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  1. Here is a question I am asking all my friends. This should not take too long, but I have to get ideas for essays for several applications to business schools I am applying to and I need them by Monday. This should not take too long as I am not asking for you to write out an essay but just to throw out some ideas and thoughts that I can use to work in my essays. I am applying for admission to business schools to get a MBA (Masters in Business Administration) degree. Now my OCD hindered me so much that I have a very poor undergraduate record and a terrible work history. (I have been taking business classes, including one upper level MBA course and I have done very well—now that I mastered my OCD.) I need to cover for my past failures by stressing I had a disability but at the same time I want to show them I am very able not only to handle the course load, but to add something unique to the business school. Business schools, unlike other academic departments, not only look at scholastic ability but how well the person will do when they enter the business world after graduation, as this last factor greatly affects the school’s ranking. So I do not want to give them a sob story but I want to give a brief reason for my past record but I want to show my strengths but showing that my having this disability and the subsequent overcoming it has given me qualities that make me qualified to be successful both in school and in the business world. I am speaking about qualities such as: teamwork, effective communication/interaction, self-directed ambition/a “go-getter”, creativity, perseverance, etc. What I would like from you is any ideas on how I can show how my disability has given me strengths that I can apply to my academic and career goals. Once again you do not have to write up an essay but just throw out ideas—even just kernels of ideas, or even words that come to mind. I can flesh them out later. Thanks!
  2. Hello I have suffered from OCD and like most people, especially males, never told anyone my condition; hence I was never officially diagnosed until late in life. The OCD was so crippling that it caused me to have a really deficient work history. Now that I have my OCD under control I am trying to make up what I missed all of my life—it was this hope that kept me from doing myself in despite not having a soul to confide to and not having met anyone with the condition. I had not the slightest idea anyone else had what I had. I am now applying to a prestigious MBA program at UNC. I have taken many upper level business courses including one upper level MBA in which I made an H (the highest grade). There is no doubt, as my professors will testify, that I am more than capable of doing the classwork. But the school looks at other qualities, notably employment history, and other leadership qualities perhaps that were acquired by being part of a non-profit organization, as you will see in the school’s required essays for admission listed below. Here is my dilemma: I have to show that I have the abilities to be an MBA (and I am much older than the typical MBA, though it is certainly not rare for people even in their 40s or 50s person to be in B-school but I do have to cover for those unproductive years of my life dominated by OCD. To begin with the term OCD, as used colloquially, has quite a different meaning to the condition associated with the medical use of the term. People think “clean freak,” egomaniacal control freak,” but have no idea whatsoever about intrusive thoughts, scrupulosity, harming fears, HOCD and the like. An admissions interview is no time to enlighten your interviewers about OCD. I usually say I have had depression (which is related, even biologically to OCD) and perhaps I add I have an anxiety disorder. I kept myself going and from doing away with myself during those dark ages of my OCD with the hope, even though I never knew that was a disease, OCD but I do not just want to endure OCD but do something productive with my talents for God and humanity. I do not want my epitaph to read “He survived OCD.” Now here is what I am asking everyone. Below are some short essays (1-2 pages at most) I have to submit (the 18th is the deadline) to the UNC B-school and I need help on writing them. What exasperates the difficulty in writing them, is my deficiencies come to light, i.e. all the dreams and aspirations I lost through the years due to my OCD. So what I am asking is not that anyone write them for me—I have enough writing skills to compose them—but (1) give me some ideas or angles that I could use in them (e.g. my illness has given me a drive that I would not of had otherwise)—anything and (2) some catchy phrase I could insert. I need to get this done soon as I learned in my one MBA class, where we talked about created processes and brainstorming sessions, odd ideas coming from many people can work toward a very productive solution to any pressing problem. So be creative and bold and look at every angel. I know many of you will have different life experiences and can offer something unique. Once again, I am looking for an angle that makes me unique, that shows I, despite my lack of work history, have other worthy qualities that make up for what I missed in employment, etc. And again, you do not have to have all the