The title is misleading. Because I do have an obsessive-compulsive behaviour as part of the bipolar package. In fact, I’m having an episode right now as of writing this, which is the main reason why I’m writing this. I needed to distract myself from the ‘itch’. Writing about my mental health is about as therapeutic as they come.
Down to point though. I’ve been awake for nearly 36 hours now. In fact, I’ve spend the last 5 in my bed, trying to sleep. I didn’t take my medication as I had a driving lesson this afternoon which I cannot be drowsy for. Too bad though, cause I’m drowsy as hell right now. I’m hoping to catch at least 4 hours of Zs before heading to my lesson.
You might be wondering, what’s my obsessive-compulsive ‘itch’? I’ve talked about it before with my psych last year. But you know, since I’m no longer conscripted under my government, I no longer get the benefit of free healthcare, so I’ve stopped going to my sessions. Mostly because I can no longer afford it. Anyway, because my primary goal for the last two years was to keep myself from killing myself, we’ve only managed to glance the surface of my compulsion and theorized about it, but never came to a full diagnosis. Unlike most people with mental health, mine is not an anxiety based compulsion. But might really be an impulse control disorder. It’s probably just a mild form of dermatillomania, more commonly known as compulsive skin picking. Mostly in my feet.
The itch is persistent, as in I have it all the time. It’s just that it’s mild enough for me to resist the urge to scratch them. It’s part of the reason why I talk to myself when walking alone, so that I can take my mind off the ‘unbalance-ness’ of the itch. If I step on a crack in the middle of the road and I ‘see’ it, my feet feels the sensation of being pressed at the supposed spot I stepped in. I will then look for another similar crack that I can step on with my other foot so that the pressure is ‘balanced’. Usually though, the second step will never be on the right spot, which will lead to more tries. Ultimately, it will end up with me manually looking for a curb or other angled surface so I could apply the pressure with more control, until I am satisfied with the ‘balance’ of the feeling of pressure. If you look at my shoe, you can see the wear and tear on the sole from all the moulding I did.
At night, before I sleep, I would often numb myself by playing some sort of repetitive games or take my mind off things with writing, gaming, or masturbation. No particular preference. But sometimes, like the early A.M today, where I don’t do my nightly ritual, the itch comes. And once I scratch them, they are never going away. I’ve spent the last five hours, tossing and turning in bed, rubbing my feet against the grainy walls or trying to scratch them with the other foot. Or going to the bathroom to rub the bottom against the mats. Or you know, generally trying to get back the ‘balance’ in the itch.
It’s not always the feet though. Sometimes, the itch will appear at other parts of my body, with the same tenacity. They just prefer the feet because they are harder to scratch and my body hates me. I have two scars on my arm from a surgery to remove an infection. I’ve always lied about the reason for the surgery, saying it was some insect bite or a scratch that got worst. Actually, those reasons aren’t entirely false. There was an insect bite at first. And it did cause some swelling. I was just unhappy with how the pain felt ‘unbalanced’. So I took a pair of tweezers, nail cutters, and one of my knife, and cut open my own arm to adjust the ‘itch’.
So why am I telling you all these disgusting things with my smelly feet and scabby arm? It’s because I was out with some of my friends last night, and the topic of how someone I know has “OCD” came up. Notice the quotes. Because I really doubt he has it. I don’t know if that guy really has OCD. I would genuinely feel sorry for him if he did. If what I have is just mild ICD, having full blown OCD would really, really suck. It might just be OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder) which, truthfully, doesn’t suck as bad. But still suck. Point is, I can’t remember the exact thing I did, but I adjusted something a little because it was annoying me with its unbalance-ness, and my friend joked, “OCD?”. People should stop those jokes. It’s no longer funny. It never was.
OCD or ICD or OCPD isn’t something nice to have. Sure, people with conditions like these generally have a higher IQ, and it must seems cool to have a trait that smart people have. It doesn’t help that the condition has been popularized by shows like The Big Bang Theory, which I have an intense love-hate relationship with. It’s all funny and ‘swag’ until you find someone who had $2000 operations because of it or about to drive and potentially kill people since they can’t sleep at night. These ‘compulsions’ affects day-to-day life. They can be potentially life threatening, and can cost a butt-load of money to treat, both the condition itself and the aftermath.
And to end, I would like to tell my Singapore readers, I’m driving in the Woodlands area this afternoon. Don’t cross the roads there unless you want to get run over by my car.
(Note: For more links on resources, blogs or articles about mental health and services, visit the Links and Resources page.)