How Do I Know If OCD Is In Control?

Published On: January 16, 2024Categories: Mental Health

Feeling out of control, and even out of your own head, is not an uncommon experience for those dealing with mental health conditions. Obsessive compulsive disorder in particular often leads people to feeling less than capable of controlling their life and their thought processes as a result of their constant battle with obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

If you feel as though your mind has caused you more turmoil than you can handle, and you feel like OCD is, in fact, ruining your life, it may be time to seek the guidance of a professional in order to gain control over OCD symptoms. 

What does life with OCD look like?

In order to know how OCD affects your daily life, you have to be able to identify which of your behaviors are rooted in obsessive compulsive disorder – this does not mean critically taking a magnifying glass to every moment of your day, but it does mean intentionally looking at some of the behaviors you engage in in order to discover how frequently they occur and whether or not they’re in response to intrusive thoughts.

Intrusive thoughts

All of us have intrusive thoughts – in fact, it’s estimated that thousands of intrusive thoughts find their way into our minds on a daily basis. The difference between a regular experience of intrusive thoughts versus experiencing them with OCD is that the thoughts can become obsessions and the actions done to get rid of them can become compulsions.

Intrusive thoughts are unwanted, unexpected thoughts that may manifest as feelings or sensations, clear mental images, memories or urges. They cannot be controlled, but you do have the power to understand that the ideas they present are not necessarily right or true.


For a mind battling OCD, the obsessions arise when the intrusive thoughts occur – you may feel like having such thoughts makes you a bad person; you may wonder why they will not go away; you may feel like you cannot share your thoughts with others, leaving you anxious, isolated and possibly depressed. 

Having repeated, intense, unwanted thoughts eventually begins to interfere with daily life whether you want it to or not. It’s not uncommon for those who obsess over intrusive thoughts to become distracted from daily obligations. Focusing on work, school or household chores can feel daunting when the mind is already fatigued from dealing with obsessive thoughts.


In an attempt to get rid of intrusive thoughts and obsessions, compulsive behaviors are often done – whether knowingly or unknowingly. Ritualistic behaviors, repeated habits of checking and double checking, seeking reassurance from others and avoiding certain actions or situations are all examples of possible compulsions. 

As with obsessions, compulsions can become incredibly time consuming and can quickly lead to exhaustion and a strong sense of being overwhelmed. Compulsions are often done to cope with obsessive thoughts, but they usually only make the thoughts worse, which in turn worsens compulsive actions. This cyclical pattern can cause immense grief to individuals over time.

“OCD is ruining my life.”

If you feel like you have no energy, are trapped living with unwanted thoughts and are finding no relief from the coping mechanisms you have tried, you may very well feel like you have no life, no control and no internal peace. It may actually feel like OCD is ruining your life. 

And while it may feel truly hopeless in the midst of it, it’s important to remember that through self-awareness and a little motivation, you can begin to heal and seek the peace and control over your life you once had.

Understanding life with OCD  

In order to begin that journey towards self-awareness and healing, it’s crucial to be able to understand the signs and symptoms of OCD which are possibly present in your life. 

Common symptoms of OCD include: 

  • Rituals, including repeatedly touching things in a certain order; repeating phrases or words; arranging items in particular ways or patterns; washing your hands, other body parts or objects over and over again 
  • Having a habit of checking things, like making sure doors were locked again (even though you know they are), checking your memory to ensure that an intrusive thought didn’t manifest into action, repeatedly looking at your body or clothes to ensure no contamination or even retracing your path to check if your driving caused any accidents 
  • Rumination, where you think about the same thing over and over and over again; this includes researching about obsessions and attempting to solve intrusive thoughts by breaking them down to discover potential meaning 
  • Attempting to alter your thoughts by focusing on repetition of a word or phrase, trying to replace “bad” thoughts with “good” ones, counting or attempting to focus on a different image when an intrusive thought comes to mind 

Not everyone who experiences OCD will manifest these symptoms, and not everyone who experiences these symptoms will have diagnosable OCD – but it is important to be aware of the ways in which your brain processes intrusive thoughts, especially if you feel like these symptoms are becoming overbearing and interruptive of your daily life.

Ready to get your life back under your control? 

If you feel overwhelmed with OCD and are seeking peace and control over your life once again, help is available. Contact Tapestry Recovery anytime by calling 828-490-4032 or contact us online to get in touch with a therapist today. 

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