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Old 07-28-2010, 04:40 PM   #126
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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My symptoms are very mild and mostly involve obsessive thoughts that stick in my head which I relieve with compulsions. Things like counting, constantly checking e-mail, or my phone as a way to distract myself from the thoughts (reliving embarrassing moments, thinking about some upcoming thing I have to do but am dreading, stuff like that).

The more basic OCD symptoms that most people would recognize involve routine and time being very important. I shower/get ready for the day in the same order everyday and it makes me feel off and anxious if that routine is disturbed. For example, shower is always body wash (washing body parts in the same order) face wash, shampoo. About to go to lunch, will post more if you're interested.
Sounds more like addiction as opposed to OCD, as OCD usually has a relationship between the obsession and the compulsion.

I think I can put it in layman's terms, actually.

The scenario you described involves engaging in behaviors in order to relieve some sort of stress.

OCD usually involves stress that is generated in not participating in the behaviors, themselves.

I would be happy to hear more, though.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:47 PM   #127
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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I am getting treatment for the OCD, but there is only so much you can do. My meds only lessen the symptoms, but I have occasional flare-ups from time to time.
My point is that there are other treatments besides medication. Not to tell you what to do or something ... but I've seen/heard of success with exposure treatment along with anxiety-related therapy. Even for hoarders.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:02 PM   #128
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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My point is that there are other treatments besides medication. Not to tell you what to do or something ... but I've seen/heard of success with exposure treatment along with anxiety-related therapy. Even for hoarders.
I have been to behavioral therapy, as well as exposure. When that was not working, I began my medication regimen.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:25 PM   #129
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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I have been to behavioral therapy, as well as exposure. When that was not working, I began my medication regimen.
ah okay, sorry to hear that nothing has done the trick so far.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:30 PM   #130
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

OP, I'm curious about the hoarding aspect. When you get some new collectibles and place them among all of the other ones you've already got in your place, do you assign certain value to each of the objects you've got individually, or is it more of a collective "these are the things I was striving to obtain, and here is the entire collection" holistic-type deal?


If that's unclear, what I mean is, can you look at each of the things you have and justify why you have it/why it was worth your time getting it/figuring out a place to put it (like hanging paintings in a museum), or is it just a pool of things that grows with value with the addition of "worthy" items (like collecting ticket stubs or something)?

Last edited by clout; 07-28-2010 at 05:32 PM. Reason: God I hope I'm making sense here
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:24 PM   #131
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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OP, I'm curious about the hoarding aspect. When you get some new collectibles and place them among all of the other ones you've already got in your place, do you assign certain value to each of the objects you've got individually, or is it more of a collective "these are the things I was striving to obtain, and here is the entire collection" holistic-type deal?


If that's unclear, what I mean is, can you look at each of the things you have and justify why you have it/why it was worth your time getting it/figuring out a place to put it (like hanging paintings in a museum), or is it just a pool of things that grows with value with the addition of "worthy" items (like collecting ticket stubs or something)?
You are making perfect sense.

Each individual item has a specific value. I have thousands and thousands of different items, and I know the value of each and every single one. I do not know if this is because I am on the autism spectrum or if it is more complicated, but I have a photographic memory.

I remember hand histories of sessions that have occurred years ago. I remember things that I do not even really try to learn in the first place. And when I look up an object's value to justify its purchase, the number stays with me, and I constantly refresh myself by fanatically checking price guides to stay current with value movements.

Both the act of buying and the act of knowing each individual aspect of my collection can be OCD-linked.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:04 PM   #132
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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My symptoms are very mild and mostly involve obsessive thoughts that stick in my head which I relieve with compulsions. Things like counting, constantly checking e-mail, or my phone as a way to distract myself from the thoughts (reliving embarrassing moments, thinking about some upcoming thing I have to do but am dreading, stuff like that).

