DEAR ABBY: I have been overly neat since I was in middle school. I am now in college and feel I have reached the breaking point because I'm such a neat freak. I love having everything neat and tidy, but I now spend less time being a 22-year-old and more time cleaning, scrubbing and organizing.
I can't sleep if I know there is clutter somewhere in the apartment. I have passed up going out with friends if my apartment isn't perfect. Everything has a place and a label. It's getting tiring because I realize I haven't had any good wholesome fun in a long time. I wish I could relax and be OK with clutter like everyone else, instead of wasting my life cleaning. Any advice? -- OVERLY ORGANIZED IN TEXAS
DEAR OVERLY ORGANIZED: Yes, I do. March yourself to the student health center and discuss this with a counselor there. When the compulsion to have your apartment "perfect" trumps your ability to enjoy your life, it's time to accept that you have gone from neat to obsessive. There is treatment for the problem, and once it begins you will be able to relax and let go of your anxiety. So please don't wait to get the help you need.