisfied enough with that effort that I will not give into the temptation to read and re-read again.


isabella mori said...

first of all, welcome to the blogosphere and what looks like a very interesting new blog. keep it up!

what you say about "normal people" and not giving into temptations shows me once again how closely related OCD and addictions are. most people with addictions have little sense for what "normal people" do (which really is a code for moderate behaviour), and have a hard time not giving in to temptations.

what do you think of these similarities?

OCD On A Stick said...


Thank you so much for your comment. This is great insight.

I do think that OCD and addictions are closely related. I think that compulsions are addictions (or become addictions) because the ritual or action calms me and makes me feel better for awhile. In order to keep myself from thinking an obsessive thought or performing a ritual action I have to either try to distract myself or remind myself what "normal" or moderate behavior might be. Sometimes, I'm still a little confused about moderate behavior.

Gledwood said...

hi just wanted to tell yer you're on my links now under "psych" just look down my right sidebar ... and down ... and down ... and eventually you shall find it I promise!!

Dr. Deb said...

Moderation is the key to everything, Having OCD makes it hard to find that medium at times.

Anonymous said...

I answered your reply to me about my latest brain fart. I should have checked it twice (humor) because I answered it on my own page instead of forwarding to yours. Sorry!

I am ADHD. It has been getting in my way all of my life. I did not know that is what it was until I was 44, ten years ago. It was an epiphany, and brought a lot of things into focus, no pun intended. But just like Chet Atkins said, "I finally learned how to read music. But it didn't help my playin' none."