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Why do I display this behaviour?

(23 Posts)
whatisthisabout Tue 12-Apr-16 21:30:08


Posting here for traffic, and also because I'm not sure else where to post. And maybe this is about my relationship with myself and those I love.

I am, on the surface, totally normal. I have a loving husband and 2 teenagers (late teens).

But, I do a weird thing, and I have done ever since I can remember, and I've been wondering lately, if it's a condition?

Either way, it won't affect me greatly, but at mid 40's now, I'd like to learn why I am doing this.

Ok. So..

If I see something awful on the TV (crash scene/murder scene/freak accident scene etc) and I have the misfortune to swallow when I am looking at it, I feel as though I have swallowed that bad luck into myself and that someone near to me will be hurt. I then have to look away from the picture and kind of cough it out of me and blow it away.

I realise how fucking nuts this sounds! I'm an Ex Bank Manager and now I run my own business....I'm not a nut...what the fuck is this about?

I'm pretty sure I'm not OCD, as I'm tidy, but not over the top at all, I can go weeks without bothering about dusting/cleaning.

I know when I was young, I did weird stuff too. I couldn't touch the banister in the house without thinking I'd get a virus, and I had to do a ritual to free me from that. I also did a weird thing when I was little, which involved frequently opening my mouth really wide, It drove my parents nuts!

Gosh, I sound mad, and I'm really not! I've not told anyone about any of this.

Any insight would be good. Bloody hell, If I read this as an outsider I would scoff, it just sounds so mad!

Haggisfish Tue 12-Apr-16 21:32:37

Possibly something happened to you as a child that coincided with some small ritual and an association was set up. I also think that actually lots of people have these oddities but very rarely talk about them! I have a LOT of friends who have a weird thing with odd or even numbers-things like volume, number if steps etc all have to be even.

ABetaDad1 Tue 12-Apr-16 21:37:48

OCD isn't just about being an obsessive cleaner.

It can cover many types of obsessive traits. Sounds like you have exhibited a number of them over your life.

If it is affecting your life yo need a talking therapy like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

whatisthisabout Tue 12-Apr-16 21:39:56

Thanks for replies. I'm really not worried, and I don't want therapy, but as I've got older, I am questioning why the heck I am doing this?

LineyReborn Tue 12-Apr-16 21:41:00

Little rituals are really common. You can learn techniques to 'intervene' with yourself, but a lot of rituals are harmless.

LineyReborn Tue 12-Apr-16 21:42:10

I have a counting ritual I started as a child as a sort of security blanket.

I hardly ever do it now.

Gabilan Tue 12-Apr-16 21:43:49

OCD really isn't about being tidy. I'd also shift away from the nuts/ mad terms. We all have differing thought processes and the line between healthy and unhealthy isn't always clear. What's normal is basically what's common. You can do uncommon things without being so judgemental about those things being "mad". If it doesn't much intrude on daily life I wouldn't worry too much.

yoink Tue 12-Apr-16 21:44:11

What you describe can be symptoms of OCD as BetaDad says. It can be connected to a feeling of being responsible for everyone around you.

If they're just little 'quirks' that are part of you with no consequence, then a diagnosis is by the by really.

But if you find it distressing, or it's interfering with day to day living, then CBT can be really helpful.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Tue 12-Apr-16 21:44:33

Ocd isn't about being clean
I've had little obsessive rituals since I was a very young child - they aren't going anywhere. I can't stop them - it's just a funny little neural pathway that developed and it's now completely entrenched. You're quite normal!

yoink Tue 12-Apr-16 21:45:46

ah, x-post!

Glad it doesn't bother you. Intrusive thoughts and compulsions are really very common, and if they're not getting in the way then no need to worry smile

DustyMaiden Tue 12-Apr-16 21:48:11

I think you realise the randomness of misfortune and realise it could happen to you or your love ones. You create the ritual as a way of controlling the uncontrollable.

whatisthisabout Tue 12-Apr-16 21:49:00

Phew! That is so good to know it's a bit normal! Thanks! xx

GruffaloMoggy Tue 12-Apr-16 22:02:52

Its the C in OCD. The compulsion. You feel compulsed to carry out that ritual.

