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Wed, Mar. 6th, 2013, 10:51 pm
This is How OCD Works

Obsessive-compulsive disorder:

is an anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions).

A psychiatric disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions, such as cleaning, checking, counting, or hoarding.

a psychoneurotic disorder in which the patient is beset with obsessions or compulsions or both and suffers extreme anxiety or depression through failure to think the obsessive thoughts or perform the compelling acts


So I have a stack of unread magazines that I'm behind on reading. Never mind that periodicals go out of date after a certain time; I have to read them in order. I can't just throw out the old ones, and read the current ones. So I decided to read a couple and whittle down the stack today. Read one magazine today.

There were six articles in this magazine of particular interest to me, information which I would either like to learn more about or that I might like to refer back to at some future date. (Yes, I confess, I am an information hoarder.) Two of those articles had corresponding books for more information. I downloaded samples of those books to my Kindle. What started as one magazine is now two books that I have to read. The other four articles could not be replaced satisfactorily by a book.

In general, I try not to save magazines as a whole, because when saved chronologically the chances of me going back to those magazines and using the information contained is virtually nil. What I prefer to do is remove the information I want and put that article into a report cover, which can then be filed by subject with my other nonfiction books and articles. Multiple articles on the same topic are often filed in the same cover. I now encounter the next problem.

Currently, my non-fiction is filed using a modified Dewey-decimal system, which I have found to be suboptimal for my purposes. There are too many wretched numbers and whenever I have a new subject I have to insert a number; I wasn't using all of the Dewey categories, just the ones I have interests in, and my interests are subject to change from time to time. Awhile back, I'd decided to switch my system to something closer to what the Library of Congress uses the Brinkler system. First, I would alphabetize by subject (using the first 3 or 4 letters of that subject), and then classify by number. This makes it much easier to add in subjects, not to mention find things without having to consult some cumbersome list. Only, the size of the task was daunting enough that I haven't done it yet.

You see, I've labeled the spines of all of my non-fiction books. And I was waiting until I got new book shelves before I went ahead and re-labeled all the books all over again. And people wonder why I get so overwhelmed....

That's right, reading ONE MAGAZINE has morphed into reading two books, clipping four articles into report covers (including making color copies for certain pages since some of the articles are on the backs of other pages), re-labeling my entire non-fiction library, and buying and assembling two bookshelves. And it's a magazine so old any non-OCD person would have thrown it out without looking at it, but even thinking about doing such a thing drives me into a state of pure panic attack, because heaven forbid I lose a 3-year-old study on visual processing ability and Asperger's or the ethical behavior patterns exhibited among canids.

This also explains why my inbox is as tall as my head.

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Fri, Mar. 8th, 2013 09:24 pm (UTC)

Boots ... Obsessive-compulsive disorder