Some OCD sufferers have obsessions with how things are arranged. These folks could become quite uneasy when presented with settings in which objects are out of place or disorganized. On a related point, whenever something does not seem to be ideal, some people could become uneasy. They might not be able to tolerate writing something in which the letters are improperly shaped. Ordering, arranging, or compulsive corrections would be analogous compulsions. Movies that seek to depict OCD sometimes include activities that seem random. However, it is crucial for outsiders to understand that even though an individual with OCD appears to be acting randomly or insanely, this is rarely the case. Even if it looks illogical or absurd, always exists a fundamental rationale. Various anxiety disorders or obsessive-compulsive personality disorders may be more prevalent in those with symmetry issues.
The development of this type of OCD often occurs earlier in life, and those who have it are much more inclined to have close relatives who also have it. The main distinction between OCPD and OCD is that people with OCPD are not agitated or troubled by their thoughts, and they cannot even be considered obsessions. This is crucial to keep in mind because OCPD and OCD seem to have a few superficial similarities in concerns. An individual with symmetry issues, however, is greatly distressed by their obsessions. This is known as OCD ego-dystonic (OCD obsessions are really not regarded as reasonable, and are foreign and unpleasant) as opposed to ego-syntonic (thoughts are regarded as reasonable and a part of one’s self). Therefore, even if they may seem similar to an outsider or even impact a friend or relative. Similarly, OCD generally causes the patient more pain than the most severely traumatized family member. A mental health professional can handle these issues. Clinical psychologist Dr. R K Suri is a very known name in handling these issues.
It’s possible that people who have symmetry and precision obsessions also engage in magical thinking. For instance, they can be concerned that their parent may have an accident if conditions aren’t quite ideal. The person understands these beliefs are absurd because ego-dystonic thoughts are a common feature of OCD. As a result, the fixation may hear the term “blind” and become fixated on the idea that if someone doesn’t repeat “you’re not blind” five times, they will lose their vision. OCD is the big “what if” disorder. Although they are aware that this is absurd, they typically reason, “I may as well do it just in case.” But if you give in to the fixation, it gets fed and returns stronger and more regularly. But if you give in to the fixation, it gets fed and returns stronger and more regularly. What started as a simple “what if” turns into hundreds of magical obsessions, which eventually develop into compulsions and occupy an increasing amount of time. This is how OCD progresses in a snowball pattern.
The majority of OCD sufferers typically engage in compulsions as a defense mechanism for themselves or those close to them. Although it seems absurd to plan everything meticulously in order to prevent a family member from developing cancer, people with OCD are typically so concerned and caring that they don’t want to contribute to the cause by simply being uncaring. They can even think that it is some sort of magical karma for not caring enough.
Needs to feel right
Other times, the requirement for symmetry may just “feel right” without being the result of magical thinking (e.g., just makes the person uncomfortable). For instance, if someone scratches one part of their face, the other part won’t feel normal until the same technique and length of time is used to scratch it. Even though some individuals without OCD may prefer symmetry, OCD sufferers may cry for it and cause significant disruption until they get it. That can be challenging for someone without OCD to imagine, but if one part of the face has been scratched, imagining one sitting on a rock on one part of their body but not the other is a good way to grasp how irritating it would be to the person with OCD. This is the level of discomfort the persistent desire for symmetry can bring.
Typical Obsessions of OCD Symmetry
Those with Symmetry are frequently diagnosed earlier than those with other OCD subtypes. Because of the severe anxiety that develops when they try to cease these actions, many individuals suffering from this type of OCD feel sad and helpless despite the fact that they detest their illnesses. Others consider their actions and concern to be appropriate, logical, and necessary.
Typical obsessions in Symmetry OCD include the following:
- Being anxious if something is uneven at work or home for fear of something bad happening (pillows on the sofa or books on the study table)
- Intense worry about asymmetry
- Excessive need for balance, as in the urge to carry objects symmetrically or walk with equal pressure on each foot
Common Obsessions with Symmetry
While those without OCD may find symmetry pleasing and appealing, others with OCD will become fully fixated on modifying things until they are flawless or just right, causing them to become very distracted and compulsive about it. As a result, it is not unusual for those who have symmetry to also have ‘just right’ and perfection OCD.
Compulsions that are typical of Symmetry OCD include:
- Wishing to maintain direct symmetry and write the correct number of sentences on each line of the page
- In order to eliminate any noticeable flaws or asymmetry in their handwriting, they should rewrite words and letters.
- Lining up and organizing their clothing or footwear in the closet.
- Avoiding places with symmetrical geometric shapes to prevent them from feeling driven to visually trace the borders
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