Checking OCD

The checking subtype of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by intrusive thoughts, fears, or obsessions revolving around concerns such as personal items being lost, keys left in the ignition, lights or appliances left on, doors left unlocked, or errors in emails or text messages. These obsessions instill doubt and uncertainty in individuals, compelling them to engage in compulsive behaviors of repeatedly checking to alleviate their anxiety.

Individuals with this subtype often feel driven to verify that their concerns have been addressed, leading to the completion of checking rituals multiple times within a short timeframe. These compulsions can consume a significant amount of time each day and severely impact daily functioning, such as interfering with work responsibilities, as individuals may be unable to leave home until they have repeatedly checked that certain actions have been completed.

Common obsessions that are integral with Checking OCD:

  • Fear of accidentally leaving the cooktop burners or oven on
  • Fear of leaving the house and forgetting to close or lock the doors
  • Fear of losing personal items like a wallet, purse, money, credit cards
  • Fear of accidentally leaving water faucets running

Common compulsive behaviors that are integral with Checking OCD:

  • Repeatedly checking one’s stove or appliances to ensure they weren’t left on
  • Repeatedly checking the locks in one’s home, car, and/or room
  • Repeatedly checking to ensure one’s personal items are still with them
  • Repeatedly checking water taps to make sure they are off


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