Mine is the D. I hate disorder. My house has to be in order.

britmodgirl Tue 12-Apr-16 22:08:29

It's just a little oddity, we all have them. Your thought processes overrunning and making you have a slight compulsive behaviour.

I am also 'normal' but my weird thing is that I've got a used sanitary towel stuck to my back (what's that about!??) I constantly check when out in public!

I think these oddities only become problematic when you obsessively complete them to the point it effects your every day functioning - OCD or you wouldn't go out due to the anxiety produced.

the secret is that we are all a bit odd!

Daenerys2 Tue 12-Apr-16 22:22:35

I think we all have odd secret behaviour. You're just very aware of it. Have you ever though you may be on the spectrum?

Daenerys2 Tue 12-Apr-16 22:30:13

Also, the thing with the mouth sounds like Tourette's. It's not just about swearing. In its modest form it's about involuntary actions (like opening your mouth very wide).

HeddaGarbled Tue 12-Apr-16 22:37:58

It's a compulsion, probably obsessive but is it a disorder? So verging on OCD but would only get the full diagnosis if it becomes debilitating and stops you from doing things you want to do.

I know several people who have obsessive compulsions (other than the cleaning thing) but although they find them embarrassing and try to hide them, they don't interfere with their lives except in a fairly minimal way, so haven't sought out therapy etc.

For example, one person I know does a little half step thing after a certain number of normal steps. I can't remember what number it is, but it is always the same. She does it so subtly, you wouldn't normally notice unless you were looking for it. She started it after her mum died when she was a teenager so it's fairly obvious it's an anxiety control strategy.

If you are really wanting to understand this, can you think about when your rituals started? Any obvious triggers? It could be as simple as having watched an alarming television programme or overhearing adults talking about a tragedy at an age when you weren't ready to cope with it.

Nabootique Wed 13-Apr-16 09:50:32

I have a weird little thing I do when I think a bad thought, something I don't want to happen, and unless I do it I feel like the bad thing will actually happen. I've done it since I was 11 or so. Still do it now and I'm in my thirties. I know it's an OCD characteristic but it doesn't cause me any problems, and as PPs have said, we all have strange foibles!

Zaphodsotherhead Wed 13-Apr-16 10:02:13

I'm a writer and I won't write about certain scenarios in my books - because, in my head, writing it makes it come true!

Guiltypleasures001 Wed 13-Apr-16 10:11:06

Hey lovely

A lot of OCD or repetitive behaviour is a control mechanism, something sets us off usually in childhood or another stressful situation.

But it's not unusual for people to do these rituals, I outline shapes for example sitting watching telly and following the outline of coving with my eyes, or mental finger.

I used to count letters in words as well, this one I don't do now no idea why I did it or don't do now.
The more we worry about these things the more power they get, if it's harmless I wouldn't worry, worry if it stops you living your life.

redwhiteandblueberry Wed 13-Apr-16 10:11:52

OP I do and have done exactly the same! I can't believe someone else does this. Have done since being a child. It started with worrying about unclean things and "swallowing" them, but then extended into things that I didn't want. Eg I shouldn't swallow while looking at this thing or that thing otherwise I am making some sort of choice to have it.

Interesting responses on here about it.

Mishaps Wed 13-Apr-16 10:20:37

It is called "magical thinking" - "Magical thinking is the attribution of causal relationships between actions and events which cannot be justified by reason and observation."

As a feature of OCD it is usually about having to perform some action in order to prevent disaster - e.g. if I do not wash my hands 10 times, my house will catch fire (or whatever).

In your case you are talking about making a link between a chance action (swallowing) and harm coming to your loved ones. It is most likely that this can be simply categorised as superstition, and even the most rational of us have these! The most important factor here is how much it impinges on your life and reduces the quality of your life. For instance, if you then continue to worry about this for the next week, then it might be something that you would consider for treatment.

The best treatment is CBT, which helps to train the brain to eliminate irrational thoughts - lots of info online ad books etc.

FellOutOfBedTwice Wed 13-Apr-16 10:23:13

Yep, that's OCD. I have it and am not even remotely tidy!! I've had CBT to try and break the "faulty thinking" and to a certain degree it's worked. I'm more aware of what I'm doing now at least. Worthwhile in my opinion.

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