Vegetarianism and OCD

birchswing

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    Lately every time there's a thread on reddit about vegetarianism and I find myself reflecting on becoming a vegetarian at age 3, I believe more and more that it was one of my earliest OCD symptoms, and I'm wondering if there is any research into this.

    I have a clear memory of deciding not to eat meat on a very particular day. It was a day that I realized the chickens I saw on TV were the same thing that I had up to then loved to eat. I didn't have any reference point for it. My parents were both meat eaters. I didn't know the word vegetarian. It was not common where I lived. The concept of other people not eating meat didn't occur to me until several years after I had been vegetarian.

    A few years later my dad got hens and I would have to collect the eggs sometimes. I stopped eating eggs. That was pretty self-explanatory.

    At school when we had school birthday parties I would ask the mother that brought in the treats if they were baked with eggs, and I wouldn't eat them if they had been.

    My grandmother was a psychiatrist in Sweden and was the only one who was very worried about me being vegetarian. She thought it would hurt my development. When she would come to visit she would scold my parents for having 2% milk. She was very into fat!

    Anyhow, I developed very distinct symptoms of OCD around 5 years of age that are classic OCD. But as I grew older and learned more about OCD, I realized that other people are also grossed out by thinking about what meat is but that these thoughts don't stick with them. And it occurred to me that my "stickiness" to thinking about what every thing is that I eat is not dissimilar to the way I can't not pay attention to other data that people let slip by them that people with OCD cannot. To me, OCD is like a net that catches too much spurious data that others let flow by.

    I started thinking about the rationality of vegetarianism in contexts where a person would have no choice but to eat meat. Could it develop in such circumstances? Could it ever be considered rational in such circumstances?

    For me, the original inability to disconnect from what meat/dairy/egg is is still there but I also have an ingrained disgust that comes from many years of conditioning myself that is more visceral. When I was young my parents would sometimes force me to have a bite of meat. I would hold my nose and chew and swallow really fast with a glass of water and pretend it was something else. For me, eating meat would be like challenging someone to eat a cockroach. I've never been the vegetarian for whom it's difficult to give up meat. I would have to take it like a bitter pill.

    Anyhow, I'm curious at to people's thoughts on this and what you would think of a very young child deciding not to eat meat. No one's ever connected my vegetarianism to OCD, so it's just a self-reflection. And I'm not asking for medical advice as I'm not looking to change my diet. I'm just more curious about the genesis of vegetarianism outside of animal rights and ecological considerations (I should say that in my elementary school years I described my vegetarianism as being a result of those considerations and maybe it was to a large degree, but I know now that's not mostly the case--it is more just the inability to disconnect from what I find extremely gross--I would like to say it's from being extremely ethical, but I don't think it's the case currently even if it was possibly at some time).
     
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      I'm that way about eggs (scrambled, fried, deviled, poached, whatever) after having a bad experience with vomiting at age 3 after eating some eggs. I could eat them if I have to, just as I could eat live worms if I had to survive. It's just something that to me is gross. Lots of people have these kinds aversions to foods, many just won't admit it. If it doesn't interfere with your life, then it's no big deal, and it's not a disorder.
       
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      Ceke2002

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        I'll post the link to the studies if I can find it again, but there seems to be some evidence of a relational aspect between OCD and, the paper was specifically for eating disorders but lets say 'eating patterns that might be considered outside the norm for a certain age'. I suppose for me 'outside the norm' would be more along the lines of, were you simply a compassionate child who made an early connection between the death of an animal and consumption of meat, or was it more driven by an obsessive thought process followed one by the development of a compulsive/ritualistic behaviour. I also had pretty classic OCD when I was a child (roughly between the ages of 5 and 8), the development of my eating disorder actually stemmed from that but it wasn't like I had this revelation that connected back to eating and thus I began to restrict my diet, it just sort of became part of the progression of rituals I was already developing, and then took on a life of its own. I do know there was one instance where an event lead directly to a revulsion/reaction to a particular food, that persisted for some years. When I was 8 (a few months before my 9th birthday) my Grandma died suddenly in front of me and my Mum, and we'd been eating tuna mornay for tea right before it happened -- from that moment on I couldn't even be around the smell of tuna morney without dry heaving and becoming visibly distressed. It sounds like in your case though you simply made a compassionate connection and followed that through with your own logical choice.

