Constant Focus on Eye Blinking

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hi! My name is Emily. I have something to ask you, and if you could take the time to respond I would realllly appreciate it! Ok well here it is… It sounds really bizarre, I know.. but the problem is, I’m constantly aware of my eyes blinking. Every waking moment, I try to control my eyes blinking and it becomes very irritating. Maybe it is sensorimotor OCD or something? I used to have this same issue with breathing- constantly controlling every breath. But it causes a lot of distress and I’m alwaysss thinking about it… It distracts me from things, dissociates me from others, and has been going on for almost 5 months so I’ve become a little depressed…. how do i go about overcoming this with a positive attitude? I’m also a college student and need to focus on passing classes & having a happy social life… it’s hard when this consumes my life :( Any kind of response would be great thanks:)

A. It is difficult to know what may be happening. Two possibilities exist: the constant eye blinking may be due to a medical problem (i.e. Tourette’s syndrome); or it is a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is important to examine both possibilities.

The most appropriate way to address this problem is to see your primary care physician to rule out a medical problem. Discuss all of your symptoms and be certain to mention that this problem significantly interferes with your life. You should also be evaluated by a therapist who specializes in treating individuals with OCD. Being evaluated by both a primary care physician and a therapist will help to better uncover the exact nature of this problem.

In the meantime, you may want to read about “hyper-intention.” The basic concept of hyper-intention is that a person’s fears or their problems are made worse by their intense focus on them. I have written about hyper-intention here in the past and you can search for those posts. You can also consult Man’s Search For Meaning, a book by Viktor Frankl that explains the concept in more detail.

Psychotherapy can help to eliminate your unwanted behavior. Another possible treatment option is psychiatric medication. Medication may decrease the desire to focus on your eye blinking. Both possibilities can be discussed with your primary care physician or your therapist.

I hope this helps. The “find help” tab, at the top of this page, can help you to locate a therapist in your community. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Sep 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Constant Focus on Eye Blinking. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/07/constant-focus-on-eye-blinking/