I’ve mentioned before that I’m often up late at night working on projects. While I generally don’t like to have any distractions when I write, there are other aspects of running a freelance agency that require time, but let’s just say I they’re not rocket surgery. In other words, they don’t take 100% concentration. These tasks are often accompanied by a phone call to my mom in Florida, some Facebook browsing, or late-night viewings of whatever’s been stored up on the DVR.

Lately, I’ve been getting caught up on the A&E show Obsessed. While I’ve watched nearly every episode in the last couple of nights, I will refrain from making the obvious joke.

If you’ve not seen this show, then let me catch you up. They follow around two people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder so you can see how screwed up these two patients’ lives are, and then by forcing them to put themselves in horrifying situations, they wrap up the end of the hour hugging the therapist and proclaiming themselves cured.*

That’s really, really oversimplifying it, just so you know. The participants actually go through 12 weeks of counseling, part of which is “exposure therapy.” It’s actually pretty neat to see what happens when the therapy is successful, but that’s really not what keeps you coming back for more. For most of us, I think it’s pure voyeurism where we can look at someone else and say, “You know, I think I’m actually doing OK.”

I’ve discovered that Obsessed affects me in several ways, both good and bad; and because everything that goes through my mind must obviously be published on the Internet to prove that I am a unique and beautiful snowflake, I thought I’d share.

Good: The hoarders make me feel way better about the craft supplies in my basement.

Bad: I’m now pretty sure that I’m no more than one traumatic experience and a few irrational thoughts away from verbally punctuating all of my sentences when I speak.

Good: When I’m up at in the middle of the night banging away at the keyboard, I can always think, “Well, at least I don’t pull my eyelashes out!”

Bad: While I understand that obsessive-compulsive behavior is nothing to envy, I sometimes get a little wistful when I see how clean some of the patients’ houses are.

Good: The fact that I don’t like my foods to touch each other looks pretty benign all of a sudden.

Bad: The twins from that eating disorder episode haunt me.

So, what have we learned here? Let’s see…if you want to feel better about yourself when you’re cramming for a deadline, Obsessed may or may not be the ticket. Of course, if you really want to cultivate a sense of normalcy about your own life, catch a couple of back-to-back episodes of Intervention. I feel practically Amish after an evening with that show.

*For the record, I’d like to say that I’m actually a big fan of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and the people on this show who work it really are inspiring and amazing…but that’s not funny, so I opted for snark.







One response
  1. Jodee Avatar

    I have a kid with an anxiety disorder and I watch those shows, too. 🙂 If nothing else, they show me that other people live with those issues. If you want to feel really good about how “normal” your life is, check out Jerry Springer…. 😉

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