Marla Stone, MSW, a retired psychotherapist and current owner of I-Deal-Lifestyle™ a national professional decluttering service knows the difference between clinical OCD, and someone who is highly organized and tidy. Stone states "behaviors such as continually opening and closing doors, excessive checking to make sure the stove and lights are off, scrubbing enamel off of your sink, and scrubbing the kids too hard, while having obsessive thoughts of not being good enough can be behavioral signs of OCD." Odd behaviors which disrupt socializing, work, personal life, family harmony, and that take up a good portion of your day, could be a sign of a clinical challenge. Staying organized, being on time, overly clean, orderly, and fastidious, are healthy practices in life. Stone states “I have clients that say they are ‘OCD’, when in fact they do not meet criteria for OCD, at all.” Stone reminds clients that "being overly neat and wanting a permanent home for all their stuff, does not add up to OCD."Stone explains that “OCD is extremely debilitating, and the diagnosis requires a negative thought pattern, and a behavioral pattern that makes every day life miserable and confining.” OCD is one of the most difficult of all the parity mental health challenges to treat. “There is no medication that addresses the part of the brain that creates horrific mental pictures, and the intense desire to do every day tasks over and over again.” To understand OCD, Stone says “imagine putting a toilet seat up and down for hours, or going back to your house over and over and over again to make sure the sliding glass door is shut." "It is a challenge that haunts a person daily and sometimes will take hours of the day away from them."Stone adds that “checking to see if the lights are turned off, and then checking again is a good measure. Making sure the stove is off, and all the doors are locked are good measures. Sometimes even re-checking, when going on vacation, will turn up a left on closet light, or a floor heater. Sometimes we are forgetful so re-checking and questioning our follow through are both good measures of behavior. When a person, on a regular basis, is checking, and checking, and checking something over and over and over again and it takes up a good part of their day it may be clinical OCD. When the mind cannot grasp the task is completed, for good, that is when OCD may be a challenge. Getting a proper diagnosis, and a prescription, from a psychiatrist is recommended. Long-term therapy may be a good idea for people that have persistent challenges with daily functioning.
Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of