Something wrong with me?

Ok I want yall’s opinion on this. Every night before I go to be I set my alarm clock to the correct time and turn it on. However, it doesn’t stop there. I then have to turn it off, check the time again, turn it on again, turn it off check, the time again, turn it on again…repeat about 5 or 6 times. I started doing this after it failed to go off once and I woke up late and if I don’t do this I really can’t sleep because I’m worried it wont wake me up. I also have to set my wrist watch and place it by my head just to be extra safe. So what do yall think is this an innocent quirk or the sign of something more sinister?

Sounds like you got the beginnings of OCD…
Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder.

Its a chemical disorder in the brain which creates a kind of
mental hiccup where you must think or do something over and over again…resisting the urge only creates unhealthy anxiety.

If this just started recently, you can break yourself of it by some
behavior modification. See that clock? Set the time and alarm
ONCE…and say out loud to yourself;
and don’t touch it anymore.

Get through that first hour of worry, and its all downhill from there.

If this is something that has plagued you for years, you need
proper medical intervention.

A Psychologist can prescribe the proper medication to neutralize
the chemical imbalance.

The time is now to break yourself of many years of suffering.

Well it has only been going on for a small time so I will try what you suggested and
see if it will work for me. Thank you.

I used to do this too, for the same reason (mis-set the alarm and overslept once too often). But then I got a second, backup alarm clock - both are set once, and I’m off to dreamland. No more worries - 'cause the chances that neither will work are extremely slim!

Good luck, and hopefully it won’t get to the point that you need prescribed meds to fix this.

I think you’ll find a lot of people do that with their alarm clocks.

If your Original Post was titled “How many times do you check your alarm clock” or something like that, you’d have 50 people in here telling you the same thing.

CBTCAD had the good idea of saying something out loud to yourself. That works. I usually sing a song when I lock the door. (I’m looocking the doooor – la la la la – The dooor is looooocked la la la lala The door will not be ooooopen). You don’t forget that!!

But I think (I am not a doctor) this single issue is probably not enough for you to qualify as having OCD. If you find you’re checking the stove, on, off, on, off, on, off, or the door, or the lights, or whatever – definitely look at getting some help.

Besides, we all know that it isn’t the meds that REALLY help.

What makes them work is first taking a shower, then facing due north, tapping the bottle 17 times, and washing them down with water from the faucet after it has run exactly 30 seconds. Oh, and be sure to put the pill bottle back so the label faces EXACTLY due west.

Seriously, the affirmation out loud sounds like some good advice. Just don’t freak out at this point. Look at it this way: If I paid you $50 every night if you would check your alarm just once then leave it alone, would that be worth it to you? If your answer is “damn straight, I would just make really sure I had it right the first time, and chuckle my way to the bank every day”, then don’t worry about OCD. If you answer is “Even $10,000 per night is not enough because the anxiety is too much”, then you might need to see some one.

I’d write more, but you reminded me I need to go home and check my alarm again.


ps. Some folks on this board have OCD. I understand it is a serious problem, and mean no disrespect. I flirt with some OCD behaviors enough myself to have mentioned them to my shrink, who put me to the money test. I don’t know if it is standard or if he is just nuts.

Yes. You’re obviously a pan-fried noodle with extra garlic sauce.

However, I am NACC (not a chinese chef), so don’t take MY word for it.

I had the beginnings of OCD. I am relatively forgetful, and when I started driving I had a bad habit of leaving the car’s lights on. This was particularly bad early in the morning, when I’d use the lights for visibility but when I’d park it would be so bright I couldn’t tell they were on. Pretty soon, no matter where I was, 5-10 minutes after I parked I’d run back to my car to check to make sure I didn’t leave the lights on. Fortunately, I kind of got over this.

I would not worry too much about OCD if this is the only major symptom. Obsessive detail worrying like this is a fairly common reaction to stress.

When I get stressed at work, I become obsessive about checking that my front door is locked. Nothing else, just the door; I’ll check that it’s locked six or seven times. But I don’t do it so much at times I’m more relaxed.

I don’t think its stress. I’m generaly a pretty relaxed person and my periods of stress are short and rare while this has been going on for a few months now.

