"I have CDO. It's like OCD, but with the letters in alphabetical order - like they're supposed to be."
Someone with Super OCD requires ORDER
in their life. Everything has to match some kind of pattern that they approve of. Lines must be straight, angles must be just the right degree, and the numbers must absolutely match. This doesn't have to be a pattern that makes sense
. Social skills will be extremely difficult. Sometimes this translates into Good with Numbers
or Hyper Awareness
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is frequently misrepresented in fiction. Most people are surprised to find that rituals are not the defining trait of OCD — in reality, it is an anxiety disorder that causes repeated, unwanted thoughts. The rituals (which may or may not have anything to do with order) are simply attempts to stop those thoughts. Fiction so exaggerates the "order" part in OCD that people are downright dumbfounded to find out that OCD/ADHD exists. (Obsessive-Compulsive Personality
Disorder, on the other hand, really is all about order).
Can be justified
if the character has a career in chemistry or engineering etc, where it really is
crucial to have measurements just right.
It was once an Unacceptable Target
, but later "upgraded" to an Acceptable Target
Often a trait of the Defective Detective
or the Mad Mathematician
. See also Schedule Fanatic
, a person who requires everything to be done precisely on time. For a less extreme version, see Neat Freak
. When this becomes a super power see Clock King
. A certain type of character
will act like this for no other reason than to annoy people.
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Anime and Manga
- Death the Kid from Soul Eater is obsessed with symmetry.
- He was defeated after a blade cut off a couple centimeters of his hair on one side and he freaked out.
- In the middle of a hunt, he abandoned his two sidekicks to go home and make sure a painting was hanging straight. It was; it always is. When he saw a blatantly asymmetrical enemy he fought back with Unstoppable Rage.
- More than half-way through an exam, Kid was still trying to write his name, and had a complete psychological breakdown when he erased too hard and tore the paper.
- When his arm was cut off his first thought was that he was even less symmetrical than before.
- As it turns out, the reason he has such bad OCD is that he's an Elder God representing the madness of Order.
- In Darker than Black, every contractor has a remuneration for using their powers, sometimes an involuntary reaction (such as de-aging) but more often an overwhelming compulsion. The second enemy contractor we see in the series had to find things to arrange at equidistant points in a quadrilateral, which allows Hei to kill him effortlessly while he's doing it.
- In Death Note , Mikami has shades of this trope - his daily schedule is exact to the minute. It's part of what gets him caught.
- In Pokémon Special, Black is apparently so incapable of not thinking about challenging the League and becoming the best that he needs his Munna to literally eat his dreams away so that he can concentrate on the matters at hand. In fact, it turns out that Black really can't concentrate without his Munna without frying his brain, making this a bit of a Fatal Flaw.
- However, he's slowly been getting over this, especially when White's well-being is concerned.
- Chiri Kitsu from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. It's in her freakin' name! Not even having to kill will stop her from balancing the world. But it's that kind of show.
- She's so precise, when she speaks, the punctuation shows up onscreen. Also, her Cross-Popping Veins are perfectly symmetrical and located in the middle of her forehead (though not always, oddly enough).
- Eiichiro, the protagonist from the sports manga Baby Steps, is a perfectionist, and obsessed with keeping things organized. He's known at his school for his ridiculously neat notes, which actually end up helping his tennis playing.
- Re-l Meyer from Ergo Proxy is a straight-forward OCD example. She's obsessed with both cleanliness and punctuality, and while investigating crime scenes has a habit of symmetrically rearranging some of the evidence. Then comes Episode 16.
- Captain Levi, the leader of the Recon Corps in Attack on Titan, is a major neat freak: he dislikes blood (even though fighting Titans is an incredibly messy job) and goes to great lengths to keep himself clean while cleaning up around base.
- Damage Control with Edifice Rex, a cosmically-powered crewman. He declares his duty was to clean the entire planet. He later vows to clean the universe by putting everything back in the primordial cosmic egg.
"A world where garbage bags have built in handles. Where zip-lock stripes turn green, to assure proper sealage. Where spray cleaner comes in a bottle with setting both spray and stream. So many gifts they have, so untidy they are. Rejected though I am, I will leave them with this gift: a world of perpetual neatness. With a place for everything — and everything in its place!"