answers but if you can a twist or phrase here and there—any kind of idea—I would appreciate it. You can email me back if you need more information. Below are the required essays: Essay One (Required) What are the 2 or 3 strengths or characteristics that have driven your career success thus far? Do you have other strengths that you would like to leverage in the future? (500 words maximum) Essay Two (Required) Briefly describe the career path you intend to pursue immediately after B-school. Explain why this career option appeals to you and why an MBA is appropriate at this time. (500 words maximum) Essay Three (Required) What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to Kenan-Flagler? (500 words maximum) Essay Four (Required) Kenan-Flagler has five core values: excellence, leadership, integrity, community and teamwork. If you could add a sixth value what would it be and why? Be sure to explain how you have lived this value. (300 words maximum) Essay Five (Optional) [Not so important] If your GMAT quantitative score is low, or if you have not had coursework in calculus, microeconomics, statistics and financial accounting, please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative MBA curriculum. (300 words maximum) Essay Six (Optional) Is there anything else you think the Admissions Committee should know about you in order to evaluate your candidacy? (300 words maximum)
  3. One thing that confuses people in discussing OCD, as well as self-diagnosing themselves, is that the word “OCD,” as well as the word “obsession,” have quite different meanings when used colloquially and when used professionally. In discussing OCD, or in self-diagnosing oneself as having OCD, one must not confuse the condition associated with the colloquial use of the term “OCD” with the condition associated with the medical or “official” use of the term. Likewise one should not confuse the condition associated with the word “obsession” as it is used in layperson’s or colloquially with the condition associated it the formal psychological use of that same word. I define both the “official, medical or professional” use of the term “OCD” and the word “obsessive” as the definition given in the DSM-VI (the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual 6th ed. by the American Psychological Association)—the Bible of diagnosis for the psychological, psychiatric, medical, and counseling professions. A partial definition is given below: (1) Recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress. (2) The thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems. There is a condition, known as Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) in the DSM which is a condition that roughly corresponds to the behavior associated with the layperson’s use of the term OCD. Words often change meanings as time goes by. Look at the word “crazy” for instance One dictionary definitions of the word “crazy” are: (1) unsound of mind; mentally unbalanced or deranged; psychopathic; insane. Two other definitions in the same dictionary are: (2) (colloquially use) foolish, wild, fantastic, etc.; or (3) not sensible or very enthusiastic or eager. Quite a difference of meanings! Likewise there is a great difference in the various meanings associated with the word “obsessive.” Our term, OCD, came from a German term, Zwangsvorstellung (compelled presentation or idea). In Great Britain Zwangsvorstellung was translated as “obsession,” while in the United States it become “compulsion.” The term “obsessive-compulsive disorder” emerged as a compromise. Now when one says they obsess about something pleasurable, that is correct if you are using the word “obsess” in the colloquial sense of the word, but this is meaning that is in no way related (except perhaps in the most superficial way) with the “obsession” of someone who has true OCD in the professional sense. I assure you, there is quite a difference between the obsession with beer, sex, good-looking women (or men), money, chocolate cake, new cars versus the obsessions of a person with official OCD. Some of the more common obsessions that true OCDers have: Harming Obsessions. An example (usually reported by women) is: someone who fears they will harm or molest their children, even though the very idea utterly appalls them. HOCD (Homosexual OCD) Obsessions. This is where a genuine heterosexual becomes terrified they will perform a homosexual act when they have absolutely no gay tendencies, and in fact are disgusted with the very thought of such an act. Scrupulosity. This is an obsession where a person with strong and sincere religious beliefs becomes tormented and even paralyzed in fear that they will perform some outrageously sacrilegious acts, or blasphemy against God. There is nothing that is remotely pleasurable with these “obsessions.” Unlike addictions, where there is at least a pleasure associated with them in the initial stages, in OCD there is never ever a pleasure connected with their obsessions, even from day one. If there were, it would be true OCD by definition. Once again, one can have a compelling and persistent thought, or thoughts, about something like alcohol, sex, good-looking people of the opposite sex, food, and whatever, and perhaps this fits it with the way the word obsession is used around us every day, but it is NOT the obsession of OCD.