        Ah, here we go, found them: Unfortunately these do seem to focus on the female experience of OCD and the development of certain eating behaviours.

        --------------------------------------

        Childhood Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Traits in Adult Women With Eating Disorders: Defining a Broader Eating Disorder Phenotype

        http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.160.2.242

        History of eating disorders in female patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...ionid=6ED8EBF3E243AD0980BC85F701A3B3A2.f01t03

        Comorbidity of obsessive-compulsive disorders and duration of eating disorders

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eat.10013/abstract
         

        birchswing

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          I'm that way about eggs (scrambled, fried, deviled, poached, whatever) after having a bad experience with vomiting at age 3 after eating some eggs. I could eat them if I have to, just as I could eat live worms if I had to survive. It's just something that to me is gross. Lots of people have these kinds aversions to foods, many just won't admit it. If it doesn't interfere with your life, then it's no big deal, and it's not a disorder.

          Yeah, it's too bad eggs are so healthy. I hadn't thought about them until I had to collect them from the chicken coop. They're not as clean as you see them in grocery stores and I guess because our chickens were healthier they had such a strong flavor you could taste them in baked goods. And then there was the eggshells in waffles incident which my "tough as nails" Swedish mother had no sympathy for and made me eat the waffles anyway.

          It's possible to eat a healthy (and tasty) diet as a vegetarian. If I had a young child who didn't want to eat meat I'd try to accommodate that the best I could (as long as they were eating more than just french fries). The freedom to choose is one of my favorites.

          Yes, that seems reasonable. I mean there's no reason not to be vegetarian when you have the choice to be. I do wonder how recent of a thing it is. In different parts of the world and different points in history there would be no choice but to eat meat, and I'm curious if the same aversions to meat ever arrive in those circumstances.

          I'll post the link to the studies if I can find it again, but there seems to be some evidence of a relational aspect between OCD and, the paper was specifically for eating disorders but lets say 'eating patterns that might be considered outside the norm for a certain age'. I suppose for me 'outside the norm' would be more along the lines of, were you simply a compassionate child who made an early connection between the death of an animal and consumption of meat, or was it more driven by an obsessive thought process followed one by the development of a compulsive/ritualistic behaviour. I also had pretty classic OCD when I was a child (roughly between the ages of 5 and 8), the development of my eating disorder actually stemmed from that but it wasn't like I had this revelation that connected back to eating and thus I began to restrict my diet, it just sort of became part of the progression of rituals I was already developing, and then took on a life of its own. I do know there was one instance where an event lead directly to a revulsion/reaction to a particular food, that persisted for some years. When I was 8 (a few months before my 9th birthday) my Grandma died suddenly in front of me and my Mum, and we'd been eating tuna mornay for tea right before it happened -- from that moment on I couldn't even be around the smell of tuna morney without dry heaving and becoming visibly distressed. It sounds like in your case though you simply made a compassionate connection and followed that through with your own logical choice.

          Ah, here we go, found them: Unfortunately these do seem to focus on the female experience of OCD and the development of certain eating behaviours.

          --------------------------------------

          Childhood Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Traits in Adult Women With Eating Disorders: Defining a Broader Eating Disorder Phenotype

          http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.160.2.242

          History of eating disorders in female patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

          http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1098-108X(199312)14:4<439::AID-EAT2260140407>3.0.CO;2-6/abstract;jsessionid=6ED8EBF3E243AD0980BC85F701A3B3A2.f01t03

          Comorbidity of obsessive-compulsive disorders and duration of eating disorders

          http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eat.10013/abstract

          Thank you very much for all your research! That is interesting that OCD seems to be related to EDs.

          Fortunately for me I have no aversion to any particular foods outside of ones that come from animals. There definitely was an element of compassion, but even in that I wonder if the linking of the two things (animals are the same as meat) was a result of not filtering out as much information as the average person. I guess as I've gotten older I realize the hypocrisy and that it's more of a grossness thing now, in that I take fish oil, which while it grosses me out, I don't mind because I can swallow it really fast. So I'm not an across the board vegetarian. However, I do feel bad about buying leather products and mostly avoid it, so I guess the compassion part is still there to an extent. I also have recently learned more about milk and egg farming and how it's not terribly innocent and that does affect me--although it doesn't stop me. Meat is always out. Dairy and eggs come into play when there's a treat. But don't enjoy something as much when I know it has eggs or milk. I think about it.