- Transformers: More than Meets the Eye's incarnation of Ultra Magnus seems to have O.C.D, even prompting Tailgate to mock "[...] Ultra Magnus is an O.C.D. control freak who uses learning to hurt people" when Ultra Magnus' un-abridged teaching of the Autobot code bores him into sleep. Ultra Magnus' reaction to thinking said "graffiti" was a spec of dust further proves this.
- His attitude in issue 13 (especially in the shuttle) doesn't help his case either.
"Look! The fifth rivet in that sequence - it's 30 degrees wide of the weld line! I knew there was something odd about this shuttle."
- Just a notch by Twilight in My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #1, shelving a book by its introductory subtitle rather than the larger-font main title, to Jade's annoyance.
- Later, Twilight gets caught up in reading a book she was meant to be shelving, but Jade also admits that she gets that way, hence why the library is cluttered with unshelved books.
- In My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #3 when Twilight asks Spike to take a letter, he immediately objects since they're in Canterlot and Princess Celestia is literally 40 feet away. Twilight justifies the letter because it can be saved and properly indexed. Celestia comments, when reading the letter, that she was just right there and they could have told her then.
- In Dept Heaven Apocrypha, we have Ledah, who is eventually revealed to have OCD after implications of such throughout most of the early story. However, as the OCD is one of the many facets of his rape-induced PTSD (and as Ledah is The Woobie), this is played seriously and for sympathy.
- The Homestuck fanfic "four titles" interprets Jade's "space" powers as giving her a side-effect of Super OCD;
some kind of obsessive-compulsive need for things to line up straight in three-dimensional space - the corners of the tent not matching in elevation, say, or pictures needing to be hung exactly evenly on the walls.
- Red Dead Virgo gives Equius the same problem, and considering he's also the Space player in that session, it probably wasn't an accident.
- In Brainbent, Kanaya's OCD was so bad at one point that she wasn't able to function or leave her room, and wound up admitting herself to St. Lobaf's to get help for it.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic The Turning of the Screwball, the character of Button Stitch is so obsessively organized than even Rarity thinks she's a bit high-strung. Her self-repressive levels of OCD are what lead to a build-up of magical energy that causes her to turn back into "Screwball" (the weird floating background pony from "Return of Harmony, Part 2") and pull bizarre pranks around Ponyville.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- The Aviator is centered around Howard Hughes' (played by Leo DiCaprio, see Real Life below) struggle with his advanced OCD. While the film treads familiar territory (task repetition, cleanliness, isolation), it also shows how Hughes was able to use the condition to become a famous billionaire. His manic attention to detail allows him to win Oscars, buy airlines, and fight the US Senate.
- As Good As It Gets plays this for drama, with Jack Nicholson's character showing several common OCD fixations, like being unable to walk on the lines between paving stones and only using disposable forks, even in restaurants. And those are the pedestrian quirks. The really bad stuff is needing to have several dozen pre-packaged soap bars to wash his hands with, because he'll only use one for a few seconds before throwing it away. A new soap bar every trip to the bathroom? Sure, cuts down on germ exposure. Three or four every time you wash your hands? Holy crap.
- This Japanese short.
- Owen from Superstar. He has to say and do everything five times.
- The main character in Matchstick Men.
- Adam has a very strict routine and diet because of his Asperger Syndrome.
- Ashburn from The Heat, to a degree. She uses it well to aid her in finding hidden drugs/guns but it makes her rather annoying to others.
- Vampires. According to legend, scattering grain is a good way to stop a vampire, as they will be compelled to count it, which gives the victim time to escape, and may keep them out past sunrise. The only modern vampire depiction with this feature is Sesame Street's The Count, and they did it seemingly by accident.
- It was used in The X-Files. Mulder defeated a vampire by spilling his sunflower seeds.
- Except when they play with it and have the vampire counting the damn things before they hit the ground.
- The sequel to Dracula 2000 uses it this way. When a group of idiot kids decide to mess around with Dracula, they try to slow him down by throwing a handful of seeds at him. It goes into a brief Bullet Time and Dracula nonchalantly states the number of seeds and keeps going.
- This legend features in My Swordhand Is Singing, which contains very traditional vampires.
- Russian Mythology and Tales has the "leshy", a forest spirit that gets people lost and, eventually, killed. One way to hold it off is to drop something for it to cound, such as pine needles or seeds.
- Some portrayals of Hercule Poirot borders on this, as he wants everything orderly and frequently complains that eggs won't form neat little cubes. It sometimes helps him notice clues, because he notices everything that's out of order. Then again, in some books it's more of a quirk than a disability.
