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Need to Know Where People Live: Is This OCD?

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I have this issue where I need to know where people live. If I am with someone new, I feel like I cannot trust them, but if I know where they live, then I am calm and able to start the process of trust. (If they are trustworthy).

Not knowing where someone lives causes anxiety and I think about it over and over.

Is there something very wrong with me?

Need to Know Where People Live: Is This OCD?

Answered by on -


Your insistence on knowing where people live might be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by distressing thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions) that a person feels they need to perform in order to reduce their distressing thoughts. An evaluation from a mental health professional could determine if you have OCD.

Each time you feel anxious about not knowing where someone lives, and subsequently seek out their address in order to reduce your anxiety, you strengthen your anxiety. It might sound counterintuitive, but by giving into your anxiety, in an effort to reduce it, you actually make it worse. The way to overcome this is to resist your urge to acquire a person’s address and endure the anxiety. Your anxiety level will increase at first, but it will soon decrease. Many people are unwilling to endure anxiety and to their detriment, seek ways to escape it.

Let’s also examine your logic. In order for you to trust someone, you must know where they live, but I am not aware of any research that suggests trustworthiness can be determined by knowing where someone lives. It is illogical. Every serial killer has or had an address. Had you known their address you would have been no safer. It would have told you nothing about their trustworthiness.

Trustworthiness is earned over time. When first meeting someone you don’t know if you can trust them or not. You don’t know them well enough to make that judgment. Generally, if a person demonstrates they can be relied upon, they are worthy of your trust.

A mental health professional can assist you in analyzing your logic and correcting irrational thoughts. Left untreated, OCD tends to be a progressive disorder but early intervention can prevent that from happening. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Need to Know Where People Live: Is This OCD?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Need to Know Where People Live: Is This OCD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 29 Aug 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.