Photo Credit: B.T. Indrelunas
I wanted to find a more reliable website to ask around whether if anyone knows whether I should talk to my doctor about this, or if these are just little quirks. I know sometimes the lines between quirks and minor OCD can be blurry, so I'll describe my symptoms and if you think you know what's going on, I'd love to hear.
1. I obsessively pick at the skin around my fingers. I used to bite at it too until I got braces. I often pick at them enough for them to be bloody. I notice I do this when I am either anxious or just bored, and I often don't realized I'm doing it until it gets painful.
I do this everywhere, in private and in public. It often distracts me in class, and some of my teachers have noticed that I've got "a little thing" with my fingers. I've finally stopped this, at least for the most part, by wearing fake nails that don't come off easily. I can't pick at my fingers with them on. But my fingers are all calloused and scarred over from how badly they've been picked at. Another strange thing about it: some times I eat the skin I pick off. I've researched that a bit and I came up with Dermatophagia, which is, as I understand, part of the OCD spectrum?
2. I have recently developed an obsession with brushing my teeth. This developed very shortly after I stopped the finger picking (a week or two), so I'm thinking maybe it's just a different outlet? I've read that this is more common with people who have braces, which I do, but I've had them on for a year and a half now, and this is only just setting in now. This may be one of the biggest reasons I'm wondering if I have a minor form of OCD: I have obsessive thoughts that 1) there is food between my teeth even after I've brushed thoroughly and 2) My teeth are yellow, even though I am told they are not. Along those lines, I fear that if I don't keep my teeth white enough, I will not be accepted into the musical theatre programs I am applying to next year, and will never be successful.
3. This may be more of just a little quirk, but I always need to know where the nearest chapstick is. If I don't have one in the room I'm in, I need to immediately find it and keep it with me. When I go out I must always have chapstick in my pocket. This is the case even if my lips are not chapped.
Those are the three main things I was wondering about. Unlike many OCD patients, I am not obsessive about having my spaces clean and organized. My room is usually messy and it doesn't normally bother me.
If you have any ideas/input, please answer! Thank you!