          I've never had the neuroses about eating that I've seen in friends with EDs where they're very particular (only eating gummy worms, for example). But the option to be a vegetarian seems like it must only exist in certain parts of the world and certain time periods, and so that a person might develop that inclination outside of cultural influences is interesting to me. I suppose it's also the case that not all people always follow prevailing cultural norms, and even when there are cultural shifts they can be hard to see at first. For example, as a child, I didn't know anyone else like me in terms of not eating meat (especially the time I spent in Sweden--not eating meat was considered very curious there--young kids at school would be eating blood pudding, crayfish, fish with the bones still in it). But by the time I was in high school (back in the US) most of my friends were vegetarians, and I now have cousins in Sweden who are vegan. So maybe cultural forces were influencing me at 3 years old I wasn't even aware of.
           

          hamstergang

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            Anyhow, I'm curious at to people's thoughts on this and what you would think of a very young child deciding not to eat meat.
            Based on that alone, I would think nothing pathological of it. I might explore the child's reasoning to see if it was something obsessive or psychotic or what-not, but I wouldn't be suspecting that it would be. I love meat so much more than vegetables, but that doesn't mean I think vegetarians must be disordered.
             
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            Ceke2002

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              Same with me., except instead of eggs, with me it was rum...


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

              LOL, I know quite a few people that turn green around the gills at the sight of rum - usually that's because it was one of the first alcoholic drink they got munted and ended up puking on.
               

              Doctor Bagel

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                Anecdotally, my one cousin who became a vegetarian at an early age now has schizophrenia. I don't think that says much, though. As a vegetarian (who became one in my 20s), I think there is a lot of overlap between alternative diets and psychiatric disorders (honestly, eating disorders are the big one). I could see where it could maybe fit in with OCD symptoms, but I wouldn't necessarily attribute becoming a vegetarian at an early age to any psychopathology. It is puzzling that we spend a lot of time talking about cute, fuzzy animals -- even depicting them as major characters in children's stories/cartoons -- and then we eat them.
                 

                Ceke2002

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                  Anecdotally, my one cousin who became a vegetarian at an early age now has schizophrenia. I don't think that says much, though. As a vegetarian (who became one in my 20s), I think there is a lot of overlap between alternative diets and psychiatric disorders (honestly, eating disorders are the big one). I could see where it could maybe fit in with OCD symptoms, but I wouldn't necessarily attribute becoming a vegetarian at an early age to any psychopathology. It is puzzling that we spend a lot of time talking about cute, fuzzy animals -- even depicting them as major characters in children's stories/cartoons -- and then we eat them.

                  Yes, admittedly I do find the pathologisation of vegetarian or vegan diets, when they are being undertaken by a person outside of other pathology or in lieu of any pathology at all, to be mildly annoying at best. I get that some Anorexics use vegetarianism/veganism as an excuse to further restrict their food intake, and I get that someone with OCD might have a compulsion to only eat foods of a certain colour, and so on, but obviously that does not follow that all *insert diagnostic status here* patients are motivated by their underlying pathology. When I became vegan as a teenager it was because I felt a firm commitment towards the cruelty free treatment of animals, not because I just happened to be anorexic at the same point in time. As it turned out my being vegan wreaked havoc on my physical well being (above what the anorexia was already doing), I ended up getting pretty ill for a while, tried to go back to being an ovo-lacto vegetarian, still wasn't much better, so now I eat meat but I bless the animal's spirit before hand as a sign of gratitude, and wherever possible I choose the most humane methods of farm/egg production possible. And funnily enough going from vegan to ovo-lacto vegetarian, back to eating meat had absolutely jack bugger all effect on whether or not I still had an eating disorder - maybe because the two weren't related.
                   

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                    sunlioness

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                      Ceke, do you thank the spirits of the plants you eat? Just curious because in most cases eating a plant does result in its death. And I think if you try to avoid that, you do get really sick. Isn't that the rationale behind fruitarianism?

                      As a rule, I think expressing gratitude for our food is a lovely thing to do. And eating locally and sustainably as best we can, whether meat eating or no. Factory farming is pretty horrific. As is corporate agriculture.
                       
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                      Ceke2002

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                        Realizing that we have a number of members with carnivorous feline avatars in this forum...

                        Yes, I've noticed that too - with great appreciation (says the overly enamoured cat lover who was once seriously trying to work out the logistics of carrying her favourite cat down the aisle on her wedding day - no, really).
                         

