Obsessive-compulsive disorder

I was reading about Howard Hughes, when it struck me that his story was perhaps the story of America, and perhaps of Western civilisation. Here was a man who was a multi-millionaire daredevil flyer, and who dated Hollywood starlets, but who ended up naked in a hotel room, his hair unkempt and his fingernails uncut, shuffling around with kleenex boxes on his feet, terrified of dirt and germs. He had developed Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a human anxiety disordercharacterized by involuntary intrusive thoughts. When a sufferer begins to acknowledge these intrusive thoughts, the sufferer then develops anxiety based on the dread that something bad will happen. The sufferer feels compelled to voluntarily perform irrational, time-consuming behaviors to diminish the anxiety… Its symptoms, ranging from repetitive hand-washing to preoccupation with sexual, religious, or aggressive impulses, wreak havoc in people’s lives, and often cause severe emotional and economic loss.
 

Doesn’t that sound all too familiar? Isn’t antismoking a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder, a dread that something terrible might happen – like maybe getting lung cancer or heart disease? And isn’t there something compulsive, irrational, and time-wasting about their incessant drive to stop people smoking?And isn’t it wreaking havoc in people’s lives, resulting in severe emotional and economic losses, as pubs and clubs are emptied?

Recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and that cause marked anxiety or distress.
 
Doesn’t that description fit those antismokers who can’t stand the sight of a cigarette, or even something that looks like a cigarette?
 
The thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems.
 
Isn’t being bothered by secondhand smoke a bit of an excessive worry? Isn’t it a worry about an entirely imaginary problem? One that simply doesn’t exist at all?
 
Repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.
 
Well, there are the crazily rigid rules and the No Smoking signs that forbid smoking everywhere.

Moreover, the obsessions or compulsions must be time-consuming (taking up more than one hour per day), cause distress, or cause impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning

Check. Check. Check. Never mind one hour a day: these guys have full time jobs. And what they do impairs the functioning of society in every respect.

Other major subtypes of OCD frequently revolve around washing or checking; some sufferers may fear the presence of human body secretions such as saliva, blood, semen, sweat, tears, vomit, or mucus, or excretions such as urine or feces. 

Or tobacco smoke.

These anxiety-driven fears often result in various compulsive cleaning behaviours, and may cause a person to experience significant distress, which may make it difficult for a person with OCD to tolerate a workplace, venture into public locations, or conduct normal social relationships.

Yeah,  "Smokefree" pubs, intolerable unless cleansed of the smoky human secretions.

For example, when somebody suffering from OCD leaves the house, they might tap the door knob 9 times and if they do not they will go into distress, panic and even at certain times, they will pass out. 

I wonder if Sir Liam Donaldson does that?

There are many different theories about the cause of obsessive–compulsive disorder. The majority of researchers believe that there is some type of abnormality with the neurotransmitter serotonin,… It is hypothesized that OCD sufferers may have blocked or damaged receptor sites that prevent serotonin from functioning to its full potential. This suggestion is supported by the fact that many OCD patients benefit from the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)—a class of antidepressant medications that allow for more serotonin to be readily available to other nerve cells.
 

Now, what was that other treatment that served to boost serotonin levels? It’s on the tip of my tongue. Oh, I remember. Nutrition Research, Volume 22, Issue 12, Pages 1445-1452, December 2002
 

Nicotine administration increases serotonin synthesis
So they just need to take up smoking, and they’ll be as right as rain in no time.

And they tell us we’re "addicts", FFS.

 
 

About Frank Davis

smoker
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1 Response to Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  1. smokervoter says:

    Here’s a quick study of five late onset OCD friends of mine.

    Betty – I think she actually smoked at one time in her life. I built a patio off the backside of her home once and noticed that she would take the excess cut-offs of wood and put them in a trash bag and then put that trash bag inside of another and then put them into the trash bin. She has clear rubber runners over the pristine carpeting throughout her house.

    About smoking she was very hospitable and forgiving. She supplied me with three ashtrays, outside of course. She would do the same routine with the cigarette butts as the wood cut-offs.

    She’s a very sweet and kind person. I love her to death.

    Tom & Greg – Both are antismokers who have all the default scientific arguments down pat. They’re both illiberal Democrats and especially Tom. He’s been known to throw Republicans out of his downtown shop. However I get along very well with both of them and they both put up with me smoking around them quite well. They both know that I can box very well.

    Ralph – He’s a smoker that is riddled with guilt. He’s always saying that he should quit, that they cost too much and can rattle off how much money he could save by quitting, but when you watch him smoke you can tell that he supremely enjoys it. He inhales deeply and gets that self satisfied look while he exhales. He constantly looks at his watch to see what time it is.

    I think that his 20-year stint in the Navy caused his OCD. A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Shoes spit shined sailor!

    Lynn – She’s one of my ex-girlfriends. I was her first love – she was my second first love. She does all the hand waving stuff and runs 15-20 feet away when I light one up, it’s hilarious to watch. She used to smoke twice as much as I do and drank twice as much as well. Two days a year – her birthday and New Years – she drinks and smokes.

    Her OCD thing is locking doors, dust and debris, and constantly wondering whether she locked her house up. I remodeled a property she owns. She expected me to vacuum up after every saw cut and the project took forever as a result. She also locked us out of her house on a Sunday – resulting in a $65 locksmith bill and two long wasted hours of my time. I finally broached the OCD topic with her during the incident. She’s got a Masters degree yet she’d had never heard of OCD.

    What perplexes me about her is the old chicken vs egg paradox. Did the OCD cause the antismoking or did her quitting cause the OCD? She wasn’t that way back in our deeply romantic days at all or there wouldn’t have been a romance at all. I am about as un-OCD as is humanly possible. I often forget to lock the house when I leave. I had a car stolen once because I was in the habit of leaving the keys in the ignition so that I wouldn’t have to remember where I’d put them. I’ve got a spot in the kitchen right by the back door for them to hang on now. I don’t own a watch.

    I smoke unabashedly and make zero apologies to anyone for doing so.

    I sure hope this comment sticks – there’s a lot to it.

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