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June 27, 2013 / trajsingh

OCD the new black?

According to an enjoyable Grauniad article about OCD, it’s fashionable these days to claim one is anal-retentive, a completer-finisher and obsessed with details. The author makes the case that this is something new, but I’m unconvinced. It reminds me of the old interview response to the question about what are you bad at (oh, I’m a terrible perfectionist, I don’t suffer fools gladly, etc).

I do think however that it is a change for the UK. Many years ago it was about effortless success – let’s not break a sweat as we cruise through life in a crisp shirt and immaculately polished oxfords. Now it is more fashionable to show the effort, but this is most likely imported from the USA, as is so much in popular culture. Can more stories about ritalin and over-caffination be far behind?

Asides from the dubious practice of co-opting an illness as a badge of honor, I welcome this desire to be seen to be detail-oriented. Goodness knows we could do with more people who focus on actually getting things done, having a sense of discipline, and applying some elbow grease to a problem. Better than wanting to be famous by getting on to a reality TV show for your 15 minutes of fame…

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