BiNa

Letter counting/alphabetizing

135 posts in this topic

I know most of you have heard of counting being a part of OCD, but I had a question about it. I have counted letters in words for as long as I can remember. While people talk, while I write, while I drive and read road signs, always. That's common for people with OCD. But, somehow, I can do it really, really fast. Pretty much instantly, as soon as I hear a word, before I can even think, I know the number of letters. I can do this within probably 2 seconds tops with words or sentences with about 26 letters or less in them. And if that's not enough, I can alphabetize the letters in any word almost as fast as I can spell the word itself. I have talked to people who count and alphabetize, but never anyone who does it nearly as fast as I can. I was just wondering if anyone else has ever heard of anyone that can do this???? I would like to just hear about it. Thank you in advance. -Brian

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Ive been searching the internet for compulsive alphabetizers! I cant believe I found one! My 22 year old daughter can alphabetize faster than I can spell... It's really freaky! Once she saw someone on the Opra Winfrey (I think that was the show) that could do it. She called me all excited that she wasnt the only one in the world that could do it!

 

She alphetizes everything she sees..road signs, menus, etc. She also counts syllables & can tell you if there's an odd or even number on a book page after reading it.

 

I'd love to hear how you cope with it and how it's affected your life.

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Rangers

 

Does your daughter have OCD? I am sure this is a good trait and would have helped your daughter's creativity. Did it have ANY NEGATIVE impact on her?? If so, what and how did if affect her? I see more of POSITIVE in this thing. Would like to hear your experience on this.

 

thanks.

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Rangers, FINALLY I hear from someone else who does this!!!! I knew that I wasn't the only one in the world, I had just never talked to anyone else who did it or knew someone else who did it. I also can alphabetize letters just about as fast as other people can spell the word, probably up to 14 letters or so with much ease. I have always counted letters in everything I read or hear, and I just picked up the alphabetizing thing when I was about 13 years old and have done it since then (I'm now 20). Road signs, menus, things on TV, anything really. The alphabetizing is the second most thing I do next to the counting, so it kinda takes a back seat to it, but still makes for some difficulty in reading a lot of the time. I have yet to take any medication for my OCD, but just saw a psychologist a week ago for the first time because it was starting to get much worse. So, we will see where that goes. If you have any other questions, please feel free to post again, I'd love to hear more about your daughter. Thanks for your replies.

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Yes, she has OCD and you asked about negative affects...I took her to see a phychologist a couple of times when she was in high school, not for alphabetizing, but for..I know this sounds strange...but when she was in school taking exams, concentrating really hard, she would hear the answers "screamed" to her. The first time it happened, she jumped out of her seat & looked at the back of the room thinking someone was screaming. Everyone else was just sitting there taking their test and she realized that she was the only one who heard it. Freaked her out. Me too! But at least it was screams of the right answer...she made really good grades! Then she had a couple of panic attacks, so thats when we went to see the psychologist.

 

He pointed out about her alphabetizing that she never gets a chance to relax. Most people will pick up a book to relax... or watch a movie or something, but it isnt relaxing to her because her mind is constantly in overdrive. (Brian, does this sound familiar!?) They put her on Paxel and it helps. She still alphabetizes, but doesnt really notice that she's doing it.

 

Speaking of Paxel...She had always been detail oriented, excelled at pretty much everything. Paxel made her go in the opposite direction. NOTHING bothered her. Things that should bother her didnt. Messed up her credit...quit her job...quit college...had to sell her BMW that she'd worked so hard to pay for... Then it seemed to level off and for the last couple of years she's done well. Was promoted to bar manager at the restaurant she works for. Is focused and goal oriented once again. (Brian be careful taking any medications for this. Make sure you are monitored very closely. They just gave my daughter the prescription and sent her on her way. No follow ups really. We didnt even put two and two together and figure out the Paxel was messing with her until it was almost too late. We thought she'd just lost her mind when she graduated highschool! :)

 

And, yes, she is also very artistic and creative. She's now decided she wants to be a jewelry designer and is looking at design schools.... She worked in clothing retail in highschool (before Paxel) and designed the most beautiful store fronts and you can bet all the clothes hangers were facing the same direction :)

 

Sorry this is so long...it's nice to be able to talk about this with people that understand!

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Rangers, I'm glad that everything ended up turning out ok for you and your daughter!!!! At least it sounds like things are getting better. It's really nice to have someone else to talk to about these kinda things, and yes, everything you said DID sound verrrry familiar!!!! ^_^ The psychologist I saw a few weeks ago suggested that I look into taking a drug called Luvox. I have read a little about it, and he said it comes with very few and minimal side effects. I understand what you were saying about your daughter and how her mind never got a chance to relax. It's not fun at all, hehe. Thanks for the warning about the medication, I will definitely make sure I get plenty of follow ups now. If you or your daughter ever feel like you wanna talk about this or anything like it sometime, please feel free to email me (brian_golde@hotmail.com). It's nice to have someone to talk to who understands these things. Thanks for your reply and good luck with everything!!!!

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I found this thread fascinating! Thank you all for sharing your habits.

 

I will just add that I have a very bright sister, a physician, who has always counted letters. She does it by running her thumb over her fingers at super fast speed. It certainly hasn't stopped a brilliant career. I never thought to ask her if she can alphabetize also. (One thing I know is she's a lot smarter than I am!) ^_^

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June

 

Nice to know about your brilliant sister. Did she have TS/OCD or any other associated conditions? If so, how did she cope?

 

thanks

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She didn't have other problems except father seems to have high functioning aspergers and nephew has TS. And she's very disorganized (as am I)!

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June

 

Sorry I did not get you. Whose father has Aspergers and who has TS? Does her son have TS and if so how is he managing now?

 

Goodluck.

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Her father (and mine!) has aspergers--also very bright, just not emotionally quite in sync. (It's our diagnosis! He would flip if he knew.)

 

One of her nephews has TS and has managed it very well with environmental medicine. Allergy injections for a while, special diet. Nutrients. It was like a miracle, he was getting so bad. And he's doing great.

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Any idea what supplements, diet and environmental medicine worked wonders for her nephew. How old is he and what were his tics - were they vocal tics too? At what age did his tics improve?

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I remember they were small vocal tics at first, then a high pitched squeal when he was really stressed. He had eye tics, face tics and a lot of shoulder tics. And sometimes did what they called self-injurious things, like hitting himself or playing with sharp things when he knew he could get hurt. It was pretty bad. He turned out to have a lot of allergies and reacted to chemicals like perfume, candles, pesticides, things liek that. And he was really tired. the doctor found he had a candida infection. that was very important as i recall. no sweets, took medicine for the candida, did allergy shots. changed his diet. he was smart and motivated. hes in college now and doing fine but he was doing much much better from the treatment, many years ago. ( like he didn't just outgrow it.) i think things started up when he was about 7 or 8. i know he was seeing the doctor when he was in 7th grade or so. i know they cut out artificial flavors . and nutrasweet. i dont know all the nutrients. the allergy shots made a big difference it seemed.

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This sounds like something similar to what our daughter-in-law's father does. He counts the number of lines used on digital clock numbers. For instance, there are six little lines to make a number 6, there are 7 lines to make a number 8, and 5 lines to make a number 3. Anyone heard of this before?

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