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OCD Symptoms

by Morgan

Photo Credit: B.T. Indrelunas

Photo Credit: B.T. Indrelunas

Hi all,

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!

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by: Anonymous

Hi, I am not a specialist, but a person, who had previously OCD. I do not know whether is an OCD, but is a good sign that you can understand that there is a problem and you are willing to work to overcome it. I think this is the first and very important step. You can speak to your GP and get transfered to a professional. He/she will do a check and will tell you for sure. But it seems like anxiety problem indeed. Be prepared that the healing process is not pleasant at all, but the result is well worthy. In overall you face your fear and get rid of it. After the hard work you feel free again and you are pleased with yourself.
Good luck!

by: Paul Cornyetz, retired from practice.

I suggest that you locate a psychoanalyst and make an appointment to visit him or her. Perhaps you could find a society in your vicinity, using your telephone directory. Of course, you should ask what s/he would charge you for a consultation.

Sincerely yours, Paul Cornyetz (I have retired from practice).

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