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Compulsive obsession

By Nickunj Malik - Feb 26,2014 - Last updated at Feb 26,2014

What a wonderful scientific world we live in these days where medical advancement has ensured we have longer, pain free lives. Most of the diseases can be diagnosed and treated by the innate skills of the physicians and surgeons. Jordan is a country especially popular as a healthcare hub in the Middle East, where scores of patients troop in on a regular basis. The doctors are exceptionally brilliant and have a cure for almost all bodily ailments. 

There is no dearth of psychologists and psychiatrists here too. The shrinks, as they are commonly called in colloquial slang, are people who look after our mental well-being. So if one is suffering from depression, melancholy, despair or an unexplained bout of sadness, one seeks them out. 

I was always intrigued with the idea of visiting a shrink. The closest I have ever come to one is via a Woody Allen movie. For some reason, a majority of his films have scenes that are shot in a shrink’s chamber. The doctor usually sits behind a desk while the patient half lies on a couch-like sofa. In this posture, the specialist listens to the constant chatter that pours forth from the sufferer. Occasionally, he jots down notes on a writing pad or if the prattle subsides, he prods the talker with some pertinent queries. 

I liked this portrayal of psychologists; I really did. I mean, I lived in a house where nobody had the time or inclination to listen to my complaints. And here was a person whose sole occupation was to hear me out. I could not wait to get myself to a Hollywood-type shrink. All I needed was an appropriate ailment which would help me get an appointment with one of them. 

I am not really an unhappy person so depression was ruled out. I do not have much patience for melancholia and sadness also but I do call myself a perfectionist and like to keep my home and hearth spotlessly neat and clean. I do not think that is a negative quality but if I presented it as an obsessive compulsive disorder then maybe the doctor would give me that much needed chatter session on the couch.  

Moreover, I was fascinated with both the words obsession and compulsion. The former means being continuously preoccupied with a fixed idea, feeling or emotion and the latter is an irresistible urge to behave in a particular manner despite the consequences. I admired obsessive compulsion. The only disturbing thing was the “disorder” term associated with it. 

Next day I called up the clinic and fixed a scheduled time with the consultant. At the appointed hour I presented myself at the hospital. The doctor made me sit at his desk while he excused himself to make a call. 

I saw his table was cluttered with knick-knacks. Before I could stop myself, I tidied it all up, putting the magazines in a neat stalk, pens in the pen stand and the used coffee cup in the side tray. 

“What are you doing?” asked the shrink.

“I am just putting things in order,” I smiled. 

“Why?” he inquired.

“It was messy so I cleared it,” I replied.

“It was my mess,” he said belligerently. 

“But it was on my side of the table,” I insisted. 

“Confirmed OCD,” he stated.

“You or me?” I muttered under my breath.

“What did you say?” he thundered. 

“‘Nothing! I have to go, sorry,” I said, beating a hasty retreat. 

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