The more basic OCD symptoms that most people would recognize involve routine and time being very important. I shower/get ready for the day in the same order everyday and it makes me feel off and anxious if that routine is disturbed. For example, shower is always body wash (washing body parts in the same order) face wash, shampoo. About to go to lunch, will post more if you're interested.
I'm like this (bolded) as well. I've always thought I have a mild case of OCD, as I have to do odd things in even numbers mainly twice is fine (example if I scratch my nose I have to do it twice, but if I accidentialy do it 3 times, I will do it another to make it 4). Or if I'm walking and step over a crack, I will have to step over another crack using the exact same step pattern...lol. I hide it very well as people don't think I'm weird/awkward.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:22 PM   #133
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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I'm like this (bolded) as well. I've always thought I have a mild case of OCD, as I have to do odd things in even numbers mainly twice is fine (example if I scratch my nose I have to do it twice, but if I accidentialy do it 3 times, I will do it another to make it 4). Or if I'm walking and step over a crack, I will have to step over another crack using the exact same step pattern...lol. I hide it very well as people don't think I'm weird/awkward.
Many people have small quirks, do you even think about doing these things before they occur, however? For example, do you wake up in the morning and say, "I am going to be doing everything even today"?

A lot of what you speak of can be considered force of habit more than anything else. What you speak of appears to be a small aspect of your lifestyle. OCD is something that you build your lifestyle around, and what many would perceive to be major life events, from family outings to large parties to vacations, have taken a back seat to constantly scanning the internet for collectibles, watching "important" events on television, etc.

I remember a time when some people took me out for my birthday, and they surprised me with a cake...I refused to eat it and they thought it was a joke...so they insisted and insisted, until someone stuffed a piece in my mouth. I think they understood the severity of my conviction when I spat it out due to reflex.

Obsessions are my life, and compulsions are what I do to live it. People say I am the nicest guy they have ever met, but this is always superseded by what lies deeper in my personality when people dare to delve deeper.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:36 PM   #134
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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You are making perfect sense.

Each individual item has a specific value. I have thousands and thousands of different items, and I know the value of each and every single one. I do not know if this is because I am on the autism spectrum or if it is more complicated, but I have a photographic memory.

I remember hand histories of sessions that have occurred years ago. I remember things that I do not even really try to learn in the first place. And when I look up an object's value to justify its purchase, the number stays with me, and I constantly refresh myself by fanatically checking price guides to stay current with value movements.

Both the act of buying and the act of knowing each individual aspect of my collection can be OCD-linked.

This is quite extraordinary. If I had the choice of shadowing you for a week, or the girl in the multiple personality thread I would be truly torn. No need for a reply by the way, thanks for the thread.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:41 PM   #135
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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This is quite extraordinary. If I had the choice of shadowing you for a week, or the girl in the multiple personality thread I would be truly torn. No need for a reply by the way, thanks for the thread.
Nah, I will reply, as I am familiar with that thread.

I have always believed that multiple personality disorder is far more inhibiting than OCD, as I know that some cases of the former have an inability to hide it from the general public. I may not be able to fully control the extent of my obsessions, but I am at least able to be a kind-hearted soul who shows a genuine desire to care about others. I know my reality, and although it is prohibitive, I do not find it to be bleak in the slightest. I know that there are environmental triggers that I should avoid in order to prevent losing control.

I am not sure if this is possible for the girl in the other topic, which makes me feel bad on her behalf.

I have enough control over my life that I can honestly say that if I were to reveal my identity to the other posters who know me well, they would not believe me because I really do not show any strong outward symptoms. However, they sometimes notice the twitching related to Asperger's.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:47 PM   #136
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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Originally Posted by Stinky Stu View Post
Sounds to me like you have a very mild case.

I had it much worse years ago -- the counting, touching objects an even number of times, etc. -- but was able to overcome most all of it. Only when I get really stressed do I slide a little these days.


