“You have OCD.” a friend declared over dinner last night.
“What the hell are you talking about?” I responded.
“You don’t know OCD? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.” she elaborated.
“I know what OCD is. If you look at the state of my house, you will know that I sure as hell don’t have OCD!” I retorted.
The friend is a recent Psychology graduate from Boston (not Harvard). She is back for a few months break and is going to leave for Sweden after the Chinese New Year. She is currently on a road trip around Malaysia and happened to be in Penang for the weekend, so we came out for dinner.
Anyway, so, yeah… a Psychology graduate has just diagnosed me with OCD. Apparently, OCD is not limited to someone who frequently washes his/her hands or someone obsessed with the cleanliness of his/her toilets. As long as you exhibit repetitive behaviors due to certain anxieties, then it is a form of OCD.
So we were having dinner at McDonald’s. When I received my change, there were 2 coins: one of 5 cents and one of 10 cents. I immediately dropped them into the Donation for Charity box.
“Why don’t you keep those coins?” she asked.
“Nah, too much trouble, don’t want to be carrying those small value coins with me.” I replied.
“Do you do this all the time?” she asked.
“When I can help it. If I got those 5 cents coins from somewhere with no tip box or donation box, I will keep them and bring them on my next trip to McD to dispose of.” I replied.
“You have OCD!” she declared. (See above)
So, instead of catching up on life, we spent the next hour discussing my condition instead. Throughout my free consultation session, I yielded a few more symptoms.
- I am obsessed with punctuality. If I have an appointment or having a meet up with friends, I would try to be on time. I hate being late but I would try my very best not to be early either, but on time. For example, if the agreed upon meeting time is 10.00AM and I arrived at the meeting place at 9.55AM, I would wait in the car or wander around for 5 minutes and make it to the meeting place at 10.00AM sharp. Of course this changes if the friend(s) are early and called me when they arrived.
- I am obsessed with rounded numbers when it comes to money. The issue with coins is that, I am not exactly troubled by having coins. I am troubled by odd numbers where money is concerned. That’s the reason why I dislike small denomination money. Sometimes when I am buying something in the convenience store, for example a can of Coke, if it costs RM 2.30, I would then look for something else to buy in the shop, something that costs RM 0.70 or RM 1.70, just to round up the total amount into ringgit only instead of ringgit and cents. And when I buy those packed organic vegetables, if there are two packets that look the same but one is RM 4.35 and one is RM 5.00, I would take the RM 5.00 one.
So I asked if this is bad and if I need professional help. She said actually 90% of the people in the world has OCD, it is just that the obsessions are different. If it does not affect yourself and other people, then there is no problem at all. And it is nothing to be ashamed of to admit that you have OCD. That is why I am writing this post now.
And she offered a solution for my second obsession.
“Go buy a tin of jumbo sized Milo (Malaysian chocolate malt drink) and quickly finish drinking it. Next time, instead of depositing the coins in McDonalds, bring them home and deposit them into the Milo tin. When it is full, wire the money over to me, I will put them to good use.”
It made me feel like I have just wasted an hour of my life listening to bullshit.. Damn…