Sunday, May 17, 2009

DO YOU HAVE SHEMA OCD?

There I was in a shul, ma'ariv had approached and we had started shema. I said it as any normal person would say it. The guy a few seats next to me was a different story; he was going at the shema for approximately 10 minutes, as the books title, he was praying with fire. I was in middle of ending my shemonah esray, when this guy finished his shema. I didn't need to be a doctor to diagnose this guy, he has Shema OCD. He didn't just need to say every word once, but 7 or 8 times. I don't understand why one would have such a behavior? Does this guy know some sort of kabbalistic segulah, or something, that says to repeat every word of shema till you've had enough? Do you have any clue what it is, or is it just the symptoms of Shema OCD? I know I have been going on and on about OCD and Jews, but maybe its really true.

17 people gave their 2 cents:

Sally Hazel said...

According to some psychiatrist, whose lecture on OCD I've attended, OCD is somewhat more prevalent in religious Jewish community and may disguise itself as dikduk hamitzvot...

David said...

Sally- Any challenge that Hashem gives us can be used for the positive. You can look at it as disguising itself as dikduk hamitzvot or you can look at it as channeling OCD in a positive application.

re Shema OCD- I can definitely imagine what your talking about. Sometimes I say a word and Im not sure if I pronounced it right and I say it again. But 7-8 times? wow!

Mikeinmidwood said...

Sally Hazel

I thought I was onto something.

David

Yeah 7 or 8 is OCD, not dikduk hamitzvot

Sally Hazel said...

David - channeling OCD traits in a positive application is commendable. However, when someone cannot complete a mitzva/function because s/he can't get the mitzva 'just right' is dysfunctional...

Mikeinmidwood said...

Sally Hazel

Ooh, another backing statment, Im on a roll.

Altie said...

We learned about this in school, and I had to admit that I've never said a shma properly in my life, and have to repeat a life times worth of shma's....

definitly not ocd, but don't be lax

Moshe said...

How about OCD natilas yadaim.

Jacob Da Jew said...

How about OCD" did I eat 'nuff cholent" ?

Mikeinmidwood said...

Altie

One time you can be yotze with, not needed excessive amounts.

Moshe

Have seen that.

Jacob Da Jew

Have yet to see that, but have heard stories of downing bowls in seconds.

Moshe said...

I'm a chronic sufferer of l'chaim OCD.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Moshe

You suffer from it, and I enjoy it.

harry-er than them all said...

Actually Sally, the research on the subject does not show significantly more prevalence.
Rather in religious communities (jews, muslims, etc...)
OCD will manifest itself in religious activities, not more prevalent. (i wrote a research paper on the subject)

However, what MIM experienced is sadly OCD, and coincidentally not according to Halacha

Mikeinmidwood said...

Harryer Than Them All

I didnt experience it, I saw it happen, there is a difference.

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

just a btw, why do you like the pop up comment thing? why not embed it? (would make life easier for me)and perhaps would give you more hits.

Any case, could be the guy was being very emotional, maybe he just ran into a near death experience and felt moved to daven to Hashem with Kavannah and spend time on every word.

They say by repeating words a bunch of times it will go into your head, maybe he was trying to hypnotize himself to believe "Hashem Echad..."

Moshe said...

No, I've seen this too, specially by BTs.

Mikeinmidwood said...

I tried embedded but the comment system shuts down and its impossible to comment, so I stopped.

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

That's a shame...maybe you were using IE at that time :-p