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I think I have OCD, not sure what to do.

(6 Posts)
oopslateagain Wed 24-Oct-12 23:46:41

Just reading a thread about someone's DC biting the skin around their nails, and sort of following on from there, lots of things seem to fit. I used to compulsively bite the skin on my thumbs, I think in my early teens, and I also developed a habit of doing a sort of fast head-nod-shake thing, just a small movement but noticeable. My mum was always telling me off for doing it. I managed to stop myself doing the head-nod thing, but switched from biting my thumbs to biting the insides of my cheeks and lips, and picking at my gums with my fingernails. I still do it. My dentists have always mentioned my 'receding gums' but give me the hmm look when I say they're not actually receding, I picked them until they stopped growing back. sad

When I was in my late teens (uni and starting work) I had to re-lock my door several times and turn light switches on and off and turn taps on and off until they "felt right", I can't explain it really. If I had to step around something for a reason - like, padlocking my bike - I'd have to step back round it the other way to even things out. I don't do these any more. But sometimes if I touch something, I have to touch it again.

Something I still do, is that if I get a glass of water from a tap I have to splash the first bit of water in the glass and then empty it, before I can fill the glass. And whenever I lock a door - house, car, shed, anything - I have to pull the handle afterwards to make sure it's locked, even if it's a visible padlock that I've just snapped shut.

It's a really stressful time right now - house move - and tonight I realised I was doing the head-nod thing a tiny bit. Which makes me a bit worried that these things are not 'gone' but just lurking somewhere. I don't really know much about OCD but on a quick Wiki search, these seem to fit the bill.

God, that got long, so sorry! blush

fluffydressinggown Thu 25-Oct-12 00:14:35

I don't want to comment on whether you have OCD or not, you will need to speak to your GP about a diagnosis. Would you feel able to speak to him/her about it? There are effective treatments for OCD smile

It is worth thinking about how much your obsessions/compulsions cause you distress and how much they interfere with your life. OCD is an anxiety disorder rather than a disorder of repeating things or doing things. I think some of the things you are worried about are very normal, checking locks is human I think! The skin picking sounds very sore and that must be very upsetting sad

Do you have obsessive or intrusive thoughts? Or distressing thoughts you don't want to have? They can be a feature of OCD.

I have OCD. Some of my things are part of me and they don't bother me so much. Some things cause me huge distress and they are the things that I try to work on!

I don't know if this helps! Nobody can diagnose you over the internet but like I say if you are worried go to your GP for support.

Zwitterion Thu 25-Oct-12 00:28:04

What fluffy said.

OCD is diagnosed by the effect it has on your life day to day - so, how much time rituals take up, how distressing intrusive thoughts are etc.

Please do see your doctor. OCD responds well both to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and medication, such as Sertraline (Lustral) or fluoxetine (Prozac).

I've had OCD since I was 8 ish. It's pretty much under control now. It gets worse when I'm stressed and I relapse when pregnant, but otherwise it's ok, and a part of me. I view it as a long term chronic condition that will never go away, but I have strategies to cope with it well.

Hope you get the help you need. smile

oopslateagain Thu 25-Oct-12 19:51:41

Thanks fluffy. The skin picking isn't painful but I'm worried that it will cause teeth problems. I don't really worry about the other things TBH; I didn't realise they were a problem until I started looking at myself and wondering what wasn't " normal". I really don't want to start the head-nodding again though as that just looks so weird.

Zwitterion is it worth seeing the doctor even though the 'rituals' don't really affect my life? I don't honestly know how CBT would work when half the time I don't even realise I'm doing things. And I feel a bit daft going to the GP and saying "um, I'm nodding my head a lot..." blush

Zwitterion Thu 25-Oct-12 21:14:05

Tricky one. I'm not a medic but if it's not getting jn the way of your life or stopping you from doing things and you're happy with your 'quirks' then there's no need to see a doctor.

But you did say that recent stress has caused your symptoms to reoccur, and you did sound concerned. My worry would be that if you experienced more (greater) stress in the future, you could also experience a reoccurrence of these symptoms.

In my experience, CBT works best when you're not in the storm, but heading in or out of it, iyswim. Then you have the strength and wherewithal to build up strategies for coping when it hits again.

Right, enough of the dodgy weather analogies! Good luck whatever you decide to do.

AlexanderS Mon 29-Oct-12 20:43:24

It sounds like OCD. Only you can decide if it is enough of a problem at the current time to go to your GP. It is not the head-nodding per se that is problematic, it is the distress that accompanies the head-nodding, if distress is accompanying it. My OCD started like yours, a need to repeat certain things until they felt right, and it wasn't overly worrisome at that point. But then it developed - I started to worry that bad things would happen if I didn't repeat these actions and get very anxious if I was prevented from repeating them. I also started to spend a considerable amount of time every day doing these rituals. Even if you don't go to the doctor keep an eye on this issue. (You know what, I think I would go to the doctor if I was you because of the impact it's having on your gums if nothing else).

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