Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Don't need to check? But what if.....

Everyday I try not to check as do all of those with OCD. We tell ourselves over and again that we should not and sometimes manage not to. But what if? I know the words "what if" are very dangerous and destructive to those with OCD and we should not entertain them but what if someone leaves the back door unlocked? You usually try not to check it as 99 times out if 100 they remember to lock it. This morning I was about to leave for work and I noticed that the key was not in the cupboard next to my vitamins so I looked at the lock and there it was. I wondered if he'd turned the key highly suspecting he had not. I pulled the handle and it opened. I was annoyed because of the security risk but also because he knows I have OCD and that this will not help. So now I am left thinking does this mean I do have to check everything?! My rational mind says not but my OCD is giving me an evil grin. I wonder if I can put this down to one of those occasional things and continue to walk away from the doubt each time I get the urge to check. What do you think?


  1. Everyone has an occasional leaving the door open--I did it this week for the first time in a long time. The OCD is going to try to turn this into a rationale for repeated checking, but it's not really concerned about your safety, just about being certain. I find with my checking that no amount is ever enough for my OCD, so I take my best guess about what is reasonable, and live with the anxiety about "what ifs" until the anxiety goes down.

  2. I think that whenever you think something might be OCD, you should probably assume that it is and not go along with whatever demands it makes. That said, I know how you feel! Something seems to go wrong the minute you don't check, seemingly validifying the OCD concern. But this is what my therapist has told me when I have asked similar questions - to assume it's OCD when in doubt. It's hard, but OCD is about learning to live with uncertainty. So live, and do so by taking the risk of not knowing everything for sure all the time.