- The protagonist of Edgar Allan Poe's story Berenice has frequent fits in which he becomes acutely obsessed with random topics to the point of going into a trance-like state. When he focuses on his moribund fiance's teeth (and how white and curiously elongated they have been getting lately) it does not end well.
- Phileas Fogg, the protagonist in Around the World in Eighty Days, demands super-human fastidiousness from his servants; he actually fired a servant for giving him shaving water that was two degrees too cold. He is also a Schedule Fanatic.
- The schedule part is pretty useful when you have to travel around the world by rail in 80 days.
- Melanie Watt's Scaredy Squirrel character. The Animated Adaptation plays play up this tendency. Obsessive. Compulsive. Squirrel.
- Matt in Peter Pays Tribute brings a bottle of Febreeze with him to movie theaters, and he spends part of his weekend sanitizing his room.
- David Cusk in The Pale King. Thanks to his fear of being noticed for his sweating, he eventually develops the ability to keep track of a room's temperature, the locations and distances of the exits, sight lines and proximity of every person in the room, and quickly strategize ways to avoid detection.
- Vampires in the Discworld novels are described as being very focused. Usually, they use this focus to enable them to feed. But the vampires who give up on feeding on human blood soon find out that they have to redirect this focus unto anything that doesn't remind them of "the B-vord". Collecting seems to be very popular amongst tee-totaling vampires.
- Also in Going Postal, we are introduced to Stanley. He was raised by peas and is "quite intense" about pins. Later he graduated to stamps, which were made possible thanks to Stanley's obsessive neat pin-sheets. (The regular holes they left were the inspiration for the stamps' perforation)
- In the Artemis Fowl book The Atlantis Complex, the titular mental disease is this trope Played for Drama. In stage one the afflicted becomes obsessed with numbers—five is good, while another number (four, in Artemis' case) is bad. Stage two involves the creation of an alternate personality; for Artemis, a romantic sop who called himself Orion and spent most of his time trying to woo Holly with bad poetry. On the plus side, the alternate personality doesn't suffer from the number problem.
- The Godspoken on the planet of Path in Orson Scott Card's Xenocide in the Ender's Game series were believed to commune with god with their strange rituals. Turns out that they were all inflicted with OCD by the Starways Congress to balance out their significantly above average intellect and keep them in line. Qing-jao's ritual is tracing woodlines until her anxiety and panic goes away. She and the other Godspoken of Path also exhibit other behaviors usually believed to be typical of OCD, such as excessive hand washing. This condition does have the bonus effect of making them very methodical workers; Qing-jao slowly and methodically looks at every possible piece of evidence and becomes the only person to realize the true identity of Demosthenes and the existence of a creature like Jane. A cure for the OCD is eventually created and spread through Path, letting them retain their brilliance without being subjected to the humilation caused by their rituals.
- It should be noted that the priests are fully aware of the existence of OCD. However, the normal drugs that help fight OCD don't work for the Godspoken.
- Colin Wall from The Casual Vacancy. His OCD manifests in constant thoughts and nightmares about heinous crimes he may have committed unintentionally, including murdering his best friend and pedophilia.
- The eponymous character in the Stephen King short story N..
- His doctor, Johnny Bonsaint eventually becomes like this as well, due to the influence of the field.
- Monk: They sometimes do portray this as a seriously debilitating illness, but just as often it's portrayed as funny. The idea is that he's Cursed with Awesome, so that he notices every detail of a crime scene, picking up clues that no one else would.
- In one episode, his doctor finds an effective drug that helps Monk tone down his OCD considerably, at the expense of his attention to detail. By the end of the episode he's back to his usual self.
- Ironically, Howie Mandel (also being OCD in real life) guest-starred as a cultist who tries to help Monk get over his condition when he spends time at their commune to investigate.
- Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. A good example is when the cushion that was "his spot" on the sofa was stained and he spent the time in which the cushion was being cleaned slowly going crazy, eventually going to the point where he was crouching over the spot where he used to sit. Howard tries to solve the problem by grabbing Rajesh's cushion and placing it in Sheldon's spot. Rajesh starts to complain, giving us:
Howard: Who cares where you sit? You are not crazy!
- In the thirty seconds it took Rajesh to find a new place to sit, Sheldon had found something unacceptable about the new cushion and the fun was restarted.
