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To Sam

Potential OCD

Hi Sam, Im 15 and im dealing with school and stress ect. i think i have developed OCD because i do strange things for example blinking a number of times at certain times and places, doing things an even number of times like stepping on certain parts of the ground like certain tiles on the kitchen floor or filled holes on the pavement, avoiding odd number, ect. i also worry about things before they even happen like if the car might crash or i start upsetting everyone on a nice day, or if i pushed someone in front of a bus or just ruin things it just worries me that im capable of things like that. i dont want to hurt anyone but it just worries me sometimes that im capable of things like that. it stresses me out i dont know how to stop it. help?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Everyone gets urges to do things every now and then but some people have them more than others. If someone has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also called OCD, those urges become very difficult to ignore and can have a big effect on someone’s life. Sometimes people have habits where they might feel similar things – but this doesn’t always mean they have OCD.

Needing to repeat things like blinking or washing your hands a certain number of times is called a compulsion. It might start as a ritual or a habit but can become difficult or impossible to control over time. Compulsions can be triggered by stress or going through a tough time and it’s important to get support so that they don’t interfere with your everyday life. You could try talking to a Childline counsellor or an adult you trust like your teacher, your parent or your carer about the things that are worrying you.

OCD is a type of mental health issue where you might think the same thing over and over, repeat an action many times, avoid certain things like cracks on the pavement or ask for reassurance a lot of the time. It’s a type of anxiety disorder where repeating or avoiding things is a way of trying to manage difficult feelings and feel more in control. The urge to repeat behaviours can be powerful and difficult or impossible to stop.

If you think you might have OCD you can talk to your doctor about what's happening. It might help to write down what you want to say before the appointment so you don’t forget anything. Tell the doctor about your worries, why you think you have OCD and how long you’ve had these feelings. You could also ask someone to come to the appointment with you so that you have some support, like an adult you trust. Remember, having the symptoms doesn’t always mean that you have it and only a doctor can diagnose OCD.

If you’re diagnosed with OCD there’s help and support you can get. Treatment might mean seeing a counsellor, having a particular type of therapy or taking mediation and your doctor will tell you what’s available. And you can always talk to a Childline counsellor for support and advice.

Thank you for your letter.

Take care


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