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Why Do I Do This with My Hands, Is It OCD?

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I have a lot of anxiety and depression issues, but lately I’ve noticed that when I get anxious I count to four over and over again in my head, or on my fingers by touching my pinky to my thumb then my ring finger to my thumb and so on. Why do I do this? I don’t want to ask anyone because I feel like they will think I am weird, so I try to hide it. I am afraid I am going crazy. Do you know why I do this? (From Canada)

Why Do I Do This with My Hands, Is It OCD?

Answered by on -


Thank you for asking this important question. I can understand why you would think consider a diagnosis of OCD is a possibility. The repetition of the thoughts and behaviors sounds like it is a response to the anxiety — and an evaluation by a mental health professional with experience in OCD would be a very good next step. They can make the determination, and if it is OCD make recommendations for treatment.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Why Do I Do This with My Hands, Is It OCD?

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Why Do I Do This with My Hands, Is It OCD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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