1. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Looking for a name of a character trait

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by DeadMoon, Jun 27, 2016.

    I am looking for a name for a character trait. If there is a single name to describe it that is. And in the intrest of full disclosure this is largely based on myself. When something happens, that is to say when there is a trigger, I tend to find some comfort in cleaning, organizing or throwing things away. Now I know this is some sort of coping mechanism like needing to maintain some kind of control in a stressful life but I want to know more then that. I want to create a character like that (yeah I know...coping) but I can not seem to think of a good way to state this in a few words... any ideas?
     
  2. Zorg
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    Zorg Member

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    Obsessive compulsive disorder?
     
  3. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    @Zorg 's right. As blunt as it is. Opinion here only but I'd say; it's born from an introvert who seeks to self distract from any introspection that'd have them self-destruct.
     
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  4. BC Barry
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    BC Barry Member

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    Perhaps it's more along the lines of desperation for control. We all need to feel we're in control of our own little worlds, and sometimes life rips that control away from us so fast and so far we're left spinning in circles, banging into wall after wall. When you feel completely unable to fix the wrongs in your life and everything you try fails, you need something to make you once again feel able and accomplished. Cleaning your home and making it perfect gives you that sense of success and control to help you get through the rough times.

    This recently happened to me, I couldn't control anything. Couldn't clean my house or even raise my arms high enough to do my own hair. But I was desperate for some form of control over my life. As a result, I had the most beautifully painted fingernails in the state.

    We are all desperate for control, and we'll find it wherever and however we can.

    I don't know if this helps you or not, but hopefully it does a little. :)
     
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  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Lots of people do this and they don't all have OCD. In fact, most of them don't.

    Unfortunately I don't think there's a simple phrase that will get this behaviour across. Can you just have the character say, "I clean when I'm stressed."?
     
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  6. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Conflating stress cleaning with OCD is pretty ridiculous. But, yeah - I've always called it stress cleaning. Does that work in your context? And you're right to cal it a coping mechanism, so if you're looking to learn more you could start by looking up adaptive and maladaptive coping mechanisms - general tidying up that makes you feel better once you're done would be adaptive, while having to scrub the floor with a toothbrush at three in the morning until your fingers bleed would be maladaptive, for instance.
     
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  7. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know what you're referring to; I've heard or read the term, probably even used it in days gone by. Unfortunately, since society decided to lump this in with OCD, it's going to take a lot of digging to find the term that used to be in vogue.

    And I have to object to some of the other responses. @Tenderiser is right. This is no more OCD than making sure a gun is unloaded before storing it or making sure the stove is off before going to bed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  8. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    Perfectionism?

    I know that the term encompasses other types of things besides what you've discussed here, but it could be like a sub-aspect of it.
     
  9. bonijean2
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    bonijean2 Senior Member Supporter

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    When this happens to me and it does once in a while, I feel like a stressed out clean-a-holic so maybe thats your answer.
     

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