  4. I am posting a question but I wonder if this is the right place to post it. I have, after many years, found people, as in this forum, that clearly suffer from the intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that I do. While the suffering of OCD is immense for all of us, it does affect men and women in different ways. Notice that this site in overwhelmingly female, whereas the OCD population at large is relatively split even between males and females. There is an OCD men's site but no one ever posts in it. Here is another difference. A Univ. of Pittsburgh study shows that up to 72% of men who have developed OCD since adolescence have lifetime celibacy, not just bachelorhood, but celibacy. Yet on this website many of the writers, who are female, are married. Once again, I am not saying that females do not suffer as much as males, but the consequences of having OCD affect them differently. Here is an example to show what I am talking about. You will hear many, many OCD women talk about the intrusive fear that they will harm or molest their (or other's) children. But show me where, even on other OCD forums, where a man will discuss that particular fear. If a woman would confide that fear to someone, people are likely to say something like, "Oh, you are just imagining things." However, if a man had this fear, especially a big and masculine one, he know that he must never ever even breath a word of this to anyone, even his best friend. A man can explain to others what OCD is and show them medical literature which will clearly state that OCDers rarely carry out what they fear they will do. Perhaps others will respond by saying they understand and do not believe he is a real child molester. Yet you can be most certain they will never trust their children around him. And you could just imagine what it would be like for a man to talk about these things in the days when he did not know there was a disease called OCD and have authoritarian literature from the medical community, etc. to explain his condition. A security man asked me a question (to use as an analogy for something we were talking about that was unrelated to sex) which was: "What do you call a man who sites in the park and watches children?" The answer was supposed to be "A child molester." But if the question were: "What do you call a woman . . . ? Who would give the same answer? The answer would be: "A woman acting out her maternal instinct," or something like that. Society looks upon men, and OCD men as well, differently than they do women. And they have different expectations for them as well. How many women get harassed by people thinking they are stalking someone when what they are really witnessing is someone who has to fulfill an OCD ritual of doing or touching something a certain number of times, let’s say in a public library. He cannot explain, "Well I was not stalking that girl but you see I have to touch that book or line them up a certain amount of times of I will condemned to ###### or get cancer." People are not going to think, "Whew! He is just trying to ward off cancer. Strange, but I guess he is not dangerous." Now to get to what I really want to talk about is this: When an older healthy white male applies for a job, and he does not have work experience because of the debilitating effects of OCD, even is has overcome them, how can he explain his lack of work experience to prospective employers? If a person was a minority or handicapped; or even was debilitated by an addiction (after all, many celebrities have this problem, e.g. Drew Barrymore) people might understand, and sympathize. If a woman did not have a work history, especially a married one, or one with children, she just has to say she wanted to devote her life to her family and not one will think she was lazy because she did not have an employment history outside the home. A guy can never say: "I wanted to stay home because I thought raising kids was more important than a career." But what does a male, not part of any recognized minority group, tell his prospective employer why he did not work, or work significantly, during most of his adult life? An interview is not the place to explain OCD. One big problem with OCD, unlike the other mental disorders, is that people assume the layman's or colloquial use of the term OCD, rather than the medical (DSM-VI) use of it. You know many people say (which infuriates me) "I have a touch of OCD because I am a perfectionist." Or they equate OCD with a fastidious person they know, "My roommate is OCD because she wants the apartment to be so neat." Now the interviewer is going to say: "Well! Now I heard everything. He did not work because he had to have his clothes pressed a certain way or have his hair combed just right! What an excuse for laziness!" Now for Blacks, gays, Hispanics, substance abusers, and other groups who have employment difficulties, they have immense media exposure to their problems and huge political lobbies supporting them. Even with other mental health problems like schizophrenia, depression, bipolar, and others there is more understanding. In fact mental health groups tend to focus with these disorders and even not understand what true OCD is, and even regard it as less important to deal with than other disorders. Now here is my problem I am concerned about: How do I cover over my lack of employment on my applications, resumes, cover letters and interviews?
  5. Want Advice from Younger Christian Women on Marriage with an Older Man I would like to ask a question from younger believing Christian women 21-33. For reasons I will not go into here, I am only attracted to believing Christian women in the ages 23-30 (21-33 absolute limits). To save time I will not go into the details here but if you private message me I fill you in. I am in my mid-50s, but do look younger. I want to emphasis strongly than I am talking about being attracted to ONLY Christian woman in that age group, with a view of entering in LIFETIME commitment, and having it be fully SUBJECTED to ALL of the Bible’s commands concerning marriage. I might add I have never had sexual relations. But I do not want to be in a one-sided marriage where a younger women would meet the special needs I have I would not have anything to offer her. So I would want a younger women’s prospective on what an older man could offer them or how general they would view the relational aspects of such a union. In order to save time, since many talk about the older man having much more experience than the younger partner I might add that I am virgin and had no romantic relations with women. So if a Christian woman in that age bracket could give me some advice or if a women who married an older man when she was that age bracket I would appreciate your comments. Please no sarcasm or venting your indignation. If you do not like the fact I am attracted to younger women please keep it to yourself. I have had OCD from my youth and it caused my much anguish and pain so only serious and constructive advice. I taken much abuse from society as a result of my OCD This is my thread and I am do not require that everyone agrees with me but let keep it constructive.
