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I know OCD has strong genetic roots, but can OCD begin later in life? I mean, babies don't have OCD, do they?

Erin Froehlich asked this
July 21, 2011 at 11:28 AM

A:

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I think it all boils down to control again. When I was young I used to have to know the exact schedule of any planned family event and if that schedule was deviated from in any way, I became extremely uncomfortable. There was something about the order and neatness of a schedule that appealed to my younger mind and allowed for a feeling of control in a foreign environment.

John answered
August 18, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I also experienced OCD symptoms when I was a kid, probably starting when I was 5-6. When I reached high school age I began to realize that the repetitive actions I often completed were excessive and not necessary. I was able to talk myself out of(or think myself out of) performing an action more than one time. For the most part I'm in control, but I don't think I'll ever completely conquer OCD symptoms. One thing I do know is that the days of turning a light switch on and off 4 times or opening and closing a door 8 times are long gone.

Another thing that really helped me was seeing people on TV with OCD symptoms. Viewing others repeating actions unnecessarily and without control really highlighted how ridiculous some of my own actions had been or still were.

Lastly it always seemed that stress and lack of sleep would contribute to a higher urge to complete an action perfectly or a certain number of times.

Jim answered
August 26, 2011 at 2:18 PM

More often now, even if a patient is clearly displaying abnormal behaviors consistent with a specific disorder, doctors will withhold diagnosis until there their lives are being significantly disrupted because of it. Life disruption becomes one of the criteria.

It's really interesting and impressive to me that you were able to control those behaviors then - in so far as letting it affect you, you cured yourself of OCD through sheer force of will. I would encourage you to blog about that process. I think there are a LOT of people out there living with OCD or living with an OCD child or loved one that would find you story very inspiring!

SIDE NOTE - as someone really interested in numerology and symbolism, I find it intriguing that you did/do things in 4s and in 8s. 4 represents stability, groundedness and order (think of a square), 8 being the the sort of "grown-up" version of 4 - the values of 4 applied to life for a successful career. They both speak to a root of OCD - a need for structure and order.

4 - "practical, detail-oriented, organized, orderly, systematic, methodical, precise, reliable, punctual, dependable, honest, trustworthy, without artifice"

8- "inspiring, result-oriented, powerful, ambitious, visionary, generous, perseverance, forgiving, broad-minded, money-conscious and self-disciplined."

Erin Froehlich answered
August 29, 2011 at 9:06 AM
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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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