Out of every 100 adults in Singapore, three of them suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, according to findings from the Singapore Mental Health Study. In many cases, those individuals are undiagnosed, forced to live with the reality of the illness every day without any treatment structure or support.

Perfectionism or OCD?

The people of Singapore are known for their emphasis on efficiency and excellence. There’s a tendency toward perfectionism, a drive towards being the very best. Singaporeans take pride in their conscientious, punctual, perfectionistic natures. While these are laudable qualities, they can lead to goals becoming obsessions; and they can incite a constant feeling of anxiety or stress. For some people, it’s more than being responsible and detail-oriented— it’s actually a restrictive, harmful mental health issue known as obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.

Obsession and the Scientific Mind

Jerome Groopman, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, wrote an article for The New Yorker that questioned “whether scientists and other driven, detail-oriented professionals” might have neurological circuitry resembling that of people with diagnosed OCD. Perhaps people with obsessive compulsive tendencies are simply attracted to certain areas of science and business where their personality traits are an asset. One scientist, a molecular biologist named Laurence Lasky, claims to have certain compulsions and obsessions that make him extremely anxious, but that also benefit his process and stimulate his creativity.

The Tendency Vs. the Disorder

However, the kind of obsession that drives a person towards a goal is different from the kind of obsession associated with true OCD. A person with OCD doesn’t have control over the types of obsessions and compulsions that govern his or her life. A man suffering from OCD doesn’t choose to lock, re-lock, check, and triple-check his front door several times before he can manage to leave for work. A woman with OCD doesn’t choose to wash her hands several times with each visit to the restroom. These behaviours are driven by mental pain and anxiety, and they have no laudable goal at the end.

The Cost of OCD

The actions of a person with OCD may seem odd, ridiculous, or bizarre to other people. However, those actions represent real internal pain and stress for the sufferer. A tiny doubt takes root and turns into full-fledged anxiety that is only assuaged by the repeated behaviour. The constant repetition of various behaviours takes time, so a person with OCD may find that he has less time for friends, family, relaxation, entertainment, or work. People have lost jobs and relationships because of their OCD, especially if they are not seeking treatment for the disorder.

The Path to Recovery

If you or a loved one suffers from symptoms consistent with OCD, visit a psychiatrist in Singapore for an evaluation and a diagnosis. At Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, we offer a caring, warm environment and a supportive staff. We’ll ensure that your information and personal details are kept private and secure, and we’ll offer you the best treatment options available, ranging from medication to therapy. In time, your painful, unwanted symptoms can be reduced significantly, helping you live a happier, more enjoyable life.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, 7 February, 2017