Ben Leander Willgruber, MSc.
+43 650 707 9191 (12-20h)

Online Shop

OCD at the Workplace: 5 year Recap

Having OCD I’ve always felt the need to just be a ‘normal’ part of society. I never wanted people to notice that I am different. Looking back, I really don’t know why I wasn’t honest about having it. It would’ve saved me a lot of stress and time trying to hide my cleaning rituals from people like my co-workers.

I was set on finding a job and not make anyone notice my OCD.

It all started almost exactly five years ago when I started my first ‘real’ job at an advertising agency. The first couple of weeks were particularly hard, as I had multiple problems with my work environment. I didn’t like sharing office chairs, keyboards and  the old faucets in the building. Everyday I had 99 confrontations (but a bitch ain’t one).

I had a real problem being on time for work.

When I started at the firm, it took me ages to get ready in the morning. I had to plan in two hours until I felt ready to leave the house due to a complicated morning ritual. I ended up having to have to talk to my boss multiple times and I know I was on the edge of losing my job.

Bildschirmfoto 2018-10-17 um 15.54.41 (2)

Somewhere along the road, I started not giving a fuck anymore.

My coworkers somewhat know that I have OCD now. At least, they know that I will sometimes disinfect my keyboard because of that. They have a false view of OCD as I think they believe I need everything to be 100% clean all the time, but I don’t care. I never told them any different because I don’t feel the need to explain (my) OCD to everybody. If they wanna believe that my apartment is super-clean all the time, they better not come over for a surprise visit.

Things changed and I got healthier.

I still have OCD but it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be. I wouldn’t consider myself healed but I’d say that I’ve walked a major part of that road. I don’t know exactly how it happened but somewhere between switching psychiatrist, switching medications and getting diagnosed with diabetes, I finally found a way around most of my compulsions. For the last years, I often had to confront my fears by letting things fall down on the floor and picking them back up. ‘Everything’s OK, nothing is dirty’, is what I used to say to myself. This is the first time I actually believe it.

Bildschirmfoto 2018-10-17 um 15.50.59 (2)

Fortunately, I got over my ‘ordering’-OCD quite a while ago.

I am ready for new adventures.

I don’t know where my life is exactly headed right now, but for the first time in 8 years I feel as if I could do anything. I have found a way to live my life peacefully alongside the troll in my head. I don’t know if he’s ever going to fully go away but that’s not important. He doesn’t hinder me the way he used to. He’s not constantly telling me all the things I cannot do anymore. Or better yet: I stopped listening to him. When I think about all the positive change I’ve made over the last months, I can honestly say that I am proud of myself. And that feels awesome.



Title photo by Aida Felic

Suggested further reading:
Meet the Troll in my Head
Being terrified of HIV
When is the right time to tell him how fucked up you are?
The Ying and Yang of Happiness


  • 19. October 2018

    Thank you for this very informative and enlightening post. It was very insightful as it was your perspective and not a lecture on what to expect when dealing with a person with OCD. I admire your honesty! Naked hugs!

Leave your deepest thoughts or keep them to yourself.

%d bloggers like this: