‘It's Like My Brain Was Punched’: The Rise of OCD and Perfectionism

‘It's Like My Brain Was Punched’: The Rise of OCD and Perfectionism

Tom Nicol thought he had a problem with sleep. He could never get enough. He took “a very disciplined, stripped approach” to his routine. He drank water only at premeditated times, ate according to schedule, avoided caffeine, exercised (but not close to bedtime) and shut down all screens at 9 pm. Nicol, a Ph.D. student, was recounting this long list of sleep settings to his student counselor after yet another bad night, when she told him: “You have perfectionism.” “I’m not good enough to have perfectionism,” Nicol replied. It was “one of the most perfectionist things you can say”, he says now. At...

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