From Canada: I’ve thought for a while now I might have OCD, but I never wanted to tell anyone in case I was wrong, and anyway we really can’t afford therapy. But I’ve spent nearly all of my time when I should be doing other work researching OCD symptoms and reading the same articles on OCD over and over again. I’ve spent hours almost daily just going through all of these and monitoring all my behavior to see how much of it matches up with the symptoms. Tonight I should have been studying, but instead I just spent three hours researching OCD, and I do this all the time but rationalize it by telling myself it’s okay because I still get good grades.
I’ve always been a bit of a control freak (I have to plan everything myself, and when people do things like cancel plans on me I don’t handle it very well) but the reason I thought I might have OCD is because I have some thoughts, mostly about sexual acts with family members that I can block out, but it happens all the time. I also have a problem when something goes wrong I spend at least an hour thinking about or acting out in my head all the ways I could have done something differently to fix or prevent whatever happened – I even do this for things that haven’t actually happened. Like, I’ll think about what could happen if my friend or a stranger got shot, and then think about all the ways I could prevent it or save their life.
I just want to know if any of these things are actual OCD symptoms or if I’m just paranoid.
Thank you for taking the time to write us here at Psych Central. I understand that you said you couldn’t afford therapy. However there are clinics where therapy can be provided for free or no charge right in your city.
I will encourage you to do two things. Since you were in high school I would recommend you talk to the counselor there about what’s going on. The counselor in the school will help you get ready. I believe you having someone to talk to would be important and I do think it’s a good idea. Additionally I want you to contact your local women’s center. They can also help. They have good counselors there that can help you find services for little or no money.
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: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Obsessively Researching OCD. Psych Central.
Retrieved on July 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/12/27/obsessively-researching-ocd/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.