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Is My OCD Causing My Work Performance to Decrease?

Is My OCD Causing My Work Performance to Decrease?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that involves obsessions (intrusive, repetitive, unwanted thoughts) and compulsions (rituals that a person does to try and eliminate the obsessions). OCD can certainly present challenges in the workplace, causing misunderstandings between coworkers and other employees. It’s important to note that an individual’s compulsions are not intentional by any means – compulsions often take up more time than a person would like, and they can cause significant distress, especially when they do not alleviate the obsession that was experienced. Signs your OCD may be causing you distress at work include:

  • Arriving to work consistently late or distressed
  • Needing to take more time off
  • Difficulty concentrating on workload
  • Missing deadlines more often than normal
  • Avoiding certain people, places, objects, or situations

There are many types of OCD, which can play out in the workplace differently. It is quite possible that OCD could be affecting your workplace performance negatively, especially if you find your obsessions and/or compulsions to be taking up most of your day. On the outside, it may appear as though you’re unorganized, unprepared, or unable to focus, but on the inside, you may be feeling complete and utter chaos.

A 2016 study published in the journal Psychological Research sought to explore the difference between deliberate mind wandering (such as dreaming about a future vacation) and spontaneous mind wandering (which reflects a failure of executive control) on those with OCD. A total of 2,636 undergraduate psychology students completed questionnaires on mind wandering (deliberate and spontaneous), as well as an OCD scale. Researchers found that of those participants who reported high OCD symptom severity, spontaneous mind wandering also seemed to increase – OCD symptoms were not associate with deliberate mind wandering, further proving that those with OCD certainly do not mean to engage in these obsessions and rituals – they are part of the disorder.

If you believe OCD may be affecting your productivity in the workplace, it may be beneficial for you to speak with a healthcare professional to obtain medication and/or referrals to a professional treatment center. For those in executive and high-pressure positions, certain treatment centers can offer direct support that optimizes comfort, privacy, space, and recovery.

If you haven’t already, speak with someone from a professional treatment center to learn more about programs to best suit your needs. Optimal recovery is possible, and you are not alone in your pursuit for happiness, health, and wellbeing.

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