  6. As a long-term sufferer of OCD, who never has never used meds I have developed some insight in just how OCD works, which may be of some use to others suffering with this condition. The classic description of OCD is this: A negative thought gets enters a person’s mind and gets stuck there. The result of this is a state of increased anxiety. To reduce this anxiety the person develops rituals (compulsive behaviors) to decrease, or to help them endure the anxiety. I agree with the part that rituals are a mechanism to deal with the negative thought; I have often noticed that when I had some additional anxiety (like a financial problem or a school exam) on top of my OCD anxiety, I would perform my OCD rituals at a greatly increased rate. First my definitions: I use the term “intrusive thought” or sometimes “invasive thought” instead of “obsession” as the word “obsession” means something quite different in everyday use than it does when professionals use it for OCD terminology. Unlike the thoughts described as “obsessions” in colloquial language, the obsessive thoughts in true OCD has absolutely nothing to do with pleasure or desire; or have any reward associated with them. I am tired of people saying: “I have obsessions too. When I see a good looking girl . . .” or “I am obsessed with sweets or alcohol, etc.” In OCD the obsessions, hereby referred to as intrusive thoughts, have absolutely no pleasure, reward or desire associated with them. They resemble the thoughts of nightmares. These intrusive thoughts are uninvited and unwelcome—and never enjoyed. Over the years I found I was sometimes able to remove an intrusive thought from my mind. However, soon after another one would take its place and might be totally unconnected or unrelated to the previous thought. I found sometimes over the years, I could get a thought extinguished at a faster rate (although some stay with me—I usually have several intrusive thoughts simultaneously), but the new ones would develop just as fast to replace the old ones. In fact, now I generally never totally wipe out an intrusive thought, but I keep it burning at low embers, since I never know if the new one will be worse than the old. When I wake up, I generally nurse along the one that is going to cause me the least trouble during the day. I usually play off one thought against the other. Health advocates encourage taking beneficial bacteria (like yoghurt) in your body to inhibit the growth of deleterious bacteria—in other words, good bacteria keeps out bad. In the same way, I use a less pernicious thought to keep out a more noxious one. Oh how I wish I could replace the intrusive thoughts with pleasant ones—but I have to settle for replacing them with less baneful ones. And what is considered less harmful thought may vary from day to day. In addition, I noticed another phenomenon with my OCD. When I occasionally eliminate an intrusive thought from my mind, I will get a feeling of relief—briefly. Then all of a sudden a wave of fear engulfs me, but I cannot associate any thought or particular fear with this emotional state. Usually, the fear will develop into a more particular fear. I noticed that while environmental factors do not cause the fear, they influence the shape it takes. For example, when I first get this amorphous feeling of dread, and later hear of someone getting into a car accident or getting mugged, that will become my specific fear. While I am not an expert on the biological causes of OCD, I have read through many reliable sources that the problem is caused by bad serotonin nerve receptors in the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that deals with emotions. With most people, it is a thought, or an event that precedes fear, guilt or shame. Like a situation involving real potential harm or some traumatic event such as sexual abuse. But I am convinced that with OCD, though it may not seem apparent to a new sufferer, it is the emotion comes first, and then it is the intrusive thought follows. Since these two usually come onto a person almost simultaneously people earnestly believe their emotional state (dread, anxiety, guilt and/or shame) is a result of the intrusive thought. My belief is that the brain gets stuck in an emotional state and generates a thought to go with that emotion. Notice that heterosexuals always are the ones to experience HOCD. Yet male homosexuals with HOCD have experience things like fear of getting a woman pregnant. People always will report fear of harming the people most dear to them, their children, their spouses or boy/girlfriends—never their enemies. Oh the uncanny ability of OCD to just know just what is most dear to you—and then works its destruction on you by utilizing that very thing. I guess the dictum of Aristotle, “Nature abhors a vacuum” somehow applies to OCD. I suppose your mind cannot tolerate an emotional state like fear, guilt and shame without having a thought associated with it. If one does not come from the outside, one will be generated from within. Now I say this because for years I never knew that OCD was a recognized disease and was shared by others. Before I learned this, in addition to the horrors of my intrusive thoughts, I used to pile on to my malady even more guilt and shame. Now I am not saying my OCD is no longer a problem, but at least I am not magnifying it with self-loathing. I would love to hear other people’s comments on my theory of how OCD operates.
