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Feb 17, 2022
Hey everyone,

It has been a while since I last posted. I am sorry that sometimes I make posts like these but I feel a lot of shame and sadness now. I'm really sorry but this will be a long post. And I don't mean to make it long I am just distressed...

I have been distressed over this last couple of days.

The main thing I wanted to ask is if there is a type of OCD that is based on list making?

I have been through shame and embarrassment these last couple of days, because in the group sessions/ psychiatry session I am in, it has come to light the way that I make lists and they are all saying that all this time I have had OCD without no one knowing.

It's apparently because of this kind of behavior:

It's because it got brought up in group that I didn't do any work because I have been busy since Saturday trying to buy some clothes. And so I explained that it was a bit difficult to do, because of the way I buy clothes. Which is that I essentially go through all possible fashion websites, and general housing websites maybe like 9-10 websites, , as much as I can find. Then I go through the entire 6 month's worth of articles per website, and I record every single article. Then I take these articles, and I catalogue every single item available for purchase, the website links that lead to these items, without judgement. I do this with a few months ahead of preparations. No matter the cost, I catalogue it. Then when the season is past, it is time to buy something, because supposedly things are more affordable after six months pass because it is out of season. So then I gather all of this catalogued items of clothing, and I organize it into lists, based on divided categories of items, and pricing. My list is more than 200 pages now. So because it is more than 200 pages, then I have to do sub categories that are more specialized of the items, to ensure I pair similar ones together. Then I divide it by websites of the specific items to purchase. The whole point is to distinguish what pieces of clothing have similar patterns, so that I can make a decision of what to buy, based on average availability and pricing.

I use this process to buy items, and it is the only way I buy items. The whole premise is thoroughness to ensure that I use my money the wisest way possible since I don't have much while also buying the right item.

Sorry for describing all of that. I showed her all my cataloguing and my psychiatrist was shocked. Then she asked about my shoes I was wearing for instance, and I said I have only worn one pair of shoes for five years because it has never been a result from the list process of elimination that I do to buy new shoes.

Then she asked if I do lists similar to this one for other things. And I told her I do the same thing for buying food, for instance I did the weekly process of listing for food and one week it resulted that the only recipes I could make was for pancakes, so I only ate pancakes for an entire week and nothing else. I told her I do lists for everything that entails me making a decision. I also told her I do lists for other kinds of non essentials, such as when I was entering university, I did an entire cataloguing of every single class in the university, then catalogued every single required or recommended reading from every single class in the school, along with pricing and places to purchase every book. Also catalogued the syllabuses for all classes.

So I don't know I'm sorry this was probably a bunch of rambling. She said that I can't keep living this way of only making decisions based on lists, she said that it was clearly affecting my life. But the problem is that I don't know how to make decisions without a list. This is the only way I have been living for more than ten years. I never considered this to be a thing that needed to be addressed. I don't know of a life without this.

So I feel really distressed and hopeless as having to admit these habits which apparently are very abnormal? I don't know maybe they are or I'm not sure at this point.

Regardless, I feel a lot of shame and embarrassment, and honestly just wish I was dead a long time ago.


Mar 26, 2020
If not classic OCD, there are some overlapping components. While OCD may have physiological / neurological elements, there can also by psychological ones. Often the discomfort of anxieties can be reduced if one has methods to alleviate them. Sometimes these methods exaggerate a sense of control that is used to assuage the fears that can drive anxiety.

Using the example of list making and research prior to expenditures, it seems to be carrying prudence further than most people use.

Most are less diligent and can as a result spend more or even be occasionally scammed. What may complicate your situation is that if you spend "X" amount of time researching a particular purchase, you might have been able to find out all you needed to know in 1/10 X amount of time. The other 9/10 X might be peripheral interest generated during your search or may be time spent trying to reduce your anxiety.

You may wish to experiment with a low risk part of your life and see if you can reduce your usual research to see if you might gain some confidence in your ability to make reflexive instead of considered purchases. This could be useful in repetitive purchases.


Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
I used to have a friend who was always writing lists. More 'to do' type lists which were never really followed through on because there were too many of them. Since it was so disorganised, though, it has little in common with what you describe. He also had quite severe hoarding tendencies and struggled with managing time and money due to perfectionism and poor prioritisation. I think some of his issues related to a pathological fear of financial lack.

For me, pathological money issues manifested differently. I tended to cut corners in terms of basic lifestyle, including avoiding unnecessary trips and even eating poorly, so that I could instead spend on larger items with long-term value. It kind of worked out, though. I'm still too cheap to drive the car except on special occasions, yet I paid off my house...
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