Sheldon: These shrimp are all the same size, there's no logical order to eat them in. [chucks them into the garbage can]
- Sheldon always has to knock on Penny's door 3 times and each knock is followed by him calling Penny's name. Penny at one point tries to mess up Sheldon's rhythm by opening the door and imitating what Sheldon does. He feels "that's just wrong."
- Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine gets this a lot, along with a very deep sense of justice. It makes him an excellent chief of security, as he will follow a case doggedly, running down options and suspects very swiftly. It also means he won't indulge in such little things as police brutality, meaning his cells tend to be the safest place for a criminal to stay. Dax got a lot of fun out of sneaking into his quarters and moving things around just a couple centimeters. When he later discovered his people, the Founders, it turned out "establishing order" is kind of their hat. On the other hand, their idea of order and his idea of justice were completely incompatible.
- Probably related to their biology. Shapeshifting must require superhuman attention to detail.
- At times, James May from Top Gear.
- Mrs. Benson on I Carly, flits between this and Neat Freak Depending on the Writer.
- Emma Pillsbury on Glee, a severe mysophobe with an irrational fear of germs. This has naturally made her one of the biggest Neat Freak ever, to the point that she cleans every grape individually before eating it and spends an hour cleaning a pencil sharpener.
- Some of the killers in Criminal Minds, including a man who is at one point seen washing his hands with what looks like a fresh bar of soap, then throwing it away after one use.
- The very second episode featured a girl with a severe fixation with the number three. It got to the point that she believed God was speaking to her through patterns involving it... He told her to burn things.
- Monica from Friends. She can tell if the furniture has been moved even an inch, and will have a near panic attack at the thought of it.
- How bad she was was really Depending on the Writer. In one episode, Chandler cleans the apartment to make Monica happy. When Monica came home, she did notice that things were moved, but she thought that the gesture was sweet.
- In Scrubs, Dr. Kevin Casey has extreme OCD. It gives him the benefit of practicing things over and over until he does them perfectly, but the drawback of practicing things over and OVER until he does them perfectly. He starts out every day by literally touching EVERYTHING in his first patient's room. He can't even enter the room without timing his last step to his breath. The effects of this are shown very deliberately at the end of the episode.
- In the Very Special Episode Emmy Bait parody on The Drew Carey Show Mimi has a relapse into Super Duper OCD, which Drew uses to his advantage.
- Bree from Desperate Housewives used to be very bad about this, though she did lighten up about it later on, and it's now been reduced to her making the occasional quip about using a coaster or keeping something straight or neat.
- In the early days? Let's just say that she and Rex might have had that reconciliation if it weren't for her being too distracted by a dripping burrito to continue. Unlike most examples on this page, however, it has also been played for drama, and was just one of many factors leading to her nervous breakdown at the end of season two.
- However, no one in the series call his behavior "obsessive compulsive", but rather "anal retentive".
- Used as a one-off gag in Kamen Rider Fourze: In episode 7, the Power Trio are in detention, along with the Jerk Jock and Goth girl. When they ask the Goth what she's in for, she explains that she hacked the school computer and deleted every single picture from a school event...because her hair ribbon was slightly off-kilter in one of the pictures.
- Played seriously eight episodes later. The Monster of the Week is a painter who really wants his painting to be perfect and will petrify anyone who disturbs him to get his wish...which includes the sweet little girl trying to help the Glee Club with a cute song about a satellite.
- Whitechapel has Joseph Chandler, a homicide detective, who is incredibly obsessed with neatness, as well as things being clean. His OCD is bad enough that he often stays at the Homicide Department overnight, making everything neat for the next day...only for him to end up spending the entire night doing this. It should be noted, however, that while most of the examples of Super OCD are Played for Laughs, Chandler's OCD is shown as an illness and a serious issue, rather then something used for comedy.
- On Being Human vampires who stop drinking blood try to develop daily patterns and routines so they can stop themselves from constantly thinking about blood and killing. Mitchell tried to build a 'normal' routine life for himself but kept failing. Hal managed to created complex daily rituals for himself and managed to suppress his vampire urges by religiously following them for over 50 years. However, this caused him to cut all contact with the outside world and when his routines are disrupted he becomes violent and unstable.
- While Danny Tanner in Full House is generally just a Neat Freak, he reaches Super OCD levels when his personal Christmas of Spring Cleaning time comes around. Another episode has the girls moving every single item on Danny's wall a few inches to the side because he'd otherwise notice the one thing they had to move to cover a hole in the wall.
