More threads by claireangie

Im new to the forum, and I am amazed to read peoples experiences with OCD, I have to say that reading lots of the entries I feel like a fraud as I am lucky in the fact that my OCD doesnt take over my life...well not completely, although it is very irritating, and extremely time consuming!

....basically in a nut shell my main problem is writing lists for "getting everything ready for the next day" and I have to physically get everything ready for "the next day"this involves clothes being hung up work bag being ready, and there is a long list of how to get my work bag ready and although what needs to actually be in my bag never changes..getting it ready in my head takes forever, often hours at a time, and then the continual checking until "it clicks" in my head is so annoying and time consuming....but the relief when everything "clicks" is wonderful.

I have been a list maker, and checker of things for aslong as i can remember...when work is very stressful it is even worse, and in classic OCD fashion the reason for the continual checking is because I worry so much that by not checking sufficiently I may forget something that may result in me doing something wrong at work and harming someone because I forgot something, I am a qualified psychiatric nurse (ironic hey!) and often I am the only qualified nurse on a I spend so long thinking up the worse case scenario that could happen on a shift, and try to think what I would do to deal with this.

Sometimes I do wonder if I had a job with a lot less responsibility, would my ocd be better? I was still a compulsive checker before I was a nurse, and my boyfriend believes that I would "worry" whatever job i did, but sometimes I am just so tierd both mentally and physically of this constant need to check that I have to take meds...but I only do this when it is so unbearable.

So are there any other "checkers" out there? Who have to check things until they "click" in your head? I would like to hear other peoples experiences, as I have never spoken to anyone else with this disorder.

Daniel E.
Sometimes I do wonder if I had a job with a lot less responsibility, would my ocd be better?

I would think so, to at least some degree, esp. since most people would find nursing to be stressful, not to mention psychiatric nursing. Some jobs obviously can trigger more anxiety, and, therefore, possibly more OCD. For example, I had more anxiety answering patient phone calls in a medical office than I did working with computers for a toy distributor. Of course, even so-called easy jobs like shelving books at the library or sorting mail at the post office can become an OCD nightmare because of double-checking.
Another obvious example is that most people would hate to be an ambulance driver unless they had a very good ability to deal with stress. I remember reading somewhere about an ambulance driver that would actually drive much slower than he was supposed to in order to calm himself :)
The doctor prescribed me seroxat/paroxetine (not sure if it is the same name in canada or the US) It is an SSRI type anti depressant, I have found that it does help the ocd symptoms when they are unbearable, and the way I would describe how they benefit is simply by making me feel like "I cant be bothered to check", although I still check things it takes the edge off the checking and my anxiety levels decrease.

I dont like to take meds continually as I am aware of all the side effects, and I see the side effects daily at work, so I only take when things get really bad.
Ideally I would love to have some CBT but obviously the waiting lists are SO long because it is on the NHS, and I wouldnt be able to afford to go private.

I feel that by reading other peoples experiences with OCD this in itself is a great therapy and sharing my experiences when I feel particularly bad may also benefit.

Been reading a interesting book about OCD and Tourettes, and not that I would say I have Tourettes, but some of the "tics" that Amy Wilensky describes I definately say I show to some degree, eg constant foot tapping, head nodding, foot shaking, throat clearing...very interesting book

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
The problem with SSRIs is that if you only take them once in a while you mat as well not take them at all -- they don't work that way; they're not like tranquilizers.

If you're concerned about the side-effects of paroxetine (that's Paxil up here), you could ask your doctor to prescribe something else. Medications really do help with OCD. And they can also help with Tourette's symptoms, if you are exhibiting those.


Hi, I'm a checker and list maker also. I booked airline tickets to visit family in California. It's February now and I am not going until May and I have already made a list of "to do" things" (stop mail at post office, make sure bills are sent out, etc) That part is ok, but I've checked the list about 20 times since I made it (which was last week) Speaking of checking, I 've checked to see if my license is in my wallet and it is secured (photo ID at airport) I check to make sure it is still in my wallet atleast 5 times a day. (what is it going to jump out on it's own??)

I'm taking fluvoxamine (generic for Luvox) It helps a little. I once went to a psychologist and she told me a good technique is to try this: When you feel the need to check, etc. let the the feeling of acting on your impulses get to the maximum point in your head, (but don't do your "routine" You might feel that you want to act on that impulse...let it get to the max in your mind and soon it will subside. It's worked for me.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
A recent study in Ottawa found that there was a difference in effectiveness between the brand name Luvox (significantly more effective) and the generic version (less effective).

You might want to ask your doctor about that.


Hi Claireangie. I am also thankful that I don't suffer the debilitating extreme of this condition, but I have noticed that I am much more likely to check and double-check when I have not slept well, am distracted, or generally run down. I have a routine of checking things around the house (hobs, stove, locks, iron, plus the recent addition of some lightswitches) before bed and before leaving the house. I check the handbrake on the car repeatedly before leaving it parked. On occassion I have been known to return home from work/studies in the middle of the day to check that the back door is locked. I have once been reprimanded at work (data-entry) for slow output: I had a couple of days where I felt I couldn't trust myself to have done things correctly, and I was checking over and over again, to a ridiculous degree. I was "cured" of this particular instance when I begged my boss to categorically state "I expect you to make mistakes from time to time, and that is ok. I don't want you to check everything to the nth degree. You will not be perfect all of the time." It struck me as the only way to free myself from that particular need to check, and it worked a treat, straightaway.

Although I have never been diagnosed with OCD, I can certainly recognise some of the behaviour in myself, though not that "click" you describe. I have also been a habitual list-writer for as long as I can remember, and I often feel I can't take an action until I have crossed off all the other items on the list that appear before it, whether it would be sensible to do so or not. This has had some negative consequences. If I'm honest, it has had quite an impact on the way I live my life. I often feel I can't update my list until I tick everything off, which is a rare occurrence. So I often feel I'm stuck in a rut. I am aware that if you keep on doing the things you've always done, you'll keep on getting the results you've always gotten.

I definitely find getting decent amounts of sleep and lowering my general anxiety reduces my need to check things, as I am then more likely to trust myself that I am doing things correctly the first time around. The method I have found most useful is deep slow breathing: expanding the abdomen, then chest, then upper chest (by raising the shoulders) while breathing in, holding it for a few seconds, then exhaling with the actions reversed. Perhaps it could help you too. Best wishes.
Hi, Claire.

I have a lot of checking behavior as well. And, as with you, it doesn't dominate my life. It mostly interferes with my social life and consumes my energy. I was only recently diagnosed with OCD (I had suspected this but believed I only had social anxiety or something). Anyway, stress certainly heightens my symptoms. I'm still a student, and my part-time job is pretty easy...but a lot of checking, ordering and touching habits pop up when I'm working. So even though I'm trying to avoid situations of high pressure, it never fully goes away.
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