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What is Checking OCD?

Checking OCD occurs when a person experiences intrusive thoughts, fears or concerns (obsessions) that cause doubt and uncertainty that items may not where they are supposed to be, lights or appliances were left on, doors were not closed, emails or text messages were written with errors, etc. As a result of these obsessive fears, people suffering from Checking OCD feel the need to perform compulsive behaviors and “check” to make sure the item(s) they are concerned with have been left in the right place, appliances or lights are turned off, that emails were written correctly, or that they said the right thing, etc.  If you have Safety Checking OCD, you may feel a huge amount of responsibility and believe that a dangerous or catastrophic situation is just “one mistake away.” 


Common Obsessions in Checking OCD:

  • Fear of accidentally leaving the stove or oven on
  • Checking one’s memory to verify a whether a thought is just a thought and not a memory
  • Fear of having not locked their doors
  • Fear of losing one’s personal items
  • Fear of accidentally leaving water taps on
  • Fear of having written a text message or email incorrectly or inappropriately


Common Compulsions in Checking OCD:

  • Repeatedly checking one’s stove or appliances to ensure they weren’t left on
  • Seeking reassurance from others that a memory is real and not a thought
  • 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


Treatment for Checking OCD

​People suffering from Checking OCD are encouraged to seek treatment from a mental health treatment provider that specializes in the treatment of OCD.  OCD specialists are equipped and prepared to treat a wide array of OCD subtypes, including Checking OCD . Like all types of OCD, Checking OCD can be treated with a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention.  Contact Lauren Pellizzi to start treatment. 



Checking OCD