- Hey, you're talking about a guy who cleans his cleaning supplies.
- Ryan Wolfe on CSI: Miami had it, though not to a really extreme degree.
- Very briefly comes up in Supernatural, when the brothers have to deal with The Fair Folk. One of the listed weaknesses that the faeries have is that if something is spilled in front of them (like grains of rice), they have to count it. Naturally, this comes in handy when it's time to give the bastards the bum rush.
Fairy: (As Sam is performing the un-summoning spell) One, two, three, four.... You *ass*.
- The Last Enemy has the protagonist, a brillian mathematician, who has an advanced form of OCD. When we first see him, he's on a plane wearing a hazmat suit because the guy next to him is coughing. He then runs to the bathroom and proceeds to thoroughly wash his hands... which he does through the series. Surprisingly, it's mostly related to cleanliness, so we never see him watch where he steps or repeat certain actions just because. When his ex meets him, she gives him a disinfectant wipe after they come out of a church.
- Of course, that same attention to detail is likely what enables him to be a great mathematician, but his social skills suffer as a result.
- Season 2 of The Hour introduces Randall Brown, who shows many symptoms of this trope, though his disorder is never actually named (justified for the 1950s setting, when psychology was less advanced,) thus averting the common media mistake of confusing OCD with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, whose symptoms he more accurately reflects. However, this trope is employed unconventionally; his disorder does not stop Randall from being an authoritative and effective manager, did not prevent him from having a relationship in the past (though it might have played a part in the relationship's failure) and it is generally not played for laughs. For most of the series it is not played for drama, either (it doesn't cause enough grief for that,) until he discovers that his daughter from the aforementioned relationship, (who he has never seen and has spent years trying to find,) died in an air raid, and his way of trying to cope with it is absolutely heartbreaking. Watch it here.
- Kathy in Vanities is an obsessive organizer, who has a nervous breakdown when things stops going according to her plans.
- Sion from Melty Blood. One point early in their meeting, Shiki calls her a "bastard." She gets very upset and informs him, that no, the acceptable word for insulting a woman is "bitch." Note, she's not insulted by the actual name calling, just that it's wrong.
- In the ending where she befriends both Shiki and Akiha; she takes alternating turns on siding with Shiki or Akiha when Shiki tries to sneak out of the house. Super OCD or True Neutral? Can't it be both?
- She also gets ticked off at the concept of "randomness". Being able to subdivide her mind into several rooms and analyze each possible outcome in a very short amount of time, she can figure out the outcomes of every (or at least many) possible series of events.
- The Neurotic trait in The Sims 3. Sims who have it will worry about random objects, obsess about their hygiene, and check and re-check things like the stove and the fireplace. It doesn't make them a Neat Freak, though, so for a proper case of Super OCD the player would have to combine it with the Neat trait.
- Mine Craft tends to evoke this trope in the players. You WILL have a specific way in which to order your inventory for maximum efficiency, and you will cringe EVERY time you see a Let's Play that has a person who does not stack all of their items properly.
- Don't forget about misplacing a block or leaving behind unmined ore.
- Adam Savage, in the Battle of the Sexes episode of MythBusters, admitted to feeling something akin to this while he was watching people pack cars during the course of the episode. He would wonder why a person was packing a car in a certain way, and then realize that they were doing things differently from how he would do it because they weren't him.
- Giratina in the Pokémon games. It's so obsessed with maintaining order between dimensions that it will violently attack anyone it perceives as a threat to either the Pokemon Universe and/or the Reverse/Distortion World. It got to the point where Arceus had to banish it to another dimension (IE: the aforementioned Reverse/Distortion World).
- SWAT 4 afflicts your AI teammates with this in singleplayer. If you order your squadmates to do anything to a door, they will neatly stack up on the door before doing anything else. So if you ordered all 4 of them over and one is being blocked from reaching his position (most often by you) they will incessantly tell you to move over and refuse to carry out their order until everyone is on the PIXEL.
- O.C. from OC And Dee is a quintessentially acute sufferer of OCD.
- Hannelore in Questionable Content, which is probably deliberate instead of not doing the research, because author Jeph Jacques himself has OCD. She appears to have both a fairly accurate case of OCD and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, and possibly a few phobias as well, not entirely unlike the Monk example. She also has some more problems that probably aren't the direct result of a mental illness, like some unfamiliarity with normal social protocol due to having a weird upbringing, and occasional hallucinations brought on by her chronic insomnia.
