IF YOU haven’t been following HBO’s GIRLS you’ve missed something big. Watching Hannah, Lena Dunham’s character, spiral into a shaky mental state through obsessive-compulsive disorder (or neurosis) is harrowing.

Forget Jack Nicholson’s lovable crank in “As Good As It Gets.” Lena Dunham annihilates Nicholson’s portrayal of the disease, and watching Dunham take the audience up to overwhelming is spellbinding.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief. Not performing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety. [source]

Hannah compulsively orders her life through the pairing of 8 or 64, which started when she was very young. When her parents were visiting her mother caught her “counting,” and confronted her, clearly freaked at what she saw happening again to her anxiety ridden daughter.

Hannah’s head moves back and forth and back and forth and back and forth… … She nudges a man walking out of a Judy Collins performance, then has to stop to hit him 7 more times before she can leave. Nothing prepares you for the Q-tip in the ear scene or the ensuing inner madness of Hannah’s unwinding mind.

Hannah is also in the throes of delivering a manuscript for an e-book, which isn’t going well and seems to be closely related to her anxiety coming close to going through the roof of her own skull.

Of course, it wouldn’t be GIRLS if delicious scenes of the others in different stages of exposure weren’t woven into the episode.

However, the importance of handling OCD as they did this season means that nobody thinks lightly of the disease anymore.

The teaser to the season 2 finale this Sunday is below.