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With this fallback prevention my OCD is still at a livable level

I have OCD and I check everything 4 to 16 times.

I could no longer work and reported in sick, had suicidal thoughts and led a completely isolated life by my OCD. I checked everything  2, 4 or 16 times. If someone or something disturbed me,  then I had to do it again.

During an obsession I get anxious, tension in my muscles and I perspire a lot. Sometimes I start to cry and shake. I know it’s hard for others to empathize, but it felt sometimes as if the world was ending. Then I had to check everything and ask others to confirm if things are correct several times. In the past this checking and asking for confirmation was going on all day long.

I am now 50 years old, I’ve had OCD since I was 18. I started checking and asking others to confirm, after I had recovered from Anorexia.

I think OCD is genetically determined. My mother is extremely dependent and compulsive and also my sister checked things like doors and Windows.

Over the years, the OCD was getting worse. When I was 35 years old I checked 24 hours a day and often asked for confirmation. I could not go to work and lay the whole day in bed. I had suicidal thoughts and led a completely isolated life.

Then I went into therapy, in a clinic for OCD treatment. The therapy consisted (among others) of cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication was prescribed. During this treatment I reduced my OCD to a livable level and I wrote a fallback prevention. With this fallback prevention my OCD is still at a livable level. I still take the medication and I see my psychologist on a regular basis for feedback.

If I do not keep my structure and rest moments, the checking and asking to confirm comes back again. But with the things I’ve learned I can keep my OCD under control . Sometimes I check only two times and then I stop because I know otherwise I can’t stop at all.

At this moment in my life I work as a volunteer at It is not possible for  me to work on regular basis because I need a structured life and I need to rest every afternoon for 2 hours to clear my head. Otherwise the OCD gets worse. Volunteering is less stressful and I can work (only) about 12 hours a week. The OCD is already 15 years stabilized, because of this I am very grateful.