The world is divided into two classes of beings – those who, on sitting down for lunch, automatically adjust the position of their knives and forks, move their glass half a centimetre to the left and centralize their plate in some totally imagined pattern of cosmic symmetry and those who don’t.
We are not born with this disorder. We don’t think, as a foetus in the womb:
I know, I might try something different this time around, I might try being an obsessive compulsive – sounds like a lot of fun!
During our childhood when our natures begin to manifest themselves this preoccupation with order is seen as a virtue – it’s called being tidy.
Then, as we grow older, our minds arrange things into compartments, the walls of which we find increasingly hard to breach.
It is known that the interaction between the two hemispheres of the brain differs according to gender.
While your male brain plods deliberately from side to side, your female brain flits seamlessly from left to right and back again in a zany fashion.
To really understand OCD you have to think male, take a few paces to the end of the street, turn right between the pylon and the hedge, go along a narrow lane and you will come up against a high stone wall.
It’s on the other side of that wall.