                        Ceke2002

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                          Ceke, do you thank the spirits of the plants you eat? Just curious because in most cases eating a plant does result in its death. And I think if you try to avoid that, you do get really sick. Isn't that the rationale behind fruitarianism?

                          As a rule, I think expressing gratitude for our food is a lovely thing to do. And eating locally and sustainably as best we can, whether meat eating or no. Factory farming is pretty horrific. As is corporate agriculture.

                          No, not with plants, I mean not every time I sit down to a meal - I figure we kind of have 3 separate harvest related Sabbats, Lammas/Lughnasadh, The Autumnal Equinox and Samhain, that kind of fulfill the same basic idea though (the concept of the fruits and grains of the harvest being personified as the dying and slain god to whom we give honour and gratitude). And yes the idea of factory farming and other cruel practices of meat and egg production has always bothered me more than the actual death of the animals in question. I saw a chicken beheaded when I was little more than 5 years old, and I don't remember responding to it in a negative or upset way because to me the chicken had been well taken care of, it lived a completely barn free, free range existence, it was raised to eventually be food and it all just seemed to be part of the cycle of life and nature. But later on being confronted by images of factory farming, that's what pushed me to try a vegan/vegetarian diet.
                           

                          OldPsychDoc

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                            Sliding off topic, but I remember auditing an Old Testament course a number of years ago, and the professor was trying to get us more emotionally attuned to the role of animal sacrifice, etc., since we all tend to buy our meat in nicely wrapped packages. He played this monologue from Garrison Keillor, a commentator/humorist with a rural American viewpoint.
                            Worth a listen, perhaps. Amazon product
                             
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                            Ceke2002

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                              Sliding off topic, but I remember auditing an Old Testament course a number of years ago, and the professor was trying to get us more emotionally attuned to the role of animal sacrifice, etc., since we all tend to buy our meat in nicely wrapped packages. He played this monologue from Garrison Keillor, a commentator/humorist with a rural American viewpoint.
                              Worth a listen, perhaps. Amazon product

                              Ooh, I'll have to look that one up, cheers. :)

                              And yes it does make me chuckle a bit at the number of self professed Wiccans and Pagans who love to preach about a return to a more natural way of life, and 'back to the land, back to mother nature', but then lose their collective **** when they find out a rural dwelling practitioner raises and slaughters their own meat, and will occasionally perform a sacrificial offering as part of that*. Yes, let's all go 'back to the land' as long as it's not more than a 30 minute drive from the nearest Supermarket, and 'hey isn't mother nature awesome', I mean it's not like she occasionally blows holes in the sides of mountains, sends fires racing through forests that burn animals alive, smashes a Tsunami into a coastline killing over 200,00 people, etc, etc, etc.

                              (* just for clarification, this is not part of my personal practice - fruit, grain and beverage offerings only)
                               

                              birchswing

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                                And yes, sorry Birchswing we have gone a tad OT in here. I want to reply to your response to my other post, I'll try and do that soon.
                                Oh, no worries, all of this is interesting for me to read. This wasn't any sort of urgent question, just more musings and curiosity. I had never heard of an aversion to rum, for example. My earliest memory of alcohol was my grandparents in Sweden who served campari mixed with orange juice, which I quite liked even as a child (they didn't much campari in my orange juice)! I haven't had any alcohol in my adult life because of the meds I'm on (not that I'm complaining about that), so I just have the memories of a sunny afternoon outdoors in Sweden with mixed nuts and orange juice with campari--it was quite nice.
                                 
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                                Ceke2002

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                                  Thank you very much for all your research! That is interesting that OCD seems to be related to EDs.

                                  Fortunately for me I have no aversion to any particular foods outside of ones that come from animals. There definitely was an element of compassion, but even in that I wonder if the linking of the two things (animals are the same as meat) was a result of not filtering out as much information as the average person. I guess as I've gotten older I realize the hypocrisy and that it's more of a grossness thing now, in that I take fish oil, which while it grosses me out, I don't mind because I can swallow it really fast. So I'm not an across the board vegetarian. However, I do feel bad about buying leather products and mostly avoid it, so I guess the compassion part is still there to an extent. I also have recently learned more about milk and egg farming and how it's not terribly innocent and that does affect me--although it doesn't stop me. Meat is always out. Dairy and eggs come into play when there's a treat. But don't enjoy something as much when I know it has eggs or milk. I think about it.

