He starts going out of the apartment, but he is unable to step out. He paces back and forth in the room panicked with the thought of going outside. He finally uses a tissue to turn the knob and steps out. He goes to the elevator and unable to step into it he lets everyone go before him. He is absolutely terrified of the heights and elevator. This is the opening scene in the movie "What About Bob?". In real life there are plenty of Bobs in the world and many more Bobbies too. Many who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) seeks help one way or the other for their condition. And it is a serious condition that needs serious medical attention.
OCD is a condition in which people do things and think things repeatedly to a point of exhaustion. They cannot control their actions or thought processes but are aware of their problem. People who have OCD develop it from childhood and come to a full-blown stage of it by the time they become adults. Most of us suffer from some kind of obsessive behavior. We are unaware of most actions that others notice in us. Some of us have an obsession to clean the house to make it spic and span. Some take pride in washing dishes to the point where they can see their faces in the reflection. For some people cleaning their cars and showing off to others gives great pleasure. Habits form from childhood for everyone.
There are habits. There are obsessions. And then there are compulsions. Habits include brushing your teeth in the morning, flossing your teeth, and using Listerine. They include having a cup of coffee early in the morning, eating lunch exactly at 12, reading a newspaper from page one to the last page and watching a certain television serial at night while having supper sitting in the sofa. These are habits.
Obsessions are fears of forgetting to brush your teeth, hating yourself for not using mouthwash or making sure that floss goes through every space between the teeth. They are fearing to forget setting the alarm, worrying about things that might go wrong, or being disgusted at the smell of your own armpits and getting irritated with certain sounds or words or actions.