Me too. For a few years as a child, I had it really bad. I still have tendencies but nothing that really affects my life anymore. I think the symmetry thing is for people that are severly left-brained. Weird how many people have the touching an even number of times thing. I would have this problem for hours and if I didnt do it, my mind would obviously obsess to the point I couldn't do anything else.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:49 PM   #137
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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my mind would obviously obsess to the point I couldn't do anything else.
Yeah, sounds all too familiar. It is difficult to deal with, as there is no specificity to it.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:56 PM   #138
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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Originally Posted by All Apologies View Post
I've always thought I have a mild case of OCD, as I have to do odd things in even numbers mainly twice is fine (example if I scratch my nose I have to do it twice, but if I accidentialy do it 3 times, I will do it another to make it 4). Or if I'm walking and step over a crack, I will have to step over another crack using the exact same step pattern...lol. I hide it very well as people don't think I'm weird/awkward.
One thing to note is that there is a difference between OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and obsessive compulsive tendencies. With most psychiatric disorders, you can probably relate to some of the symptoms at some point throughout your life, but it doesn't reach the stage at which it is a disorder (unless you do actually have a mental illness).

Note how the scratching of your nose and the walking don't really interfere with your life. In fact, others don't even notice, you claim. OP and some others in this thread, when at their worst at least, have great trouble making it through the day (right?).
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:56 PM   #139
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

OP,

I said earlier that there is some overlap b/w OCD and Asperger's diagnoses. It is definitely possible to have both. You have probably seen the DSM criteria before, but so you can see where I'm coming from re. being skeptical/needing more info earlier:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

A.
Obsessions
(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
(3) the person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action
(4) the person recognizes that the obsessional thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind (not imposed from without as in thought insertion)
Compulsions
(1) repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly
(2) the behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive

B. At some point during the course of the disorder, the person has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. Note: This does not apply to children.
C. The obsessions or compulsions cause marked distress, are time consuming (take more than 1 hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person’s normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or usual social activities or relationships.


Asperger’s Syndrome

(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction (a,b,c,d)

(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
(A) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
(B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals

(C) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
(D) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

(III) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

(IV,V) no clinically significant general delay in language or cognitive development

What does point II in AS not cover that the OCD diagnosis does in your case? Sorry to get technical, but as a med student I need to learn these things
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:01 PM   #140
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

REPEATED MASTURBATION IS NOT A SMALLLLL QUIRK YOU BASTARD I HAVE FEELINGS
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:11 PM   #141
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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OP,

I said earlier that there is some overlap b/w OCD and Asperger's diagnoses. It is definitely possible to have both. You have probably seen the DSM criteria before, but so you can see where I'm coming from re. being skeptical/needing more info earlier:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

A.
Obsessions
(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
(3) the person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action
(4) the person recognizes that the obsessional thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind (not imposed from without as in thought insertion)
Compulsions
(1) repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly
(2) the behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive

B. At some point during the course of the disorder, the person has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. Note: This does not apply to children.
C. The obsessions or compulsions cause marked distress, are time consuming (take more than 1 hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person’s normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or usual social activities or relationships.


Asperger’s Syndrome

(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction (a,b,c,d)

(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
(A) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
(B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals

(C) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
(D) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

(III) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

(IV,V) no clinically significant general delay in language or cognitive development

What does point II in AS not cover that the OCD diagnosis does in your case? Sorry to get technical, but as a med student I need to learn these things
I can actually tell you some key differences between the two:

1. Asperger's is a form of autism that is rooted in childhood, whereas OCD need not originate as a child and can be influenced by environmental factors.
2. Criterion II of Asperger's need not characterize a person's lifestyle, but only as aspect of it. When it grows into something more is when an individual has a case of OCD.

I actually was approved for disability today, and although I neglected to mention it in the topic, I am on my third leave...and not sure if I am making any progress towards being able to work in a social environment.

If you would like to know any additional aspects to further your knowledge, I would be more than happy to accommodate.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:12 PM   #142
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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REPEATED MASTURBATION IS NOT A SMALLLLL QUIRK YOU BASTARD I HAVE FEELINGS
Oh please, at least you get a legitimate sense of satisfaction out of your compulsive behavior .
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:21 PM   #143
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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OP,
but as a med student I need to learn these things


This is just an aside post to bicolor, and is somewhat tongue in cheek.


