27 Mar The Third Diagnosis: OCD
I have ADHD and I’m a perfectionist. Most see that as a good thing and think it simply means doing a good job on a task. Perfectionism makes me obsessively anxious about small details and I get “stuck” in the middle of a task, so I struggle to complete it in a sensible amount of time.
With my case and with others, it’s not uncommon for ADHD and OCD to co-occur. Both ADHD and OCD cause things to ruminate in my head, and I get stuck on one thought, like a computer virus in my brain. I have extreme difficulty when it comes to shifting my focus and perspective from one situation to another, which isn’t alleviated with a difficulty in managing emotions and reactions.
Another issue of my hyper-focusing comes into play with my perfectionism/OCD. I may become hyper-focused on an assignment for class and spend an excessive amount of time making sure it’s perfect and obsessing over small, insignificant details.
I also encounter this problem a lot with my writing. I can spend excess time perfecting a word or sentence until my brain decides it’s “perfect.” I get so frustrated that I obsessive write and rewrite over and over. The same things occur if my notes are not neat or “perfect” in my head. I cannot get myself to move on until I fix what I think is “wrong” or “imperfect.” This hurts me in the long run with time management issues and getting “stuck” in the middle of a task.
Since I’ve set up a “perfect” formula in my head, I get stressed and anxious when I can’t achieve it. I have the mentally envisioned the exact picture of what something should be or look like. If it doesn’t live up to those standards, then I’m not done, and I must keep working or doing until I reach those expectations. OCD causes me to obsess over my performance and doing things “just right.”
This false, unachievable level of perfection drives my anxiety through the roof. Thus, OCD and ADHD paired with anxiety has caused me to worry days or weeks in advance for an upcoming test or doctor’s appointment, as needles are my biggest fear (phobia). Since ADHD makes it hard to manage emotions, the stress/anxiety I experience is more intense and lasts for a longer duration.
The First Diagnosis: Anxiety
The Second Diagnosis: ADHD
The Third Diagnosis: OCD