Can’t Control All of My Actions

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hello, I’m a 27 YO male with some issues I need a little help with….First, I have these things I do with my hands….I rub them together really fast or pat my legs really fast and sometimes i’ll even rub my head…Now, I really don’t know that I do this but my girlfriend is always pointing it out to me….And not all the time, but sometimes I find myself counting…..Most times it’s during movies or television shows and I’m counting the peoples words….It’s just a way of keeping count…The phrase or sentence they use must be an even number of words…Lets say they say something like…”I don’t like being here”…I will change it in my head to “I do not like being here” so that it is even….Now the last thing, I’m obsessed with food…I’m always thinking about eating, what my next meal will be…I always eat when I’m not hungry, always clean my plate when I’m not even hungry and I get very exited when I am or someone else is preparing food…I’m starting to get a little worried about myself…Any input would be greatly appreciated…My healthcare is 100% paid for so if you reccomend that I see a doctor thats not an issue….thanks…

A. You may be in the beginning stages of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s difficult to know for certain whether the behavior you’ve described is consistent with an OCD diagnosis. It’s consistent with OCD-like behavior but may be not an OCD diagnosis. In this situation I would suggest that you consider seeing a mental health professional for an evaluation.

The general approach I am advocating for you is to be proactive. What you have described may or may not be a problem but first you have to be assessed by a professional to know for sure. Call your insurance company and ask their representative how to get a psychiatric evaluation. They may be able to give you the names of approved doctors or therapists covered under your plan. This is a good place to start.

What is good about your situation is that you are open to treatment if it’s warranted (you’ll know this after an evaluation). The key to successfully treating a mental health problem is often related to whether or not a person is aware of the problem and if they are open to engaging in treatment. You are now aware of the possible problem (thanks to your girlfriend) and you seem very willing to get help if it’s needed. This substantially increases your chances of successfully treating this potential problem. At this point your symptoms seem mild. If you are in the beginning stages of OCD a few sessions with a therapist may be all you need to eliminate these behaviors. Thanks for writing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Mar 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Can’t Control All of My Actions. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/03/23/cant-control-all-of-my-actions/