Whether or not its the start of OCD its still annoying to me that I do it, so hopefully the talking outloud to myself will work.

I always check my alarm several times before I go to sleep, thanks to a few long-ago instances where I forgot and overslept. I also check and recheck to make sure the door is locked before I go to bed. Since it doesn’t seriously affect my life (i.e. when I visit someone else’s house overnight I don’t insist on checking doors and alarms) or cause me distress, I don’t worry about it.

Whenever I have to be up at some ungodly hour (VERY rarely) and need to use an alarm clock, I find I ALWAYS wake up before the infernal buzz anyway. My own internal ‘alarm’ gets set and the real one ends up being unnecessary! I must have slept through it once long ago too, and that is why my body/mind is anxious enough to wake up.

But yeah, it sounds a bit obsessive, however Iwouldn’t worry about it too much.
Now if you had 10 alarm clocks in your room…

Simply repeatedly performing an action to ensure it’s set the way you want it isn’t OCD. There has to be an obsession to go along with the obsessive behavior. Someone who repeatedly washes their hands, for example, has OCD if they’re obsessed with avoiding germs and cleanliness. The OP might have an obsession with being on time, but we don’t have evidence of this.

Seriously, cbtcad, unless you are profoundly disturbed by your repetitive behavior (and it doesn’t sound like you are) or if it’s interfering with your normal life (and it doesn’t sound like it is), I don’t see the rush to talk to a doctor or take drugs for it.

And a nitpick: psychologists can’t prescribe medication, as they lack prescription privileges.

I’d never do that to my alarm. Whenever I set it my finger slips and triggers the annoying sound ::shudders::

Anyway, continuing Audrey’s line of thought, psychiatrists are the ones that prescribe psychotropic drugs.

May I ask why it annoys you? Is it because the actual physical action causes you displeasure, or because you think it might be a little weird and you don’t want to be weird?

For example, I count steps. I can’t help it, and I’ve done it since I was quite young. For a while (in my teens) I tried to fight it, but more often than not that just meant I’d have to stop, look over my shoulder, and try to squint and count the risers. Stupid, I know. Anyway–one day I just said to hell with it, and let myself count them as I walked them. No harm done, problem solved. If checking that clock only annoys you because it seems a little odd, you’d save yourself a lot of trouble by just accepting it as one of your quirks and moving on to more important things.
Like how to enhance the transmission buffers on your tinfoil hat. :smiley:


Oh I don’t care if I’m weird. I ask my self questions and answer them in public, dance to songs stuck in my head (again in public) and regularly do things like go around my house with a yard stick sword fighting invisible badguys. A little bit of weirdness doesn’t bug me its just that checking my alarm 6+ times in rapid succession just seems so useless. It gives me no pleasure (unlike the other bits of weirdness I engage in) so I see no reason to continue it.

I don’t think that I’m obsessed with being on time. I hate to be late and always make sure that I arrive 15-20 minutes early for class, but if I loose track of time I don’t freak nor do I obsess over ways to make sure I’m not late so I don’t think I’m obsessed with it.

I’m not planning to see any headshrinkers over this I just found it mildly annoying and decided I wanted to find out why I’m doing it and possibly stop. The talking out loud to myself seems to be working well so I’ll just do that.

I’d think that the advice about having 2 clocks, and doing the mental money offer experiment is good stuff.

I lived with a clinically diagnosed OCD sufferer (really, clinical: he participated in a UCLA study on drugs to lower anxiety). I suspect that he would have failed the money test, which makes me think it might have somthing to it. He also never touched anything that wasn’t his if he could help it, and wore sandals whenever possible so he wouldn’t have to touch something that had been all over the ground.

You don’t sound like you’re even close to this. Take heart, and maybe buy another clock. I too have had clocks fail me.

I have OCD, and not only are there little rituals, but I get the Big Fears, I call them, and basically, they run my life. It will be the stupidest thing, but I keep obsessing. Completely irrational fears that I know aren’t real, but that doesn’t make them go away.

And I can’t function.

I’m on meds and I’ve had therapy, so I can deal. But every now and then they act up. It’s not easy, but it’s not something that totally renders me incapable of functioning.