Overanalyzing controls my life!

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I tend to overanalyze simple things, and I can’t seem to take things at face value. I always feel that there is a deeper meaning to anything that is said, and I rack my brain until I figure out what the deeper meaning may be. When I reach a conclusion, I start the process from the beginning just in case I missed something.

For example, when watching TV, I find myself picking apart every sentence. I don’t over analyze actions as much as I do words. God forbid there is a play on words, because then my brain is really a mess. I find myself pausing my DVR every 5 minutes to allow my brain to analyze the words that were said. I can turn an hour-long episode into 3 hours.

Also, once I am satisfied that I have analyzed the words from all possible angles; I feel the need to repeat the process so that they are in order of importance. If I think there are 3 “meanings”, I have to be able to organize them in my brain by thinking them all consecutively without breaking my though before I will allow myself to push play again. Sometimes I am not satisfied until I say my conclusions out loud, or sometimes I need to say them a certain number of times, or sometimes I have to say them forwards, and then backwards.

I know this sounds very confusing, but I have searched and searched and have not been able to find anything about what I am dealing with. I feel like it is controlling my life to the point of tears. I have considered that I may have OCD, but I don’t think I have any other symptoms to qualify me for that diagnosis.

Please, please help me!

Emily

A: Thank you for asking about this condition. Naturally I could not diagnose this because there is too little information, but I do think you are on the right track. You’ll want to find a clinician, a psychologist or neuropsychologist to administer a battery of tests to rule out OCD or adult hyperlexia, or other such conditions. A good battery of tests can help identify and diagnose and offer treatment options. Here is a link to the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology member directory. They can help you find someone in your area for testing.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Aug 2010

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). Overanalyzing controls my life!. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/08/28/overanalyzing-controls-my-life/