My One OCD Thing—Oof!

OCD—Can Anyone Have a Touch of This?

I’ve always been interested in psychology. That’s why I majored in physiological psych in college. I ended getting a PhD in neuroscience (just like Eric Beckman!).

Three characters in Sanity’s Thief benefited from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) medication. For example, the Ann Arden character suffered from aboulomania—pathological indecisiveness. But none of the characters had the kind of symptoms we usually associate with OCD: excessive hand washing, repeatedly checking that the door is locked, etc.

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Most people think something like this: “Jeez! Why don’t they just lock the damn door and remember that they locked it?” Well, I might have thought the same thing, except that I have this one OCD thing that lets me understand what it’s like.

Here it is: When I’m driving in a car, I have the obsessive idea that my shirt is riding up on my back. I lean forward and pull it down. I know it isn’t sliding up, but seconds after I’ve adjusted my shirt, I start to think it needs adjustment again. I say to myself, “No, it’s fine, you don’t have to adjust it,” but it doesn’t help, and the longer I go, the stronger my compulsion to fix the nonexistent problem gets. I’ve had this problem for decades.

If I distract myself, I can forget about it, but sometimes I find myself unconsciously adjusting my shirt. Very weird.

It just goes to show that some mental issues cannot be fixed with conscious thought. Depression is like that, too. The person may know, intellectually, that everything’s fine, but still have a feeling of hopelessness (I have a big depression subplot in my upcoming book, Conclusive Evidence).

I wonder how many people have a touch of OCD. Do you?

Upcoming Books

Conclusive Evidence is in the competent hands of my editor, and I’ll have it for you soon (in the next newsletter).

I’m outlining the book, The Extended Stillness, and I’ve been having some plot problems—ach! Writing is hard! The first sentence of The Extended Stillness may be something like this:

Jumping into the Pacific in the black of night, twenty miles from shore, was a bad idea, but I couldn’t desert my wife.

Here’s picture of the boat Faith is going to jump from:

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Check out the current crop of bargains.

Steals and Deals

Until next time,

Al

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