Double checking things is a pretty common thing that most people do, like, “Did I turn the oven off”, or “Did I lock the front door?” What if you feel compelled to triple check or even quadruple check? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a specific type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by obsessive thoughts and urges or compulsive, repetitive behaviors.
For instance, checking that the oven is off, then wiping down the counters, then checking that the oven is off, wiping down the oven, then making sure the burners are off before being able to leave the house.
A person with OCD has endures unwanted obsessive thoughts, that are difficult or impossible to ignore. These obsessive thoughts are recurring and typically cause compulsive and habitual activities. A person suffering from OCD feels compelled to perform these activities in order to regulate or reduce their heightened feeling of anxiety.
These obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals can have a serious effect on a person’s life at home and work. A common compulsion in people with OCD is cleaning, which stems from obsessive thoughts about germs or being dirty. Another is checking locks on doors and windows or making sure the stove is off which stems from feelings of not being safe.