Anxiety Support

Sensorimotor OCD, anyone

I have had overbreathing problem since I can remember. I always thought it is caused by my anxiety. But now I finally realized that overbreathing triggers my anxiety and it is the core of my problem rather than my anxiety.

I googled few days ago about my condition and found the term sensorimotor OCD, which involves over awareness of involuntary activities such as breathing, hear rate or swallowing. Obviously, I have this sensorimotor OCD and it's torturing me so much. I spent years feeling like walking dead, unable to function normally. It's more inhibiting than one can imagine as it involves 24h a day. I wonder if anyone is having the same problem?

3 Replies

Hi. At last! Someone else who uses the expression sensorimotor obsession/compulsion. I was just talking to someone on this site last night about this issue. I think that it is often forgotten that anxiety, ocd and sensorimotor obsession/compulsion are all linked, although having one does not automatically mean having the 3. My partner is a doctor who specialises in mental/emotional health and we have talked about this aspect of anxiety as a possible explanation in my case - though it has since been discounted. My understanding is that therapy is required to 'unlearn' the behaviours which are unwanted. As I said to someone else on here before, naming and understanding the nature of the problem demystifies it and makes it easier to defeat. As is the case with any type of anxiety disorder, fear, is at the heart of sensorimotor obsession/compulsion. A good therapist will be able to guide the client into an appropriate goal-oriented programme.


Hi, Karlkohl, thanks for your reply.

I have a question, are most of the therapists specializing in treating OCD most likely able to help people with this sensorimotor OCD problem?


The short answer is yes - the initial health anxiety has developed into ocd or sensorimotor compulsion, so a properly qualified therapist should have no problem in guiding you to better health.


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