  7. In my decades of suffering with OCD (read my other post A Long and Miseable Life with OCD) one of the things I had mostly suffered with was/is scrupulosity although I had other OCD symptoms before this developed. Like most suffers of scrupulosity I had struggled tremendously to keep my faith and to keep from blaspheming (if I did) and sweating it out with my stomach dropped to the floor, just knowing I committed the unpardonable sin. I loathed myself for having such thoughts and lived under a cloud of self blame. When I was around 40, I discovered that what I experienced was a medically recognized disorder; it even had a name. And to my utter astonishment, I found out that there was at least one other person in the whole world (perhaps in China) that had what I had. Shortly after I found out it was biologically induced. After 40 years (although it took several years to actually believe there really was someone else who actually had what I did) I wanted to run down the street and shout: "It’s not me, it’s the disease! Hey look, there are others beside me!” And even more emphatically: “It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault! For all you who condemned my “laziness” in not progressing with my life; look you idiots, it’s not my fault! And wow! I thought now I can stop this self loathing." But later this revelation brought sadness. I used to deceive myself that after the finishing some ritual I would start anew and begin a better life—like an alcoholic who says: “Give me one more drink and Monday morning I will quit and get a job.” Of course those Monday mornings never came, but I could deceive myself. By now the reality set in that I was stuck with this disease. But a real change came in how I felt about God. I became so, so angry with God. “Here I am hating myself for having these thoughts and you made me this way!” The Bible says I am “wonderfully and fearfully made.” Yeah! Sure! I wonder if prolife people would be so much against abortion if they had suffered OCD. I found myself pouring out anger against God, far more in situations where little or trivial things go wrong. Like when I forget something or cannot find something—especially if it screws up some ritual. Then I want, and start, to blaspheme and pour out more venom than any Satanist does.   I know now I really have committed the unpardonable sin for “It is impossible for those who were enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift […] if they fall away to be brought back to repentance.” Before I might have claimed blaspheming in ignorance but can I claim that now? The irony is that when I did not know that I had an OCD (though I always knew something was wrong, that I was different from others) I directed my hate towards myself. But after finding out about OCD I directed my bitter anger toward Him. I wonder when God speaks of: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, (as you most certainly will with OCD) because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance [When has an OCD person ever developed perseverance?] […] If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to [those with normal brains] all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. "That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. [An OCDer not doubting??? Come on. Well that means an OCDer will never receive anything from the Lord.]" The French call OCD the Doubting Disease. Why if an OCDer has to recheck the stove to see if he turned it off a hundred times, or recheck a hundred time or continue to doubt if a hundred doctors and medical doctors tell him he does not have cancer, how can God expect an OCDer to doubt when he is walking on water or something like that? Even people with normal brains have trouble with believing things like God still loves me and will come through these difficult times—but surely He does not think an OCDer is going to have faith like that without doubting —what do you expect with OCD? Every time I start to read the Bible something horrible out of the blue happens to me. I am deathly afraid of even opening it now. Why does not God protect me—at least once in a while? I believe I am like Pharaoh of whom God says: "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose [given you OCD?], that I might display my power in you […] "Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens [messes up the Sertonin receptors in their basia ganglia—gives them OCD] whom he wants to harden."   You know God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart.” The word “heart” corresponds to the modern usage of the word “mind.” I think God gave Pharaoh OCD, as he hardened my brain. Did I ever have a chance to be saved? You know I earnestly read my Bible, prayed as much as I could before the OCD interfered with my concentration, went to church—still do regularly, and really desired to live a Godly life. I did not want to be a nonbeliever and a sinner. I know there are non-believers who are not saved, but they are not troubled by it. Pastors talk about sinners enjoying a season of pleasure. While maybe a sinner is what I should be. I never even got a season of pleasure. If God did prepare me in advance for destruction why did not he keep me in ignorance? Now I cannot even enjoy a season of sin. Oh when I see others being Spirit-filled and enjoying communion with God, oh how I envy them. I only wish there is a God whom Christians talk about who would love me and assure me I have eternal life. These things that the Bible promises for others (that have normal brains) I so much desire if only “God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—[did not] prepared [me] for destruction.” I deeply and earnestly desire that if there is a God who loves people the way it is claimed in the Bible and by Christians would love me, He will totally assure me I am not beyond forgiveness, that He most certainly will forgive all of my sins, (that I have not committed the unpardonable sin) and will come down here and make His self be known to me. I care the least about “argument from intelligent design”; or creation science and whether the world was created in six literal days or if six days was figurative; or the Divinci Code; or who the Antichrist will be; or some speculative argument about end times prophecy. I just want to know this! I am hurting. I have worldly needs. I am suffering. I am alone. Why cannot this God come down and help me??? I am tired of waiting. I am not young anymore. If I did get to heaven I wonder if I would hear: “Well, just be patient, what’s a billion years in relation to eternity? Then a trillion years come and I hear “what’s a few trillion years.” I want to feel (or know, or experience) God now! The peace of God, “which passeth all understanding” always passes me by. You who claim to know Him, can you ask Him in my behalf? And do not lie to me if you think I really committed the unpardonable sin just because it might be politically incorrect or what not what the public wants to hear. I want to know the absolute truth. Remember I blasphemed after I knew God. Oh God, help me!!!