                                  I've never had the neuroses about eating that I've seen in friends with EDs where they're very particular (only eating gummy worms, for example). But the option to be a vegetarian seems like it must only exist in certain parts of the world and certain time periods, and so that a person might develop that inclination outside of cultural influences is interesting to me. I suppose it's also the case that not all people always follow prevailing cultural norms, and even when there are cultural shifts they can be hard to see at first. For example, as a child, I didn't know anyone else like me in terms of not eating meat (especially the time I spent in Sweden--not eating meat was considered very curious there--young kids at school would be eating blood pudding, crayfish, fish with the bones still in it). But by the time I was in high school (back in the US) most of my friends were vegetarians, and I now have cousins in Sweden who are vegan. So maybe cultural forces were influencing me at 3 years old I wasn't even aware of.

                                  You're very welcome, and yeah definitely discovering that research had been done into the connection between OCD and eating disorders was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me, like 'Oh, right, so that's how that happened'. That's not to say that all patients with anorexia et al have a history of OCD, or that they engage in ritualistic behaviours throughout their ED history, but that was/has definitely been the case for me. I suppose I am at least lucky, apart from an aversion to tuna morney that I eventually got over, in that I don't actually have any particular neurosis surrounding what I will and won't eat (apart from 'not much' - in the past at least). For me the ritualised side of the ED was more tied up in a lot of counting and checking behaviours rather than being averse to any particular food - like if there were peas on my plate the total number had to be divisible by 3, 5, or 9, if I was grocery shopping the bar code had to end in 3, 5 or 9 and the packages all had to be checked to determine which felt right (even though they were all the bl00dy same)...don't even get me started on my incredibly involved, complete waste of time weighing ritual, geez! LOL. The only thing I still have some trouble with is food shopping, but I'm building on learning ways to deal with that all the time, so the compulsion to ritualise doesn't hit too often, and I can usually handle it when it does. I'm actually going to be getting into some way deeper psychodynamic type work surrounding my anorexia with my Psychiatrist, starting next session hopefully, I'm actually really looking forward to it. And I've just realised how much I dislike that term 'my anorexia', grammatical shortcut or not, it makes it sounds like I bought it at a local shop or something.

                                  I definitely get where you're coming from with being OCD and having things that other people would let go take on meaning or become more important than perhaps they should (that lack of 'filter'). I don't know if I ever saw it as a lack of a filter within myself, I just tended to take things a little too literally (I was assessed for autism at one point, I don't have it). Admittedly I haven't spoken to too many other people with OCD (or OCD tendencies) because it's not really something I seek a lot of support with, but for me the OCD as a child was more along the lines of somebody tells me the old saying about step on a crack break your father's back, step on a line etc - and then compulsively avoiding stepping on cracks and lines for fear of killing my parents. I've never really had the experience, I don't think at least, of having a normal response such as deciding not to eat meat due to a personal realisation, then turn into an OCD related aversion. Which I suppose is why I wondered with you whether it was an OCD thing at all (Not that I'm qualified to comment on that in the slightest, just making observations for discussion) - I mean like others have said, being a vegetarian, even at a young age doesn't automatically have to equal psychopathology.

                                  With the social norms et al thing as well, I suppose you have to remember there aren't too many cultures that exist in a vacuum, and even if it feels like your particular corner of the culture does you can't discredit all the little meetings and influences that happen when you might not even realise it. For example, I grew up in a very racist culture -- Australia in the 70s had only just come to terms with Greek and Italian immigrants in many respects, despite a veneer of multiculturalism, and then we had refugees from the Vietnam War and other conflicts seeking asylum and it seemed like the **** hit the collective fan - yeah it was fine to kinda sorta begrudgingly accept these *insert racist slur for those of Italian/Greek heritage*, I mean hey at least they sort of look like us, but these other people *blah blah more racist *****, oh heck no, we can't have that (that's the exceedingly polite version of cultural events). So that's the society I grew up in as a child, couple that with a father, as well as a good portion of my extended family who were racist to the point of spewing white supremacist propaganda, and by all accounts I should be a raging bigot by now - except that didn't happen. That's what I mean about society not existing in a vacuum, and even when it feels like it does you never know all those little encounters you'll have that may shape things differently for you. Leaving the extreme bullying situation aside for a moment, I was lucky enough to attend a primary school that was truly multicultural - where we heard passages from the Koran and watched a Muslim student pray one week, and then watched a cultural performance of Balinese shadow puppetry the next. We didn't just have Christmas, we helped students celebrate all holidays when it was appropriate for that student, and we were expected to learn from it, same as the cultural food exchange days we had. Towards the end of primary school and into early high school (from the age of 12ish onwards) I got heavily involved in the campaign for nuclear disarmament, and met more people through that, which lead me onto other social justice interests and activism, and all that from someone who was raised in a racist culture, in a vitriolically racist household and family. If I remember, next session I have with my Psych I'll try and ask him if he remembers the name of the book he recommended that deals with familial and societal conditioning and how it isn't automatically a fixed determinant in attitudes or behaviours.
                                   
