Obsessive-Compulsive Wiki Editing Disorder
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Trying to correct other peoples mistakes, editing pages or the need to let the world know what you think are common in everyday life. However, when these habits become so excessive such as hours of correcting or editing and stop making any sense at all such as relinking pages over and over again and creating and renaming pages without any reason, a diagnosis of OCWED is made. In OCWED, it is as though the brain gets stuck on a particular Wiki or and just can't let go. People with OCWED often say the symptoms feel like a case of mental hiccups that won't go away. OCWED is a medical brain disorder that causes problems in information processing. It is not your fault or the result of a "weak" or unstable personality.
Before the arrival of modern medications and cognitive behavior therapy, OCWED was generally thought to be untreatable. Most people with OCWED continued to suffer, despite years of ineffective psychotherapy. Today, luckily, treatment can help most people with OCWED. Although OCWED is usually completely curable only in some individuals, most people achieve meaningful and long-term symptom relief with comprehensive treatment.
OCWED usually involves having both obsessions and compulsions involving the editing of a Wiki, though a person with OCWED may sometimes have only one or the other.
Table 1: Common obsessions
- Contamination: fears of typos, spelling errors, wrong translations, etc.
- Imagining having forgotten to correct an error on a page
- Imagining having seen an error somewhere, but not remembering where it was
- A need to tell, ask, confess and spill your guts
- A need to have things "just so"
Table 2: Common compulsions
- Ordering/arranging pages
- Repetitive behaviour
- Repetitive behaviour
- Checking errors on pages
- Checking Recent Changes up to 60 times an hour
- Making mental notes when away from the computer
- Commenting on (discussion) pages without having read the content
- Tacking things onto the ends of lists that don't really belong there
- Adding TOC macros everywhere ;-)
Table 3: Physical symptoms
- Sweaty hands
- Head aches
- Memory loss
OCWED symptoms can occur in people of all ages. Not all Obsessive-Compulsive behaviors represent an illness. Some rituals (e.g., error corrections, page renaming) are a welcome part of daily life. Normal worries, such as contamination fears, may increase during times of stress, such as when someone in the family is building a Wiki or a favorite Wiki has many errors on it. Only when symptoms persist, make no sense, cause much distress, or interfere with functioning do they need clinical attention.
Obsessions are thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again and feel out of your control. The person does not want to have these ideas, finds them disturbing and intrusive, and usually recognizes that they don't really make sense. People with OCWED may worry excessively about errors and ugly pages and be obsessed with the idea that they need to be corrected or will never be. Or they may have obsessive fears of having inadvertently edited someone elses page wrongly, even though they usually know this is not realistic. Obsessions are accompanied by uncomfortable feelings, such as fear, disgust, doubt, or a sensation that things have to be done in a way that is "just so."
People with OCWED typically try to make their obsessions go away by performing compulsions. Compulsions are acts the person performs over and over again, often according to certain "rules." People with an obsession about contamination may go back to the same page over and over again to correct mistakes, put them back, and correct them again. A person may repeatedly check that a newly created page really exists because of an obsessive fear of it not being read by others. She may have to re-WikiMasterEdit a certain page over and over because of an obsession about the page being sloppy. Unlike compulsive drinking or gambling, OCWED compulsions do not give the person pleasure. Rather, the rituals are performed to obtain relief from the discomfort caused by the obsessions.
OCWED symptoms cause distress, take up a lot of time ( up to more than seven hours a day), or significantly interfere with the person's work, social life, or relationships.
Most individuals with OCWED recognize at some point that their obsessions are coming from within their own minds and are not just excessive worries about real problems, and that the compulsions they perform are excessive or unreasonable. When someone with OCWED does not recognize that their beliefs and actions are unreasonable, this is called OCWED with poor insight.
OCWED symptoms tend to wax and wane over time. Some may be little more than background noise; others may produce extremely severe distress.
OCWED can start at any time from adolescence to adulthood (usually by age 40).
One third to one half of adults with OCWED report that it started with visits to a Wiki website. Unfortunately, OCWED often goes unrecognized.
On average, people with OCWED see five to seven doctors and spend over 17 years seeking treatment before they receive a correct diagnosis. Studies have also found that it takes an average of 23 years from the time OCWED begins for people to obtain appropriate treatment.
OCWED tends to be underdiagnosed and undertreated for a number of reasons. People with OCWED may be secretive about their symptoms or lack insight about their illness. Many healthcare providers are not familiar with the symptoms or are not trained in providing the appropriate treatments. Some people may not have access to treatment resources.
This is unfortunate since earlier diagnosis and proper treatment, including finding the right medications, can help people avoid the suffering associated with OCWED and lessen the risk of developing other problems, such as depression or marital and work problems.
There is no single, proven cause of OCWED.
Research suggests that OCWED involves problems in the ability to see the difference between communication in the real world and the virtual world of the internet.
- Sensei's Library
- How To Read Recent Changes
- How To Use Wiki
- Understanding Wiki Pages
- Wiki Master Edit
-- A fellow sufferer