DEAR HARRIETTE: I never thought I would be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any other psychological issues. I was speaking with my psychiatrist the other week, and we were talking about some of the bizarre thoughts I have and the even weirder behaviors that follow those thoughts. We reached the conclusion that I have mild OCD when it comes to having bad thoughts that something might happen to my family, and if I did not knock on my head, those things would come true. I have been living my life completely normally, knocking on my head, and not thinking anything of it. My doctor thinks it’s something I should look into, but I think if my ritualistic behavior does not affect anyone but me, why go get it fixed? I have gotten many mixed opinions about what I should do, and was wondering what your advice might be. -- Knock Knock Knock, Little Rock, Arkansas
DEAR KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK: I want to start by pointing out that you acknowledge that you have a psychiatrist, which suggests that you felt the need to seek professional support. You should take that support seriously and follow whatever regimen you are given for an agreed-upon finite period of time to see if it helps you to lose some of your concerning behavior. You are describing your thoughts and behavior as “bizarre” and “weird.” Why not find out if those “bizarre” and “weird” things go away with treatment?
By the way, you should consider yourself to be the most important person in this scenario. Imagine how relieved you can be if the thoughts and actions no longer bother you because they dissipate?
To learn more about OCD, visit: mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354432.