  8. Let me enlighten people of what it was like to suffer with OCD from childhood (decades of horrible misery), especially when society was far less open and tolerant—and respectful—with other people’s psychological problems. Unlike today, where it is quaint to claim to have a disease (whether one has one or not) ADD, Bipolar, perhaps because they think they will garner sympathy or accrue some benefits, there was most certainly NO benefit in previous years in telling anyone about my OCD. But while the OCD with its intrusive thoughts are horror enough, the difficulty of having to conceal the rituals made an additional ######, as well as the fact I could never dare to confide to a single soul. In fact, as is common of my generation, I never had the slightest inclination until I was past 40, that what I experienced was a recognized disorder with a name, and that there was even a single person who ever lived that experienced what I had. You often read of posts of OCDer (usually females) that tell of having OCD thoughts that they will harm their loved ones and even will not go into a room with their children alone or keep sharp objects in their house. Or you will read of people fearing molesting their children or others, or committing a homosexual act, even though, as OCDers know, they are appalled at the very idea. You better believe if a 6 ft. 4 in. man had had ever breathed a word of this to anyone, he would be persona non grata in his entire community—a loathed person and a total outcast. When you are a large man, the confession “I feel I am going to commit” later evolves to “I have a latent desire to commit” as it passes through people, even though as we OCDers know, we recoil at the very thought and have absolutely no desire whatsoever to do these things we fear we will do. In the 60s and 70s blue-collar environment I grew up in, if I even confided to my closest friends, they would not have been my friends any longer. There was no internet where you could go anonymously and find others that share you experiences. One of my biggest challenges was to keep my rituals from being discovered. One of the rituals I had that if anyone said anything bad or even threatened me (usually they were not serious, such as schoolboy teasing, “I am going to kick your butt” etc.) I felt what they said would necessarily come through literally (as a curse) unless I canceled it by getting them to retract it 4 times or if they said something bad they would have to cancel out the curse by saying something good at least 4 times. Usually when someone saw they were causing me to have fear of them, their own insecurities (perhaps a lack of confidence in their masculinity) caused them to step up their teasing or threatening me. And of course any new curses would have to be canceled by the same 4-1 ratio. I could write a book on how I had to develop stratagems and ruses, as well as take on assumed personalities, to manipulate the unsuspecting party (who was getting their own insecurities assuaged by getting a bigger person to fear them) to retract the curses. I was often criticized for making choices that caused me to be ostracized—people mentioning I could have had better social situations simply by making the right choices. What they do not know the choice was not between developing a persona that would facilitate good relationships vs. maintaining the personality I had. The choice was between either incurring derision for these artificially affected personalities—OR—worst letting my OCD rituals being discovered. Even today, and even more so in the past while one would never belittle a person in a wheelchair, utter a racial epithet, make fun of someone’s sexual orientation, lest you face legal or other repercussions, there is nothing in the political correctness or legal code that prevents someone coughing on someone paranoid of germs and stating they have a combinable deadly disease. Let me give you another example. I would have a ritual where in a library I would have the have the shelf with a book I valued was located lined up perfectly. If it wasn’t I feared the knowledge I garnered from that book would be eradicated from my brain. So I would have to go back over and over rechecking to be safe “add a cushion” of having the shelves besides this one line up perfectly. Someone who I wasn’t even aware of would think I was stalking them. Or, if I have to recheck something in a public building, such as a library and I have to make sure I finished touching or rechecking something a certain number of times, in case I died and be eternally cursed, I would be suspected of “being up to no good” casing the place, or whatever. Or course I could never explain to anyone what I was doing—at that time I did not know that there was a name for OCD, I thought it was just me, sui generus. Could you imagine a conversation with a policeman such as: Officer: “Can you tell me what you keep going back past that patron [the shelf experience] or why you were in the building past closing?” Me: “Well you see officer, if I do not complete this ritual a curse will come upon me, I will get cancer and die.” Officer: “What are you talking about??? Me: Seriously, I just know something will happen to me if I do not do such and such, in fact I am constantly laden with fear with the prospect of this happening.” Officer: “OK, we got a real psycho or he is covering up something. He is probably a stalker or thief. Better lock this guy up.” I have long been aware that to survive, it was better to incur odium, derision and even scorn than to let anyone know what really was going on with my OCD rituals. And could you image if the same officer knew what some of my OCD intrusive thoughts were, my situation would only be exasperated. As I got older I had become more of a loner so I did not have to be as careful of covering up some of my rituals. Yet being a loner just allows rumors and stereotypes to accrue all the more. As you can image dealing with OCD prevented me from holding any meaningful