- She definitely has phobias, as a lot of fun has been had with her growing mistrust of tapirs.
- It comes and goes depending on what the joke requires; for example, when she was first introduced, she had a conversation with Marten while watching him pee in a sink, which would be unthinkable with her current characterization. This is semi-justified because she's constantly switching meds in a desperate search for a combination that will properly control all her varied and sundry neuroses, phobias, and disorders without reacting badly or slamming her with nasty side effects.
- Melody from Coming Up Violet qualifies as an example, and was once the page picture. Though, to be fair, it probably doesn't help that she's a hyperactive chinchilla in High School.
- Abner VanSlyk of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name is a diagnosed mysophobic. He's obsessed to the point of wearing gloves and a surgical mask while working.
- Mordecai Heller from Lackadaisy is this, as well as being completely sociopathic. In one of the pre-canon comics, he gave a long rant to the person he was about to murder about how his position on the back seat was throwing off the aesthetic balance of the car.
- Some (but probably not all) vampires in A Loonatic's Tale. In Job Hunting: Rehired, one character scatters change on the ground to distract the Cruor brothers. Lynch gets caught up counting the coins, but wealth-obsessed businessman Lee takes the cake, as he gets caught up counting the value of the coins.
- In Broodhollow, Zane needs things to be closed.
- Accord of Worm has a literal example of this—his extreme OCD is a side effect of his superpower. He shows all the traits of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, including an obsession with neatness in his environment. If something is insufficiently neat, he is compelled to eradicate it-whether it be an ill-designed piece of clothing or a particularly annoying person.
- Fractious of the Whateley Universe, whose Reality Warper powers tend to make things worse for her Super OCD. Her manifesting as a mutant also means her old meds don't work on her anymore, and she has the associated General Anxiety Disorder. Done pretty accurately: the author claims to be OC and to have a child with clinical OCD.
- To put it another way, she's based on Diane Castle, who is practically the poster child for Shown Their Work.
- This video features someone with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
- The Nostalgia Critic is a rare example where the person isn't shown cleaning all the time. Instead he obsesses over tiny things and repeatedly brings them up during a review and later ones.
- The Antibody of the Slenderseries OneHundredYardStare has such symptoms. No, he doesn't clean either, but for example has extreme anxieties (also paranoia, but that's standard issue in the genre), he keeps track of time to the minute and has some Insane Troll Logic plans on how restore the order of the world.
- In real life symptoms of OCD can vary hugely; while some people are obsessed with order, others are afraid of contamination and will not touch certain objects or wash their hands repeatedly. Other people don't have any outward compulsions and count in their heads or avoid going near objects or situations that trigger their OCD. And while OCD can have its funny Narmish moments, it is definitely not funny for the sufferer.
- However, a lot of people misuse OCD to refer to a much happier kind of obsessive personality, which is a common feature of autism, where the person is about as likely to Squee with joy at order as Freak Out about disorder.
- Too many people, and not just TV writers, do not do the research when it comes to OCD. Sometimes it does entail needing to take a certain number of steps, wash your hands in a specific way, or any other number of little rituals, but just as often it means that sufferers become quite literally obsessed with specific topics, to the point where they suffer panic attacks, go on angry tangents, have fits of depression, and simply cannot stop thinking about a given topic. Other sufferers find themselves having horrible, obsessive thoughts that they can't get rid of. Such thoughts are often completely absurd or morally abhorrent, but the sufferer finds that they end up harboring those thoughts anyway, and can be just as horrified by them as any other person who learned about them.
- To further emphasize the above: People who suffer from OCD in the second way described above (sometimes called "pure-O OCD" to reflect the lack of obvious compulsions) are fully aware of how absurd, pathological, or abhorrent their thoughts are and understand that they have no basis in reality (thus distinguishing these thoughts from psychosis). And elaborating on the explanation of compulsions below: despite how the media portrays OCD as people engaging in seemingly arbitrary and meaningless activities for the hell of it, these activities are carefully calculated to ward off the obsessive thoughts precisely because the sufferer knows how abhorrent they would seem to other people.
- Actually, the 'signature' of OCD is, in fact, the obsessive thoughts. The behaviors — the 'compulsive' part — function to relieve the stress of the obsessive thoughts. Basically? The behaviors are when the obsessive thoughts gets worse, while the behaviors without the thought patterns aren't OCD.
