Dr Oz: Am I Super Organized or OCD?
Do you like to keep things neat and tidy? Dr Oz said that sometimes this is a personality trait, but in other cases, it could be a sign that you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Check out Dr Oz’s quiz to find out which side you may fall on, and learn about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Dr Oz: Organized Vs OCD
Psychiatrist Dr Sue Varma helped to define the line between organization and OCD. The goal of organization is efficiency and better quality of life, but OCD patients often get bogged down in minutiae.
“Organization is a means to an end of getting a job done. It’s not the end in and of itself,” Dr Varma said.
Dr Oz and Dr Varma met three women who call themselves Super Organizers. Sonya has extremely organized closets. Jessalyn makes elaborate to do lists each day. Susan loves to alphabetize and organize the cabinets in her kitchen.
Play along with this five-question quiz to see whether your extreme organization might actually be OCD.
Dr Oz: What Age Did Organization Start?
Around what age did you become super organized?
Jessalyn said that becoming a working mom led her to get organized. Dr Varma said that patients who have OCD will usually say they had some aspect of perfectionism throughout life. Those who are very organized often become that way after facing a life challenge.
Dr Oz: Do You Enjoy Organizing?
Do you enjoy organizing?
Susan said that organizing helps to calm the chaos of her life and give her some peace. Dr Varma said that enjoying these types of tasks is a good sign. Patients with OCD are more likely to report that they feel anxious when engaging in these types of behaviors.
Dr Oz: Does Organizing Interfere with Commitments?
Have you been late or missed plans because you were organizing?
No one on the panel said they had been late or missed an appointment. In fact, being organized helps you to be on time or early for appointments. Jessalyn said she is task-oriented and makes time even for chores, such as laundry or going to the bank.
If you do miss appointments, that is more likely to be a signal of the Functional Impairment of OCD.
Dr Oz: Fight with Spouse or Co-Worker?
Has being organized ever caused a fight with a spouse or co-worker?
Sonya said that her friends think she is a neat freak, but it has never driven a wedge between them. In fact, they ask her for organizational tips. Dr Varma told Dr Oz that people having a good attitude about this habit means it is probably not OCD.
But if you get anxious when people are not doing things exactly the right way for you, you might need to be concerned about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Dr Oz: Do Messes Make You Anxious?
Rate your anxiety from 1 to 5 when you see a mess.
Finally, Dr Oz unveiled a messy closet and asked women to rate their reactions. Jessalyn said it did upset her to see the mess, but she would be able to ignore it because she knows it is not her problem.
Dr Oz: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
If your answers or other factors make you think you might have OCD, what should you do? Dr Varma told Dr Oz that she focuses on three things when she does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for conditions such as OCD.
- Mindfulness: Live in the moment and focus on the task at hand.
- Exposure Therapy: Slowly expose yourself to increasingly higher anxiety triggers so you can habituate.
- Distraction: Find outlets and indulgences that can help you get relief from anxiety.