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                                  whopper

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                                    A child being very specific about diet could be a sign of OCD, but let's not make that leap too quickly.

                                    It's not out of the ordinary for kids to have OCD sx. In fact, a large percentage of kids get OCD sx at least for some time while growing up. It's not pathology. It's normal for kids to go through phases that could look like OCD. I can't find the exact percentage of kids that get OCD sx but it's quite large and something that usually resolves later on.

                                    Aside from that, diet is not a usual OCD sx. For that reason, at least at first I might put OCD on a differential but I would be hesitant to dx with that unless there was a lot of evidence and pathology backing it up.

                                    As for meat being disgusting, it is. People have a misled view of meat being analogous to a substance you simply buy at a store. If a person had to kill an animal for it's meat that person specfically eats, a lot of people would be respecting meat a heck of a lot more and eating it less. On Gordon Ramsay's show (not showed in America except on things like pay-per-view) The F Word, he spends a season raising some animals with his family and on the last episode of the season he kills the animal and serves it at a restaurant. People criticized him for being inhumane.

                                    Why? Those animals were free-range while he raised them, fed real food (e.g. grass, beer), and thus treated a heck of a lot better than factory-raised animals. He killed them? Guess what?, you get meat by killing animals. You didn't know that? What exactly is inhumane when that the complaint is coming from a meat-eater?

                                    Again, it's the equation of people factually knowing meat comes from killed animals but not emotionally thinking about it.

                                    Some Americans eat meat at all 3 meals a day (if not more) 7 days a week. Meat is the type of thing that with a varied meal doesn't have to be eaten every day.
                                     

                                    Ceke2002

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                                      A child being very specific about diet could be a sign of OCD, but let's not make that leap too quickly.

                                      It's not out of the ordinary for kids to have OCD sx. In fact, a large percentage of kids get OCD sx at least for some time while growing up. It's not pathology. It's normal for kids to go through phases that could look like OCD. I can't find the exact percentage of kids that get OCD sx but it's quite large and something that usually resolves later on.

                                      Aside from that, diet is not a usual OCD sx. For that reason, at least at first I might put OCD on a differential but I would be hesitant to dx with that unless there was a lot of evidence and pathology backing it up.

                                      Edited: (*Still interested in this, but have removed previous portion of post owing to lack of responses indicating it may have been inappropriate).

                                      If a case appears to be fairly clear cut, but a differential diagnosis is still eventually explored and made, what is it that leads you to stop and say 'Hang on a sec, it walks like OCD, it talks like OCD, it looks exactly like OCD, but I don't think it is OCD'.
                                       
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                                      DocDiva

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                                        Anecdotally, my one cousin who became a vegetarian at an early age now has schizophrenia. I don't think that says much, though. As a vegetarian (who became one in my 20s), I think there is a lot of overlap between alternative diets and psychiatric disorders (honestly, eating disorders are the big one). I could see where it could maybe fit in with OCD symptoms, but I wouldn't necessarily attribute becoming a vegetarian at an early age to any psychopathology. It is puzzling that we spend a lot of time talking about cute, fuzzy animals -- even depicting them as major characters in children's stories/cartoons -- and then we eat them.

                                        I made the most delicious Lamb shank stew the other day. My 19 month old gobbled it up as I was reading "Mary had a little lamb" to her.
                                         
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                                        OldPsychDoc

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                                          I made the most delicious Lamb shank stew the other day. My 19 month old gobbled it up as I was reading "Mary had a little lamb" to her.
                                          Sounds like you should have been enjoying that with some fava beans and a nice chianti...
                                           
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