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Difference Between an OCD & an Addiction?

Discussion in 'Other Substances' started by SashaS, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. SashaS

    SashaS Community Champion

    Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong area, but I figured it would be the most appropriate place.

    I've always obsessed over everything having to by clean, symmetrical, organized and perfect. I live alone and I clean my house often, from top to bottom. Even though I'm not a messy person, but the accumulation of dust where I live really bothers me. Everything in my room is symmetrical, clean, organized and perfect and I find myself obsessing over keeping it that way, becoming annoyed when it isn't so. I also find myself preferring everything in multiples of five or ten. For example, if my bank account has a balance of R2413, I would go through the effort of withdrawing or depositing some money so that it is for example, R2500 or R3000. Round numbers are more pleasing to me, it's probably strange but I really hate it when numbers aren't like that.

    I don't like having accounts on sites I never visit, I hate having emails in my inbox that I've already read and I always have the same password for every site so that it's more organized, one I specifically hate. I also factory reset my phone often, even if it means losing everything, just so that it's fresh and clean with no junk on it.
    To sum it up, as cliche or cringe worthy as it sounds, I guess I'm a perfectionist of sorts.

    The thing is, I can't really classify it as an obsessive compulsive disorder or an addiction. It's not making my life difficult or anything, but it does make me happy, but that's the signs of an addiction, so I don't know...
  2. morgoodie

    morgoodie Senior Contributor

    I would have to classify that as obsessive compulsive disorder instead of an addiction. Although, I am not an expert but that is just my opinion. People sometimes have the wrong idea about OCD and what it involves as it is not always doing repetitive things like washing your hands 20 times or checking 4 times to see if the doors are locked. I was actually surprised when my son was diagnosed with it. He does not do things repetitively but he has other symptoms that classify his anxiety as OCD. Have you talked with your doctor or some other professional? I would suggest that route if you are concerned with your obsessions.
  3. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    OCD and addiction are related in the fact that in both situations, the person is not in control. However, similarities more or less end there. In addiction, the body demands a continuous intake of a substance like drugs or even sex which are physical. In OCD, the person is kind of enslaved by a psychological tendency. For example, hypochondriacs have a phobia for water.
  4. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    What I wonder, @SashaS, is if you live alone? It seems, like you mentioned, these behaviors are not a problem now. But if you live with a partner or child, these might be a problem. Just thinking out loud!

    I feel the same way about many of the things you mentioned, but do not get upset about them and can function fine if they are not just right. I just 'prefer' them over the alternative. If I have the opportunity to implement them easily, I do. Like cleaning out emails, weird numbers, things not organized correctly, etc. My stbx-husband claims I have Aspberger's (in a NOT kind way!).
    SashaS likes this.
  5. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    A compulsion is not an addiction, it's a behavioral issue. Compulsions and addictions are very different from each other. You are not addicted to carrying out your compulsions, you merely cannot help being compelled to do so - and that pattern of behavior has become embedded into your routine. One thing which may me able to relieve you a bit is the "compulsion blowout", a tecnique used in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). It takes time, patience and persistence but can be effective, especially if combined with other techniques.
  6. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    Hmmm... With your case, I would say that it's OCD and not addiction too. You certainly fit in the criteria of obsession which is symmetry and exactness. It's a need to have everything in an exact order and way. You also have a fear of contamination seen through your despise of dirt. But since I think your OCD isn't really affecting your everyday life too much, you don't need to treat it. You can, however, consult with a physician to make sure that your OCD isn't severe. Oftentimes, OCD is associated with anxiety and depression, so you might want to be clear on those as well.
  7. Dilof

    Dilof Member

    You seem more like you're on the autistic spectrum than anything (and no that wasn't meant as an insult) People with forms of autism tend to have stuff like preferring certain numbers to others and certain shapes to others. OCD in autistic people is also very common; so I'd look in to it if I were you.
  8. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I think that compulsion can keep addictions going. Even tho compulsions aren't the same as addictions they can go hand in hand. If you try to quit an addiction compulsions will make it hard for you to avoid what triggers the addiction. If you can deal with the compulsions you have a better chance of kicking the addictions.
  9. It doesn't seem like an addiction in the classical sense, but if it does satisfy you to behave this way, instead of feeling obligated to do so, it might be part of it. Your brain is addicted to the chemicals it releases when you are orderly and clean, and combined with your compulsion, you've now created a sort of reward mechanism where you're "addicted" to it.
  10. Min

    Min Active Contributor

    This is definitely OCD. And while you say it's not making your life difficult, it makes you happy ... it actually is making your life difficult. It's just that to you, the payoff is worth it so you keep doing it.
    Think of a scenario. Say something terrible happened. Let's say you got 2 broken arms and couldn't align all your things everyday. And no one cared to do it for you because it seemed inconsequential -- everything seemed "neat enough" (let's say). Would you just shrug, turn on the TV and let someone bring you a snack and not care if the magazines (4 of them, by the way -- not 5 or 10 as you would prefer) at the foot of the bed weren't squared up? Or had slipped to the floor? Or that your slippers were tossed around? Or would you be laying in bed absolutely fixated on those out-of-place items? That's not normal. That DOES make your life difficult. If even imagining this made you feel uncomfortable then that's something you need to talk to a behavioral therapist about.