Can Someone Have OCD and not Know it?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Last August my husband stabbed me a few times, but I don’t really think he was trying to kill me. I’ve noticed behaviors in him that I thought were strange, but really didn’t pay attention until after the event happened. He had a routine he followed every evening. He would rearrange thing often. He would be silent as if he were ignoring me, then after a few beers he would be accusing me of things that had no meaning. He could use a bar of soap in two days. He always had to cook his own food, even if we went out to eat. He would bring it home in a to go box, separate it and eat it a few days later.

A. It’s unclear whether your husband has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but one thing is certain: he’s dangerous. Perhaps you are in denial. For example, when you wrote “my husband stabbed me… but I really don’t think he was trying to kill me,” Undoubtedly, by stabbing you, he was trying to hurt you and maybe even kill you.

Based on the limited information provided in your letter, this is what I can gather about your husband: he’s controlling, he drinks and he recently attempted to stab you. You are in a dangerous situation.

I would strongly advise you to take precautions to protect yourself. It may mean a permanent separation or at least temporarily moving out of the home until your husband receives treatment. Secure a restraining order if necessary. Do not hesitate to call the police if he acts out aggressively. You have to do what is necessary to protect yourself.

Since your husband stabbed you once, then it is possible that he may try to harm you again. He may have OCD but he may simply be out of control and dangerous. Aggressive, out of control behavior is not characteristic of OCD. I hope you don’t ignore the fact the you are possibly in grave danger. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Can Someone Have OCD and not Know it?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/07/10/can-someone-have-ocd-and-not-know-it/