Obsessive Hobby Disorder OHD
Years ago I was diagnosed with OHD–Obsessive Hobby Disorder. Apparently its rare, really rare. Mostly this is because the acronym and diagnosis was made up specifically to apply to me and from what I understand does not apply to anyone else. Or does it?
You see, I was married at the time to a school teacher who dealt daily with 5th graders who had been pigeon holed and categorized with a variety of acronym type terms: ADD, ADHD, OCD, TS and TT. The percentage of students put into each of these categories was high–I don’t doubt it would be over half of her classes. One day she told me I have OHD. I asked her what that was, and she said, Obsessive Hobby Disorder.
OHD is an absolute obsession with the hobby of the moment. I’ve gone through many hobbies over the years. One hobby, as mentioned in my other blog post, was Goliath Bird-Eating Spiders. Once I became interested in spiders, it quickly became an obsession. I went to the library and checked out over 20 books on tarantula spiders. I didn’t read every word of every book, but I did skim through them and ready chapters or various paragraphs that caught my attention. I also spent hours each night surfing the internet reading on the topic and looking of photos of various types of tarantulas. I found the local spider group, the Southern Nevada Herpetological Society. These folks were experts on exotic pets from lizards to snakes to spiders. They helped answer some of my questions which I didn’t find in books or online. I also tracked down a spider breeder in a nearby city who raised and sold spiders to local pet shops. For about three months almost any conversation I had would revert to the discussion of tarantulas after about 20 minutes.
I took a similar approach with chess, rockets, website design, watches, lizards, mid-century modern architecture, and various other topics. Each of these became an obsession for months at a time, eclipsing all other interests in my life. Today, after hours of intense therapy, I’ve managed to get most of my OHD under control to where it doesn’t impact my conversations with people. I’m no longer as much of a social leper as when I was first diagnosed with OHD. Do you have OHD? If so, how have you dealt with it?