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I feel like I might have some form of OCD (new member)

Hi there,

I have been thinking about this a lot for the past year or so now. I get the feeling that I suffer from OCD but I don't want to come across as melodramatic.

I have rituals that I MUST obey to otherwise, I cannot sleep at night. For example, I have to check every room downstairs to make sure all switches are turned off. This usually takes a long time, and I find it difficult to simply look at the switch and think 'Yeah, it's off.' I have to check most switches several times, and/or stare at them for reasonably long periods of time before my brain can understand that a switch is off. I know the switch is off, I can see it, but I have to receive some form of confirmation from my brain for me to move onto the next switch. This also extends to shutting/locking doors and windows.

I also feel the need to explain everything I do in my head. For example, if I chose to complete a particular essay before I started another one, I would need to go through and explain to myself why I have chosen one over the other. Or, if I see a notification on my phone and do not check it immediately, I will need to explain to myself why I have not done so. These are just two examples, but there are lots more.

Furthermore, I have to apologise for absolutely everything I do. This is a must-do when I am explaining things in my head. It is essential that I apologise for, for example, not giving my dog his dinner at precisely 6:30 PM on the dot (which I would also have to explain). The apologising is also prevalent when I make jokes to friends - if, for example, I said that a friend was stupid for not knowing the correct answer to a question, I would have to explain to myself that what I said was a joke, that I was only telling this joke to make people laugh, which would make people happy, which would make their day better, and that I was sorry for telling the joke, and taking the time to explain this all.

At first, these things didn't affect me much, but recently - especially in the last few months - I have begun to generate a lot of self-anger as a result of me not being able to stop these thoughts and rituals. I dread the whole ordeal of checking everything before I go to bed, and it frustrates me to a great extent. It has affected my reading ability too - I struggle with reading textbooks and novels because I have to re-read lots of sentences so I can fully comprehend everything that has been written.

What I want to know is - is this some form of OCD?

Thank you,


9 Replies

Yes Chris definitely is. You sound quite young? I would suggest you seek help and nip it in the bud before it gets too bad.

There is medication and counselling and also CBT treatment out there if you go to your GP.

Good luck and know that you are not alone.


Thank you, firstly, for your reply - it means a great deal!

I’m not sure how you’d define “young”, but I’m 18 in two weeks, so, by my definition, not that young!

I have thought many-a-time about visiting my GP, but circumstances at home at the moment mean that I do not want to tell my parents about this potential for OCD. It is highly unlikely that I could visit my local GP without my parents finding out, so I’m unsure of what to do.

Thanks for your response, though. It really does mean a lot!



you can ask your doctor to keep your visit confidential and I think he is obliged to do so under the GMC code of conduct in the UK, see link.


As a side comment, why not tell your parents eventually - they can be of support for your. But you know best.

Without a therapist, things are bound to get worse and more difficult to treat.

Take care



Hi again

I read your post in its entirety now. What you could do in the meantime is to try not to doublecheck the lights for instance. It would be a start. Just switch off, you can see its off, then go to the next room. Try not to entertain the thoughts that come in your mind - let them go, else you end up with a lot of compulsions that will be more difficult to eradicate and you never get out of then loop. Remember that OCD can get better, but it can also get worse.

One more point, you can try and phone your doctor for an appointment with am therapist, so the whole thing is even more discreet. For the medication you will need a doctor or a psychiatrist.

You will need an OCD specialist - its definitely OCD you suffer from.

p.s. As a reference I take Fluoxetine as a antidepressant and Xanax for anxiety. They both woprk fine and they are saffe, they have been around a long time.

Message me if you want.

Take care



This is certainly OCD! The rituals and feeling doubtful about having switched things off are typical. Do get a referral to a psychiatrist or therapist. Medication can take the worst of the OCD off, though as you may have read on this site it doesn't suit some people. It is worth giving it a go. The other treatment is CBT, or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which can be gruelling as it means challenging your OCD behaviour, but it is effective.

Meanwhile try a self-help book such as Overcoming OCD. Also perhaps try BrainLock by Jeffery Schwartz which actually deals with a case where a woman was so uncomfortable thinking she hadn't switched kitchen appliances off that she was unplugging and taking them to work!

I recognize the reading problem, but I have learned to manage it! It is quite common with OCD. I am a big reader and still manage to read lots.

These rituals can be exhausting, but that is a good incentive to get treatment and make it work for you. Do confide in your school teachers so they can understand what OCD makes you do, and if necessary make allowances for you. They may also be able to help refer you.


Thank you for all your advice! I learned about CBT in my A-Level Psychology course and I feel this would be the best kind of treatment to have (if I needed it), as I had a friend who suffered from OCD and the medication he took changed his personality quite radically. I’ll try and see a GP and see what they say.

Again, thanks so much!

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I heard you can get self CBT workbooks which I haven’t tried myself as I’m receiving CBT from a therapist but it would be something discreet for you to try!


Oh I’ll have a look, thanks!


Yeah man, it definitely sounds like ocd. But don’t beat yourself up, a lot of the things you described are similar symptoms to what I have. Re-reading paragraphs in books, feeling guilty for the smallest things I do, etc. this is all common with ocd.

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