How to stop mental checking ocd

How to stop mental checking ocd

Mental checking is a type of OCD that involves constant, repetitive checking behaviors. People with mental checking OCD are plagued by doubts and fears that something important has been forgotten or done incorrectly. As a result, they need to check things repeatedly to ensure that everything is “just right.”

Mental checking can involve any behavior, such as:

  • Checking appliances to make sure they are turned off
  • Checking doors to make sure they are locked
  • Checking homework for mistakes
  • Rechecking answers on tests

Even though mental checking temporarily relieves anxiety, people with OCD feel compelled to do it anyway. This can lead to significant problems in everyday life and decreased productivity at work or school. If you’re struggling with mental checking OCD, there are steps you can take to overcome it.

What is mental checking OCD?

Mental checking OCD is a subtype of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in which individual experiences repetitive, intrusive, and unwanted thoughts (i.e., obsessions) that they attempt to control or neutralize by engaging in behaviors or mental acts (i.e., compulsions).

Mental checking can take many forms, but generally speaking, individuals with this type of OCD need to repeatedly check something to ensure that it is “safe” or “correct.” For example, a person with mental checking OCD might check the locks on their doors several times before leaving the house to ensure they are locked; or they might constantly review their memories of past events to ensure they did not do anything “wrong.” In some cases, individuals with mental checking OCD will even go so far as to avoid certain activities altogether (e.g., driving) out of fear that they will make a mistake.

While it is common for people without OCD to occasionally check things or “double-check” themselves from time to time, for individuals with this disorder, such behavior is excessive, distressing, and interferes with their daily life. If you think you might have mental checking OCD, it is important to seek professional help from a mental health provider specializing in treating this disorder.

The causes of mental checking OCD

There are many potential causes of mental checking OCD. Some people may develop the disorder after experiencing a traumatic or stressful event. Others may have a family history of OCD or another psychiatric disorder.

The symptoms of mental checking OCD

The symptoms of mental checking OCD can vary from person to person, but there are some common themes. People with this disorder often need to check things repeatedly, such as whether a door is locked or an appliance is turned off. They may also have difficulty throwing things away, even if they are no longer needed because they fear they may need them in the future. People with mental checking OCD may also have rituals related to symmetry or order, and they may spend a lot of time arranging objects in a certain way. These rituals can take up a lot of time and interfere with a person’s ability to function at home, work, or school.

The treatment for mental checking OCD

If you have checked for OCD, several effective treatments can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. The most common treatment for OCD is exposure and response prevention (ERP).

ERP is a cognitive-behavioral therapy that involves gradually exposing yourself to the situations or objects that trigger your OCD thoughts and anxiety without engaging in compulsive behaviors (such as checking) to relieve that anxiety.

ERP can be done with the help of a therapist or on your own. If you decide to do ERP on your own, you must work with your doctor or therapist to devise a plan tailored to your specific triggers and needs.

Other treatments for checking OCD include medication, such as antidepressants and counseling.

The prognosis for mental checking OCD

Mental checking OCD is a very difficult disorder to live with. The constant need to check things can be very time-consuming and interfere with daily activities. If you are suffering from this disorder, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. You can learn how to manage your OCD and reduce time checking things with treatment.


1. What is mental checking OCD?

Mental checking OCD is a type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) where individual experiences persistent and intrusive thoughts that they must check to neutralize or prevent something bad from happening. People with mental checking OCD often need to check things multiple times or ask others for reassurance to allay their fears. This can disrupt daily activities and routines and cause significant distress.

2. How common is mental checking OCD?

Mental checking OCD is a relatively common type of OCD, affecting both children and adults. It is estimated that 1-2% of the population suffers from OCD, with mental checking compulsions being one of the most common types.

3. What are some common signs of mental checking OCD?

Some common signs of mental checking OCD include repetitive and excessive thoughts about potential dangers or disasters; feeling the need to check things multiple times or seek reassurance from others; engaging in safety behaviors or rituals (e.g., avoidance, escape, etc.) to reduce anxiety; significant distress or impairment in daily functioning due to obsessive thoughts and compulsions.

4. What causes mental checking OCD?

The exact cause of mental checking OCD is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Research suggests that people with mental checking OCD may have abnormalities in certain brain regions involved in emotion regulation and fear processing. Additionally, stressful life events or trauma may trigger the development of symptoms.

5. How is mental checking OCD diagnosed?

A qualified mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can diagnose mentally checked OCD. Diagnosis usually involves completing a thorough clinical interview and assessment, which may also include questionnaires and rating scales specifically designed to evaluate symptoms of OCD. Family history and medical records may be reviewed as part of the diagnostic process.