Indecision has plagued me and driven those around me mad my whole life. Decisions like what to eat for dinner or which shoe to wear take painstakingly long and cause marked anxiety. I sometimes get so anxious in trying to make a trivial decision, I end up frustrated, stressed and occasionally just refuse to make the decision.
I recently read an article that shed some light on this frustrating trait and helped me to learn that indecision in an OCD sufferer can be a symptom of OCD.
Dr. Charles Raison writes:
Although many people with OCD do primarily manifest classic symptoms such as fear of contamination, a need to count or a need for things to be symmetrical, it is just as common for individuals with OCD to suffer most from symptoms that are less well-known, none of which is more common than indecision. And indecision is always at its worst when the patient is presented with two options that are equally desirable.
Seriously!? It’s my brain again!? Bitter sweet because it’s not my fault or a flaw in my character, but I guess this also means it’s not so easy to change, but I suppose I knew that part already.
Indecision is a symptom in its own right and doesn’t need any additional obsessional content about bad things happening if the wrong decision is made. It’s not the outcome that bothers patients as much as the raw problem of a making a choice.
In this, as in almost everything, people with OCD are suffering from a truth of the world that most of us ignore: in this case that every decision requires that we give up the choice we didn’t make.
It’s difficult to explain why decision making is so hard especially when the choice at hand is over something so simple where either outcome would seemingly be fine.
So, this goes on my list of attributes that are not my fault and that I may not be able to change, but it is my philosophy that one must make the best of things. Accept it, but make it work or at least practice ways to deal with it. I know this will most likely be a life long struggle, but knowledge brings clarity and clarity is the start to solving problems.
Click here to watch my video post about indecision on my youtube channel.