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I sit between two coworkers, we are software enginners and we share the same table. The guy on my left spends all his day knocking on his part of the table (like it were drums), whistling, doing some hand gestures in the air, doing skin picking and other minors annoying habits. It's extremely distracting and annoying. I can't concentrate on my work since this began.

The others coworkers aren't as bothered as I am, probably because they are at certain distance, so at first I thought it was my problem, for becoming bothered with something so simple as gestures, whistles and table knockings.

Someday he told us he visits a psychologist every week, so we imagine he maybe have a kind of depression or like, so it's complicated to just ask him to stop doing those things, this would be the last resource.

marked as duplicate by gnat, Zibbobz, mcknz, yochannah, Kate Gregory Jun 20 '15 at 13:57

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    It's worth noting: everyone has obsessive compulsions. No exceptions. It becomes a disorder when your obsessive compulsions start interfering or hindering your life. It sounds like you don't really know what's going on with your coworker, so you should shy away from saying they have OCD, because that's not something you're qualified to diagnose. It could just as likely be your coworker has ADHD or Social Anxiety Disorder, which both manifest the symptoms you've mentioned(but for different reasons). It's likely other mental disorders do the same, these are just the ones I know about. – Shaz Jun 18 '15 at 19:41
  • @Ryan, I'm sorry. I'm really not a doctor, but those "symptoms" are spread as OCD. Feel free to suggest any change in my question. – SDF Jun 18 '15 at 20:19
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    @SDF What do you mean by "spread as OCD"? Ryan is correct that what you observe is compulsive behavior that may be obsessive and may be a sign of several different underlying psychological conditions. OCD is a medical term for a specific condition, you don't know for a fact if your co-worker has that condition, so it is insensitive to assume so. – Myles Jun 19 '15 at 15:50
  • @Myles, I didn't disagree with his comment, I just meant a lot of people reffer to behavior like that as OCD (here in Brazil, at least, it's very common to say other people have OCD because of that little compulsions). I couldn't think in a better way to express those "symptoms" at the time. I changed the words, hope it's less rude now. – SDF Jun 19 '15 at 21:36
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How to deal with colleague with OCD (Obsessive–compulsive disorders)?

Folks with OCD aren't doing these activities because they like it, and aren't fully in control of their actions. So simply asking them to stop isn't likely to be helpful.

If you can't adjust to the distraction, talk with your boss. Politely suggest that you might be better off being moved to a less-distracting location. Perhaps others could deal with the situation better, and might be okay switching seats. Or, as @DavidK wisely points out, your manager might even be able to find a better, less-distracting location for this colleague.

Just remember, this is an issue that your colleague is probably trying his best to deal with.

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    If I were the boss and had the resources, I would probably move the OCD co-worker to their own office/bigger cube. It removes the distraction for everyone but also is not punishing the OCD coworker for something they cannot control. – David K Jun 18 '15 at 19:22

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