employment. As a result I am often broke and in need of financial assistance. But try explaining to an individual or agency of why you are broke and why you cannot maintain employment. Their reaction is this: “You are a healthy big white person, who seems intelligent, does not use drugs or even drink, have no obvious disabilities or handicaps; what possible excuse could you have?” “Well I am Obsessive-Compulsive.” “Oh just that? Why if you saw my roommate Suzy and how she likes to have our apartment tidy and everything placed just right, now there’s OCD! But in not anything serious like bipolar or schizophrenia; I think the problem is just that you are lazy!” Oh how I hate that word “lazy.” It does no good trying to explain that the colloquial use of the word “OCD” is at best, only superficially related to the medical (DSM-V) use of the term. If I could ever redirect my efforts in battling my OCD and concealing it to the business world, I could run Microsoft, IBM, Exxon-Mobile and Dell Computers combined. Going to a therapist in those days only exasperated my situation. OCD before the mid-80s was not known to be caused by a biological malfunction as it is today, but the result of bad parental upbringing and other environmental factors. You would not dare tell a therapist your sexual intrusive thoughts since Freudian concepts of “sexual repressions” and “sexual hang-ups” permeated the psychological community; you would be told your intrusive thoughts were “latent” desires and you needed to “come out of the closet.” Now those horrendous intrusive OCD thoughts are now magnified and given more credibility in your mind. I do not want to revel in my identity of a person with a disability. It is not my goal to waddle in people’s sympathy—I am not looking to be a poster child for OCD, but I would like to have close relationships, do something useful with my life, contribute something to the world, and live with self-respect and dignity. If anyone has similar stories, young, old, male, female, whatever, please either post your story or privately email me.
  9. Let me enlighten people of what it was like to suffer with OCD from childhood (nearly 50 years), especially when society was far less open and tolerant—and respectful—with other people’s psychological problems. Unlike today, where it is quaint to claim to have a disease (whether one has one or not) ADD, Bipolar, perhaps because they think they will garner sympathy or accrue some benefits, there was most certainly NO benefit in previous years in telling anyone about my OCD. But while the OCD with its intrusive thoughts are horror enough, the difficulty of having to conceal the rituals made an additional ######, as well as the fact I could never dare to confide to a single soul. In fact, as is common of my generation, I never had the slightest inclination until I was past 40, that what I experienced was a recognized disorder with a name, and that there was even a single person who ever lived that experienced what I had. You often read of posts of OCDer (usually females) that tell of having OCD thoughts that they will harm their loved ones and even will not go into a room with their children alone or keep sharp objects in their house. Or you will read of people fearing molesting their children or others, or committing a homosexual act, even though, as OCDers know, they are appalled at the very idea. You better believe if a 6 ft. 4 in. man had had ever breathed a word of this to anyone, he would be persona non grata in his entire community—a loathed person and a total outcast. When you are a large man, the confession “I feel I am going to commit” later evolves to “I have a latent desire to commit” as it passes through people, even though as we OCDers know, we recoil at the very thought and have absolutely no desire whatsoever to do these things we fear we will do. In the 60s and 70s blue-collar environment I grew up in, if I even confided to my closest friends, they would not have been my friends any longer. There was no internet where you could go anonymously and find others that share you experiences. One of my biggest challenges was to keep my rituals from being discovered. One of the rituals I had that if anyone said anything bad or even threatened me (usually they were not serious, such as schoolboy teasing, “I am going to kick your butt” etc.) I felt what they said would necessarily come through literally (as a curse) unless I cancelled it by getting them to retract it 4 times or if they said something bad they would have to cancel out the curse by saying something good at least 4 times. Usually when someone saw they were causing me to have fear of them, their own insecurities (perhaps a lack of confidence in their masculinity) caused them to step up their teasing or threatening me. And of course any new curses would have to be cancelled by the same 4-1 ratio. I could write a book on how I had to develop stratagems and ruses, as well as take on assumed personalities, to manipulate the unsuspecting party (who was getting their own insecurities assuaged by getting a bigger person to fear them) to retract the curses. I was often criticized for making choices that caused me to be ostracized—people mentioning I could have had better social situations simply by making the right choices. What they do not know the choice was not between developing a persona that would facilitate good relationships vs. maintaining the personality I had. The choice was between either incurring derision for these artificially affected personalities—OR—worst letting my OCD rituals being discovered. Even today, and even more so in the past while one would never belittle a person in a wheelchair, utter a racial epithet, make fun of someone’s sexual orientation, lest you face legal or other repercussions, there is nothing in the political correctness or legal code that prevents someone coughing on someone paranoid of germs and stating they have a combinable deadly disease. Let me give you another example. I would