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clean/organizational freak except when depressed


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In order for me to be functional (have a full-time job), I have to have everything in perfect order.  Sheets & towels all folded the exact same way.  Books organized exactly (subject, author, date released).  I alphabetize my spices.

I also like to have everything perfectly clean.  Baseboards spotless. 

Except when it overwhelms me and/or I'm depressed.  Then I can't do anything & I mostly hide in bed.  Or I get the spices taken care of but then get overwhelmed & go to bed leaving the kitchen a mess. 

I just don't have much energy.  Moving demoralizes me for ages.  (I haven't worked FT for 3 years now.)  Moving into a bigger house was a mistake.  I've been so depressed that other ppl have had to unpack for me, and since I don't agree with their "inferior" organizing abilities, I disassociate myself from it all.

It doesn't make sense but I do it anyway.

I previously stayed in an unsuitable marriage for 5 years b/c my ex cooked & cleaned & all I had to do was organize.

Does anyone else have a similar mix of depression/OCD? 

I wasn't diagnosed as OCD until fairly recently b/c of the depression masking the symptoms.  I don't often have days when OCD completely takes over but when I do, it can be 8 or 16 hours long.

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"8 spices? hmm, some of those must be repeats"

sorry, a simpsons quote to lighten the mood.

yeah, that sounds like me right now.  i never really noticed my obsessive need for organization until the last year or so.  i had plenty of other ocd symptoms and anxiety to deal with before then.  but now that i live at home, and my mom is the most disorganized person ever - with no decorating sense either, it drives me crazy.  some days i don't even notice it, but when things get out of the order i put them in, or i just feel like organizing other things in the house that i haven't organized yet i get unduly stressed and angry.  its like having things rationalized and in a neat order is the only thing that almost makes me feel good, or at least prevents me from feeling stress.

in the ad for the upcoming season of 'monk' they have him at a gym for the first time, and all these stressors are coming at him, but he sees the weight rack is unorganized and he gets a smile on his face, and starts organizing it - and even goes back to finish it, while this guy is crying 'spot' and is about to have the weight he's liftinig fall on him. 

i haven't seen the show before, and i usually am annoyed by the stereotypical cliched way hollywood portrays ocd, but i at least thought there was a lot of truth to that.  i don't know if its just (some) ocd people just really prefer order, organization, symmetry - or if its that they're so sensitive to minor things out of place, that the only way to decrease the distress is to have everything in order.  i think of it as the princess and the pea syndrome- as in the child's fairy tale (can't think of the right word) where the princess has to put up somewhere for the night, and they give here 30 mattresses to sleep on, but she can't sleep all night - because the only thing she can feel is that there's a pea somewhere under all those mattresses.  that's what having ocd and the need for organizaiton feels like.  a curse, but maybe somewhat of a gift too - cause i wouldn't rather really live like a slob either, i just wish it didn't bother me so much. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

ditto here. I actually did not realize I was OCD untill I got really depressed over crap w/ BF that is living with me. Depression hit me, I stay in bed, but lay there freaking out that my house is not clean -- panic attacks over the mounting "disorder" I perceive is piling up. Normally (normal?) stress would cause me to OCD more, but "normally" I don't have the stressor living with me. A couple years ago, PDoc put me on Effexor, and for the first time I stopped ironing my sheets. Never occurred to me that other people might not iron their sheets, fold towels a certain way, etc. Anyway, Effexor stopped working, and since then I have tried Zoloft, but it did zero for me. I still take Trazodone for sleep, and pop Klonopin when the anxiety is too overwhelming.

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