I am so indecisive…or it’s my OCD

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.

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6 thoughts on “I am so indecisive…or it’s my OCD

  1. Great decision-making process.

    You ought to see mine. Not!

    I’m just kidding.
    I wanted to write about something, but thought better of it, and changed my mind. I felt so indecisive about it.

    So, like you, I wrote about it.

    I think I made the right decision.

    How about you?

    Michael J

  2. Pingback: Resonate « The OCD Chronicles

  3. Hi, I Know how you feel although probably not as intensely. I am a 37 year old male and have a compulsion when it comes to making minor decisions like what to wear or what to eat and even my work schedule. In order to make these decisions I am compelled to toss a coin and can get stressed if I do not have a coin to hand, this compulsion is so strong that often I need to carry it out even in the company of others, and it can eat up considerable amounts of time. The list of decisions which I feel need to be decided this way is slowly growing, I do not mind this as I am concerned that if I make decisions out of preference then I will become a creature of habit and that this could become detremental to my health and well being. For example, I like coffee, but if I drunk coffee every morning this could cause me harm so therefore if I decide by a random process (coin tossing) then I am eliminating the possibility of developing harmful drinking habits. Adrian from Devon

      • Hi there, me again, I have just read your reply, sorry! Thank you for replying, actually I forgot that I left a comment on here, I tend to forget things quite easily. I am still the same except had quite a lot of mood swings and ended up getting into trouble with the police because people think I am on drugs because of my behaivour sometimes. Anyway thank you for the reply, I am seeing a Dr and going to have counselling. How are you?

      • Good! Sounds like progress is happening 🙂 I am doing well, thank you for asking! Some days are tough, but I have committed to not quitting and I won’t!

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