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fangers

do i have ocd or is it something else?

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i'm not sure if i have some form of mild ocd but about three months ago i started having these thoughts that i had to fulfill. it's like if my mind thinks of an action - for example closing doors or doing something a certain number of times - then i have to do it otherwise i can't concentrate on anything else. i can never leave anything unfinished, for example schoolwork, even if i don't need to finish it. when i watch or read things i have to take in absolutely everything and if i feel like i've missed something even though i haven't i'll go back and check multiple times (for example, if i read a sentence but don't really take its meaning in i read it over and over.) i've also started washing my hands quite a lot always with soap, particularly before bed, and if i've touched anything potentially dirty then i feel the need to go back and wash again.

my older brother was diagnosed with ocd when he was about my age (his was hygiene based; he washed his hands quite a lot as well) so i know what it looks like and what the signs are, but i'm still not sure if i actually have ocd. unfortunately my parents are not very educated about mental health (they actually made it harder for my brother to get treatment because they thought that their own 'alternative' methods would work, which they didn't - he did eventually get treatment in the end) and refuse to believe it's of any significance. i'd like to believe that if i went to them they'd be willing to allow me to go to a professional and be diagnosed but sadly it's not something i can be completely sure of. any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Edited by fangers

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I can't say whether you for sure have OCD, but i can say that (although i also haven't been properly diagnosed) i suffer with some OCD-like stuff, and can actually relate to quite a few of your points. 

i used to have to read sentences over and over again for fear of not taking them in. i'm pretty much over it now. i can't remember quite how i got over it but i love reading, and it was stopping me reading and that bothered me. i think it was a talk with my mum that just led to me accepting it and moving on - you don't /have/ to take absolutely everything in in a novel, because no one does. you need to get the gist of something as it moves along, rather than recalling everything you just read on a page. 

maybe try reading a book you know well, or have read before. that way you won't worry so much, and may just allow yourself to get into the flow. but really, i think it's just tough love with this one - if you feel the urge to go back and reread, just don't. accept you know enough, and that it's okay! we're very good at recognising when we've actually been distracted and not taken something in and when it's just worry, so don't stress over it. 

i also wash my hands a ton and didn't realise this might be an ocd thing until a while ago (my main brand of ocd that i think i have isn't contamination-based, but i heard if you have ocd it's typical to have features of other 'types', too). i'm not totally sure if it's ocd on my part because i never feel completely compelled to do it, i just want to, so i do. but if it's becoming a pressing, ridiculous problem for you (you're doing it really often), then i guess it's the same principle of just trying your hardest to keep the hand washing in moderation. or you could carry a hand sanitiser and gradually lessen your reliance on it, bit by bit? 

but as for the actual question - it does sound ocd-like, if i'm honest! but it also sounds quite mild. i'd definitely try and talk to your parents about it. also, your brother having ocd wouldn't really (i'd think) affect if you do, but that doesn't mean you don't have it. 

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