As an MD since 1989, I can see you are an excellent student and would truly enjoy having you on my rotation for a month (forensic pathologist). but I would highly suggest that you get a dermatology residency, make a crap load of money, while able to spend a ton of time with your family and forget all this stuff. I tried once to find all the answers, and 21 years later am still confused.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:27 PM   #144
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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This is just an aside post to bicolor, and is somewhat tongue in cheek.


As an MD since 1989, I can see you are an excellent student and would truly enjoy having you on my rotation for a month (forensic pathologist). but I would highly suggest that you get a dermatology residency, make a crap load of money, while able to spend a ton of time with your family and forget all this stuff. I tried once to find all the answers, and 21 years later am still confused.
Haha, I think I'm still in the mode of learning Hero Medicine (saving everyone With time, I'll probably end up retirely quietly. I have trouble sometimes with the apparent subjectivity of psychiatry, and find other specialties more logical in my mind I guess
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:40 PM   #145
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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I can actually tell you some key differences between the two:

1. Asperger's is a form of autism that is rooted in childhood, whereas OCD need not originate as a child and can be influenced by environmental factors.
2. Criterion II of Asperger's need not characterize a person's lifestyle, but only as aspect of it. When it grows into something more is when an individual has a case of OCD.

I actually was approved for disability today, and although I neglected to mention it in the topic, I am on my third leave...and not sure if I am making any progress towards being able to work in a social environment.

If you would like to know any additional aspects to further your knowledge, I would be more than happy to accommodate.
Sorry to hear about the disability, although it may be good in the long run to help sort things out (the one step back, two steps forward approach).
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:50 PM   #146
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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Haha, I think I'm still in the mode of learning Hero Medicine (saving everyone With time, I'll probably end up retirely quietly. I have trouble sometimes with the apparent subjectivity of psychiatry, and find other specialties more logical in my mind I guess
Fair enough, and its true about psychiatry, they really should only let the most absolute brilliant, savant, into the field. My favorite Staff Psychiatrist, who incidentally, way after my rotation with him, summed up the extreme problems I was having with life and put me on a rapid road to being able to handle things, while still prospering in med-school in about 20 minutes, was a brilliant surgeon, completely decompensated during a manic episode, ruined his career but was at least saved from killing himself, then went into psychiatry. Met his wife in the psych ward, both under suicide watch. Unlike the rest of medicine, a good psychiatrist, in my opinion, has to have been there before he can really do any good. Stick with skin man, Im telling you.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:21 PM   #147
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

very interested in hearing more about your photographic memory. could you read through this thread one time and remember what everyone posted? do you remember what color shirt your best friend was wearing the first time you met him? just give some examples of how good it is.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:36 PM   #148
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

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very interested in hearing more about your photographic memory. could you read through this thread one time and remember what everyone posted? do you remember what color shirt your best friend was wearing the first time you met him? just give some examples of how good it is.
Although I cannot pull exact screenames from memory, I could recall anyone's posts simply by mention of the alias. For example, I would immediately associate ContactGSW with being an MD, having a gun-to-the-skull avatar, suggesting dermatology, and having a genuine interest in my condition.

I never studied for final exams in college, I just skimmed the 250 pages of material 3 hours before the exam and took them. I was perceived as the perfect student, but I am a total slacker.

There was a time period when I could recite the periodic table simply by being exposed to it in my study hall, complete with chemical symbol-atomic number-element correlations.

My best friend in college wore a brown tee with yellow stripes, and we met in a pickup basketball game the day after my first day at school. I assisted a pass to him and he said that we work well together as teammates.

I used my photographic memory to accomplish a variety of tasks, including catching someone who was stalking me in college.

It is also a photographic memory that makes me a slave to the details I wish to forget, however. It does not exactly mix well with someone who may obsess over a detail that is simply the victim of misinterpretation.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:56 AM   #149
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Photographic memory useful for poker? Lines that people took with certain hands before, physical tells etc.?
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:33 AM   #150
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Re: Ask me about what it is like living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Who was stalking you and why?
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