Would this be OCD or some other sort of anxiety disorder?

My mother is very neat, very very neat. She seems to have an absolute need to clean. Every night, the entire house has to be spotless, she mops the floors several times each night, cleans down all the counters, in the kitchen, bathroom etc, cleans the oven the stove, just about every bit of cleaning possible. Now, even when my sister and I clean, and we do it thoroughly, she has to clean it over again, and again, and again. I’m actually concerned, she gets 2, 3 hours a night because of this, she sleeps at around 3-4am because she spends every night cleaning so much, and then has to wake at 6 to drive my little sister to school. So she’s always worn out and it really does affect her health.

Answer #1

Im not sure if i totally believe that she is being forced to do it due to a mental incapability, i think she is REALLY bothered by something. You would know better than i. Of course it could be ocd, it matches up, but i think there is a deeper story. If there is, that means that there is a possible solution. I guess you cant talk her out of it?

Answer #2

Hmmm ok from my point of view. I have OCD and really bad anxiety that I’m on meds for. I am the same I am a very organized and neat person. I’m always cleaning and I do a lot of it at night, prob cause I can’t sleep though… I don’t go to bed till like 4-5 but then again I sleep till like 2 in the afternoon. So really my sleep patterns are way off… I think the cleaning is more OCD, in my opinion.

Answer #3

My aunt (who isn’t really my aunt but I just call her it O_o) does the same thing… I staid a night there, and was woken up by her vacumming the floor, and yelling at her daughters to do something. She does this all the time : l so I’d definitly say it’s an OCD thing.

Answer #4

Regardless of the label you attach to the behaviour, it’s not normal and as you say, it’s affecting her well-being. I think she should seriously consider some sort of therapy for this type of anxiety, Janice. It may be harder to convince her though, depending on how culturally westernized she is… I had a Chinese mother in law years ago who was and still is, severely depressed and she refused to seek help. Interestingly enough, she too was a clean-freak, and that stemmed from living in the tropics where if you leave a grain of sugar on the counter, it can be swarming with ants the next morning.

Answer #5

Ohh thank you! And she definitely has not conformed to the western culture. I know for a fact she does not see anxiety, depression, or any like disorders to be real. My dad has talked to her, telling her she doesn’t need to do so much, everyone has, but she just doesn’t see it as a problem at all, although she complains constantly about always being tired and without sleep.

Answer #6

I wonder if there’s another approach. Do you think she would understand the concept of having a fear of something? I mean an irrational fear, like someone having a fear of heights, snakes, flying… if so, maybe she could relate to the concept of having a fear of germs? You could maybe start talking/joking about that. And possibly she could accept that someone who has a fear of heights could get over it by introducing small elements of it to their life…. once she’s accepted that, maybe she would be ready to, well, not quite start rolling around in the mud and eating food off the floor but occasionally leaving the counter unwiped? OR, just thought of another approach - what about all the cleaniing solutions and bleach she uses? That could lead to headaches, not to mention dangerous diseases. What if you all start coughing a lot? lol…

Answer #7

Dealing with a significant OCD sufferer may be a herculean task for members of the family. somebody with OCD carries out variety of compulsions to do to alleviate them of their obsessions, however this solely makes the condition worse. The key’s to prevent effecting the compulsions, however that’s easier said than done. the fear that a sufferer feels usually means relatives begin giving reassurance to alleviate the upset, and so, through no fault of their own, the family become nearly complicit within the vicious cycle.

Source: http://funadvice.com/r/bmokctmj66e

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