- Also, what most media present as OCD is really OCPD, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, which is similar to OCD but where the sufferer may act as these things are rules not just for themselves but for their families, and which is more characterized by the actions than by the obsessive thoughts. The Other Wiki speaks.
- OCD is also by definition irrational behavior, which means they have particular idiosyncrasies that offhand don't seem to match up. Someone may spend 10 minutes washing their hands after going to the bathroom but are perfectly fine having dirty dishes in the sink. OCD is based on what the individual perceives as disorder and their behavior is about finding some way to establish order. Since the entire world is very disorderly, managing the disorder is about finding what degree of order is acceptable.
- And some people are OCD about thinking they're going to Hell. This is called scrupulosity, and the worst fears involve sinning in thought.
- Even worse, OCD can develop right the fuck outta nowhere.
- Marc Summers, the host of Double Dare and What Would You Do? has OCD. These were two of the messiest and most disorganized games ever to hit TV. He mentions that going to work every day was a battle and he was actually happy when both shows went off the air. This has the effect of making him a major Bad Ass amongst fans. You can now see him as the host of Unwrapped on the Food Network. Pay attention to the table where the various foods he's talking about are laid out. Everything is ordered and laid out very specifically.
- Howie Mandel is also a sufferer. Watch him on Deal or No Deal - he doesn't shake hands, he bumps fists. Presumably, this is also part of why he shaves his head. He wrote a book about it.
- Quantum bogosort. Makes you wonder if the universe is made of this.
It uses true quantum randomness to randomly permute the list. The list is then inspected, and if it is not in order, the universe is destroyed.
- Sometimes the superstitions that sports stars have can seriously border on this but a special mention has to go to Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics who cannot seem to pass a piece of paper on the floor without picking it up and gets mad at teammates if they mess up his rituals as well.
- Howard Hughes was so Obsessive Compulsive about contamination, he peed in jars for years. And kept them in order, too. This was heavily detailed in The Aviator, giving the Freudian Excuse that a community-wide disease scare when he was little caused His Beloved Smother to vigorously hand wash him and intone "you are not safe."
- Leonardo DiCaprio has it as well. He steadfastly fights it at every turn, claiming that he refuses to step through doorways multiple times or step on every patch of chewing gum on the pavement that he sees to stop it taking over his life. Must be an absolute killer when he's learning his lines...
- He also played the above-mentioned Howard Hughes in The Aviator
- The Stunt-coordinator for Inception mentioned in the making-off how he loved to work with Leonardo sice he could create the most death-defying stunts with only a square-foot of safe area on the set, trusting Leonardo with a 100% certainty that he would hit that foot on cue every time.
- British footballer David Beckham has OCD. He says he has to put all the leaflets you get in hotels in order in a drawer, which is probably hell as (being a footballer) he must travel a lot.
- Jesse Eisenberg has OCD, although he has never elaborated on the specifics on his compulsions.
- Joey Ramone of the Ramones struggled with OCD for most of his life and committed himself to a mental hospital when he was eighteen years old. His younger brother details Ramone's OCD in his family memoir I Slept With Joey Ramone and also in a number of interviews. Joey Ramone's compulsions included leaving the tap on and flipping lights on and off, which his brother said he had to learn to deal with. Former Ramones manager Danny Fields gets frustrated in a documentary discussing Joey's compulsive behavior while touring, which included touching every other picket on a staircase and would frustrate the rest of the band and road personnel because he would often cause delays with his compulsive actions. ("C'mon, Joey, we have to get to Buffalo tonight...")
- Many of the symptoms of several types of autism overlap those of OCD, including obsessive thoughts and rigidly ritualistic behavior.
- Todd Haberkorn (the English dub actor behind Death the Kid) admitted he had a very mild case of OCD himself.
- It's very likely that also Nikola Tesla had OCD. He was obsessed with order, cleanliness and numbers (especially three).
- Ray Allen has this, he always takes the exact same seat on a plane and follows several pre-game routines.
- Saint Alphonsus Liguori suffered from a religious version of OCD, known as scrupulosity. It's also theorized that Martin Luther may have been afflicted with it as well, but as these theories also move into trying to explain the Catholic-Protestant split let's leave it at that.
- Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford theorizes that OCD may have inspired religious ceremony and ritual in the first place.