have a ritual where in a library I would have the have the shelf with a book I valued was located lined up perfectly. If it wasn’t I feared the knowledge I garnered from that book would be eradicated from my brain. So I would have to go back over and over rechecking to be safe “add a cushion” of having the shelves besides this one line up perfectly. Someone who I wasn’t even aware of would think I was stalking them. Or, if I have to recheck something in a public building, such as a library and I have to make sure I finished touching or rechecking something a certain number of times, in case I died and be eternally cursed, I would be suspected of “being up to no good” casing the place, or whatever. Or course I could never explain to anyone what I was doing—at that time I did not know that there was a name for OCD, I thought it was just me, sui generus. Could you imagine a conversation with a policeman such as: Officer: “Can you tell me what you keep going back past that patron [the shelf experience] or why you were in the building past closing?” Me: “Well you see officer, if I do not complete this ritual a curse will come upon me, I will get cancer and die.” Officer: “What are you talking about??? Me: Seriously, I just know something will happen to me if I do not do such and such, in fact I am constantly laden with fear with the prospect of this happening.” Officer: “OK, we got a real psycho or he is covering up something. He is probably a stalker or thief. Better lock this guy up.” I have long been aware that to survive, it was better to incur odium, derision and even scorn than to let anyone know what really was going on with my OCD rituals. And could you image if the same officer knew what some of my OCD intrusive thoughts were, my situation would only be exasperated. As I got older I had become more of a loner so I did not have to be as careful of covering up some of my rituals. Yet being a loner just allows rumors and stereotypes to accrue all the more. As you can image dealing with OCD prevented me from holding any meaningful employment. As a result I am often broke and in need of financial assistance. But try explaining to an individual or agency of why you are broke and why you cannot maintain employment. Their reaction is this: “You are a healthy big white person, who seems intelligent, does not use drugs or even drink, have no obvious disabilities or handicaps; what POSSIBLE excuse could you have?” “Well I am Obsessive-Compulsive.” “Oh just that? Why if you saw my roommate Suzy and how she likes to have our apartment tidy and everything placed just right, now there’s OCD! But in not anything serious like bipolar or schizophrenia; I think the problem is just that you are lazy!” Oh how I hate that word “lazy.” It does no good trying to explain that the colloquial use of the word “OCD” is at best, only superficially related to the medical (DSM-V) use of the term. If I could ever redirect my efforts in battling my OCD and concealing it to the business world, I could run Microsoft, IBM, Exxon-Mobile and Dell Computers combined. Going to a therapist in those days only exasperated my situation. OCD before the mid-80s was not known to be caused by a biological malfunction as it is today, but the result of bad parental upbringing and other environmental factors. You would not dare tell a therapist your sexual intrusive thoughts since Freudian concepts of “sexual repressions” and “sexual hang-ups” permeated the psychological community; you would be told your intrusive thoughts were “latent” desires and you needed to “come out of the closet.” Now those horrendous intrusive OCD thoughts are now magnified and given more credibility in your mind. I do not want to revel in my identity of a person with a disability. It is not my goal to waddle in people’s sympathy—I am not looking to be a poster child for OCD, but I would like to have close relationships, do something useful with my life, contribute something to the world, and live with self-respect and dignity. If anyone battled OCD (young, old, male, female, whatever) and has similar stories either post your story or privately email me.
  10. I have suffered with OCD from childhood--in fact over 40 years. In my youth, society was not aware of mental illnesses, (no internet); it was not until my 40s that I found out that there was even another single person with OCD in the whole world. Actually I was in my late thirties before it was known that OCD has a biological cause. Before this time therapists went down useless roads using parental upbringing, hidden sexual abuse, and other meaningless (Freudian) concepts. Needless to say, no one was ever cured or even helped during this period. Now I that I am aware of this disease, I want to get some fulfillment out of my life. Unlike the younger suffers who got the rest of their life to realize their goals, even if there were a magic pill that would cure OCD I still have to live with the effects of all these years. It is like an alcoholic who has lost jobs, ruined their credit and developed cirrhoses of the liver. Even when they are cured and never take another drink they have to live with no references for employment, bad credit and health problems. I was wondering if there are agencies US, state (I am in NC) and private organizations to help one with educational and employment issues. Most of the mental health agencies deal with the better known disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar. I wish they would change the name of OCD to something else. I cringe after when I inform someone I have OCD they thing, or say: "Oh that's nothing, just being a perfectionist is no big problem, just a character foible. If you met my roommate and saw how she wants our apartment to be tidy--now there's OCD." I keep telling people the colloquial use of OCD has at best only a superficially resemblance to the medical (DSM-V) use of the term. So if anyone knows of any resources please contact me.
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