Could I have OCD?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I think I could have OCD and this is why;
- A voice tells me to do things such as organise objects, repeatedly check things or do things in 5’s.
– I constantly worry about fires or burglaries or people getting hurt because of me.
– Pictures on my wall are straight.
– Bottles in size order with labels facing forwards
– Books in size order.
-Check my straighteners are turned off 5 times before going out.
-DVDs and games perfectly straight and in size order
-Lights off when no one is in the room
-Sockets with plugs in are turned off when not supervised.

I know I’m being stupid by doing these things but I think that someone will get hurt so I have to do them.
Does this seem like I could ocd?

A: I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter. However, I can tell you that this is consistent with OCD. Like you, most people with OCD know that their behavior is really unnecessary but they still feel like they have to do it.

The behaviors on your list are harmless unless they are taking up a big part of your day or make you feel anxious for the better part of the day. Putting things in order and checking to make sure plugs are off doesn’t hurt anyone. But if you spend so much time lining things up and checking the plugs that it gets in the way of doing homework or spending time with friends or connecting with your family, that’s another matter. Then it’s time to talk with a counselor.

A counselor can help you learn some techniques for controlling the thoughts and compulsions. There are also some medicines that can be helpful. On the other hand, lots of people seem to outgrow these compulsions or at least are less bothered by them as they reach their late teens and early twenties. If the thoughts and behaviors aren’t interfering too much with your life, you could just wait and see.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Could I have OCD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/19/could-i-have-ocd-2/

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