I do things compulsively, but is this really OCD?  I don't check the locks 20 times before bed, and I don't flip light switches on and off in a ritualistic manner before I leave the bathroom.  I do, however, pull out my hair, strand at a time, in order to twist it around my fingers and break it into smaller pieces (this just started in the last year).  I chew my fingernails until my fingertips ache the next day.  That I've been doing for as long as I can remember.  And I eat, and I eat, and I eat.  I have to eat in increments.  If it's cookies or candies, I eat in even numbers–twos, fours, eights.  Even if cookies sound unappetizing because I've already eaten so many, if there are two left I'll eat them because I know I won't stop until they're gone.  I've always had weight problems.  I was heavy growing up and lost about 60 pounds in high school.  But, with my new-found slenderness, I went overboard in order to maintain.  I didn't eat sugar for 13 months.  I didn't drink any soda (regular or diet) for about 3 years.  I would challenge myself to see how long I could go without eating period.  When I knew I couldn't be anorexic because I just love food too much, bulimia was the obvious choice.  I did that for awhile until I was caught by my mom.  Once I moved away to college, I drastically cut back my eating.  I would have one sandwich a day.  Light white bread with turkey and maybe a slice of cheese, onion, and mustard.  I would get stomach cramps every day after dinner because my body wasn't used to food.  I would weigh myself multiple times a day.  That went on for almost a year.  Now I just inhale food–hungry or not–and I just keep going back to food because i love the experience of tasting and chewing, the textures and the flavors.  I look forward to times when I know I'll be alone at home so that I can eat without having to be embarrassed or accountable for how much I eat.

I guess what I'm saying is, I don't feel like I have a "disorder;" I just feel like I don't have any will-power.  Which makes me feel even worse about how I eat, how I can't resist chewing my fingernails or pulling out my hair.  I don't want to be an overweight, nub-fingered, balding woman…logically.  But my behaviors say otherwise.  I want to control it but I don't know how to.  But that sounds so stupid because the only way to control it is to not do destructive things to myself, obviously.  So, is this OCD?  I don't know, but I do know I have compulsive tendencies.  Any advice on how to manage any of the above?

1 Comment
  1. ancientgeekcrone 12 years ago

    I recommend therapy and the book Brain Lock.

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