The Politics of a Punk Rock Poser (Part III)

Matt Maday

I became a victim of the “magical thinking” symptoms associated with OCD. I feared that if I wrote a word, phrase, or sentence incorrectly, I would somehow cause physical and spiritual ruin to befall people around me, especially people I loved or sympathized deeply with. It was terrifying as a child to go through this, and when I later, as an adult, told my family about what I went through, they became hostile toward me and treated me as dangerous. I suppose I was right to keep this a secret from them, and I made a huge error in thinking that they would understand, even though my symptoms are classic symptoms of OCD. My parents would have known this if they had done the proper research. Instead, they subscribed to, and continue to subscribe to, prejudicial ideas about me and my mental disorder.

After undergoing years of counseling and treatment with medication and completing a B.A. in psychology, I have some much-needed insight into psychological disorders in general and especially insight into OCD. Those diagnosable with OCD typically score high on the “conscientiousness” scale of a personality inventory called the NEO, so it made sense that I was so conscientious and caring, but I was sympathetic to the point where I felt like I had to protect myself from inflicting imaginary damage on the world. I had the “hypermorality” that comes with OCD, the tendency to believe I would have to strictly adhere to every rule, to strictly adhere to every possible moral code that I had been familiarized with. And in short, this is too much to burden one person with.

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