Signs & Symptoms of Checking OCD
Signs and symptoms of checking OCD may include:
- checking multiple times to make sure doors are locked, appliances are turned off, etc.
- checking to see if something bad will happen if certain rituals or behaviors are not carried out
- engaging in repetitive behaviors such as tapping, handwashing, or counting in an attempt to relieve anxiety
- avoiding people, places, or things that might trigger obsessions or compulsions
- feeling anxious, stressed, or on edge much of the time
Checking OCD is characterized by persistent and intrusive checking compulsions. People with checking OCD often feel an overwhelming need to check things (e.g., locks, appliances, doors) multiple times or in a certain way in order to prevent something bad from happening. For example, someone with checking OCD might check the stove repeatedly to make sure it is turned off or check the locks on the door several times to make sure they are locked. These checking compulsions can interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress. Checking OCD is a type of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is a mental health condition that is characterized by obsessions (intrusive thoughts, images, or urges) and/or compulsions (repetitive behaviors or mental acts). People with OCD often experience difficulty controlling their thoughts and behaviors despite knowing that their obsessions and compulsions are unreasonable. If you think you might have checking OCD, please reach out to a mental health professional for help.
What should you do if you think you have Checking OCD?
If any of the signs of Checking OCD resonate with you and you think you may have Checking OCD, one of the first steps you can take is to take a Harm OCD test. A simple online test might help to put your thoughts in perspective and reassure you that there is nothing shameful about having these thoughts (although that is easy to say if you are not the one having the thoughts!).
There are various methods of treatment for Checking OCD that may go some way to alleviating the stress and worry caused by having such thoughts.
Treatment for Checking OCD
The gold-standard treatment for sufferers of Checking OCD is ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy). This is a form of CBT whereby the patient engages in exercises that gradually expose them to their fears in a planned and strategic way.Research demonstrates that this is the most effective way of treating Checking OCD and is successful in more than two-thirds of cases.
CBT that incorporates mindfulness is also considered to be an effective way of treating Checking OCD in the latter stages of treatment. This treatment aims to change how you see and react to your thoughts, so you take them less seriously. Mindfulness will help you feel more relaxed and able to cope when the thoughts arise.
Some see medication as a last resort, but for others it is an effective way to manage their symptoms when combined with appropriate psychotherapy and behavior change. Medication (most commonly SSRIs) can be used in conjunction with other treatments and is most effective when combined with ERP.
If you think you may have Checking OCD, the best course of action is to see your physician or a therapist who will assess your symptoms and advise you on the best course of action to help you.