Officially, they say that the Checking type of OCD stems from fear or anxiety over harming or affecting the well being of others, of your property, reputation or harm to self.
I had to do Checking …. Mostly to make sure I picked my daughter up at school… I would check on her 5 times a night to make sure that I hadn't forgotten her. I also had great anxiety before I could lock my car door (afraid I left the keys inside).
My Checking came more from feeling that I couldn’t trust my memory. So I would add that to the official statement above.
I have a theory that Checking is our subconscious part of the brain didn’t get the signal via the sensation of doing it that the mission was accomplished.Let us take, for example, deciding to lock the door. The brain releases an electrical impulse to lock the door.
The impulse goes to the synapse, where a chemical (neurotransmitter) is released. Then...
When my myelin was thin, my thought process was definitely not what it should be. I remember reading something and as soon as I got to the end, I had either not comprehended or remembered what I had read.
I had a hard time differentiating between thinking I should do something and having actually done it. My memory was that lousy.
So I put poor memory as #1 cause of Checking. The flip- side of a poor memory is worrying that an intrusive thought was actually carried out. I know people who fear they hurt their child. The person who fears is often a kind, caring parent and would never harm their child.
The other types of Checking include:
#2 Needing reassurance that you didn’t do or say something that would hurt, offend or upset someone. You might also need to make sure others didn’t perceive that what you said was foolish, mean or arrogant.
#3 Fear that you ran over someone with your car or caused an accident that you had not noticed. Feeling compelled to retrace the route to make sure.
#4 Leaving the curling iron, an electric appliance or gas on which might cause a fire. I know of someone who had to soak cigarette butts in water overnight before discarding, others I know can’t use candles because they fear that they might not be “completely” blown out.
#5 Not locking the doors to their home causes anxiety for some, they fear it might let in an intruder or cause vulnerability to being robbed or incase of a car door, fearing it will be stolen.
#6 Leaving the lights or water on, causing damage to property.
#7 Fear of financial devastation due to losing a wallet, purse, ATM or credit cards or giving out personal information thus opening the pathway to a robber or identity thief.
#8 Illness, either physically… wondering if they have the symptoms of a serious disease or mental, that their OCD is a mental illness or schizophrenia.No amount of outside reassurance makes the Checker feel satisfied because the mechanics of what is going on with the body's internal communication has inhibited or dulled the messages. I believe only a healthy myelin will allow the "all is well" or "mission accomplished" signal get to the subconscious.
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