Compulsiveness Spells Business Failure

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     Yes, you are the boss. And yes, you are expected to wear many hats.  Aside from critically important financial and operations management, your two most important hats are people-related: Customer Sales and Service, and Human Resource Management.

     In other words, on top of everything else, you need to be a shrink!  Not a treating MD-Psychiatrist, but a savvy leader who stays tuned in to your staff and each person’s needs and progress. You also need to be as Thoreau once advised: forever on the alert.

     If you observe any OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) behavior happening,  nip it in the bud before it brings your business to its knees. All of us it seems have some degree of obsessiveness and compulsiveness, but OCD is when it goes over the top. And even then, it’s legitimate, and it’s usually a treatable problem.

     What to do:  Don’t jump to conclusions. Be empathetic and understanding in approaching a suspected OCD person. Lawyers might advise including a third person in the exchange. Arrange for professional help. Check the following symptoms and consider shifting job responsibilities to a less-sensitive area pending physician feedback.   

What are some common obsessions?

  • Fear of dirt or germs
  • Disgust with bodily waste or fluids
  • Concern with order, symmetry (balance) and exactness
  • Worry that a task has been done poorly, even when the person knows this is not true
  • Fear of thinking evil or sinful thoughts
  • Thinking about certain sounds, images, words or numbers all the time
  • Need for constant reassurance
  • Fear of harming a family member or friend

What are some common compulsions?

  • Cleaning and grooming, such as washing hands, showering or brushing teeth over and over again
  • Checking drawers, door locks and appliances to be sure they are shut, locked or turned off
  • Repeating, such as going in and out of a door, sitting down and getting up from a chair, or touching certain objects several times
  • Ordering and arranging items in certain ways
  • Counting over and over to a certain number
  • Saving newspapers, mail or containers when they are no longer needed
  • Seeking constant reassurance and approval

     How common is OCD?  Some recent studies show that as many as 3 million Americans ages 18 to 54 may have OCD at any given time. It affects men and women equally.

     What causes OCD?  There’s no single, proven cause. Some research shows that it may have to do with brain chemicals that carry messages from one nerve cell to another. One of these chemicals, serotonin, helps keep people from repeating the same behaviors over and over again. Someone with OCD may not have enough serotonin. Many people with OCD can function better when they take medicines that increase the amount of serotonin in their brain.

     Are other illnesses associated with OCD?  People who have OCD often have other kinds of anxiety, like phobias (such as fear of spiders or fear of flying) or panic attacks. They may also have depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an eating disorder, or a learning disorder such as dyslexia. Having one or more of these disorders can make diagnosis and treatment more difficult, so it’s important to talk to a medical doctor about any symptoms present.

Source:  and

The American Academy of Family Physicians

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