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anyone have categories of good and bad numbers?  I'm just curious how yours works and what you're doing about it.

I realized mine when I was assigned to do 31 minutes of exercise a day.  I agreed one day, but came back the next and asked if I could do 35 instead.  My therapist asked if it would be easier and if so, why.  I explained that it was a multiple of five, so that made it better.  I explained that 32 would be okay also, but not as good since it's only a multiple of 2.  He asked if it was the fact that 31 was a prime number and I said yes, though I don't know why.  I said that 37 would be equally bad.

Needless to say, I'm stuck walking for 31 minutes.

Anyone else have good/bad numbers or numbering schemes?  Mine's mild enough that I can laugh at it, but at the same time, it's real enough that it's actually been a challenge.

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7 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

 Anyone else have good/bad numbers or numbering schemes?  Mine's mild enough that I can laugh at it, but at the same time, it's real enough that it's actually been a challenge.

Yes, I have numbers that I consider bad, and some I consider good.......

My numbering problem is mostly about how many times I have to check something, or do something, to make sure it's "right", if that makes any sense.

Unfortunately,  I have not had any success dealing with this, so far.

Wish I had something more helpful to offer, but you are definitely not alone, and from what you describe, your numbering issues do seem fairly mild.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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8 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

anyone have categories of good and bad numbers?  I'm just curious how yours works and what you're doing about it.

I realized mine when I was assigned to do 31 minutes of exercise a day.  I agreed one day, but came back the next and asked if I could do 35 instead.  My therapist asked if it would be easier and if so, why.  I explained that it was a multiple of five, so that made it better.  I explained that 32 would be okay also, but not as good since it's only a multiple of 2.  He asked if it was the fact that 31 was a prime number and I said yes, though I don't know why.  I said that 37 would be equally bad.

Needless to say, I'm stuck walking for 31 minutes.

Anyone else have good/bad numbers or numbering schemes?  Mine's mild enough that I can laugh at it, but at the same time, it's real enough that it's actually been a challenge.

I hope it’s ok if I post here. No OCD diagnosis here. (Except when I was 13. But that did not carry over into adulthood for some reason?)

But I do that numbers thing all the time! At the gym (I have to end at 30:11), counting the stairs, the steps, how many emojis I put in a text (ridiculous I know), etc I could go on for a long time but won’t bore you. It all has to end on “good” numbers of things or bad things will happen like people will die or get hurt. I’ve never understood this.

My husband does just the counting too. (He doesn’t believe bad things will happen if he doesn’t land on a good number though) He, in fact, one day quizzed me on how many steps there are to count. I didn’t know he did that too! I don’t even remember how it came up, but we discovered that we both count steps! 

So you aren’t alone, dances, is the point of this long post. Keep working at it. You got this!

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i'm partial to what i consider "clean" numbers ending in a 0 or 5. i also often wait until the clock is at :00 or :30 to switch tasks, which i guess is a continuation of "clean" numbers. numbers besides 0 and 5 feel messy or dirty to me.

mine is also pretty mild, in that it doesn't cause me to suffer, but the task switching thing causes me to waste a lot of time. i used to count things more, but that has eased off in the last few years, probably because of my meds.

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thank you all--helpful perspectives.  It's interesting--the Luvox has helped significantly with the obsessive thinking and intrusive thoughts, but the compulsive piece I'm having to fight on my own.  i'm thankful that it's mild.  It also seems like this behavior might exist on a continuum?

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8 minutes ago, dancesintherain said:

  i'm thankful that it's mild.  It also seems like this behavior might exist on a continuum?

Yes, I believe it does exist on a continuum......Mine is much more severe, in that I do for almost any reason......I check and count things multiple times a day to make they are "right".....I check and count to see if windows and doors are locked multiple times a day......I check and count to see if all appliances are off multiple times a day.........I even check and count my pills at least once a day.

I do have an extremely obsessive fear that someone will break in the house, or that my house will catch on fire and burn down, if I don't do these things.

No medication or therapy has helped with any of this, so far.........It's a terrible thing to live my life in fear.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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I remembered that you had a pretty nasty version, though I wasn't sure of the specifics.  IIRC, there's an issue with getting a therapist who's properly trained in ERP?

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4 minutes ago, dancesintherain said:

I remembered that you had a pretty nasty version, though I wasn't sure of the specifics.  IIRC, there's an issue with getting a therapist who's properly trained in ERP?

Yes, I can't find a therapist in my area, who also takes my insurance, and who is trained in ERP........My current therapist is only trained in CBT, which hasn't helped.

There seems to be a shortage, at least in my area, of therapists who are even familiar with ERP, and even fewer who are actually trained for it.

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I used to have to count to 20 checking the locked doors...and if something interrupted me, even just a thought that was unrelated, I had to restart...needless to say it would take me a very long time to get out the door.

It has gotten better since being on Paxil now for several months.

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11 hours ago, CrazyRedhead said:

.....I check and count things multiple times a day to make they are "right".....I check and count to see if windows and doors are locked multiple times a day......I check and count to see if all appliances are off multiple times a day.........I even check and count my pills at least once a day.

I do have an extremely obsessive fear that someone will break in the house, or that my house will catch on fire and burn down, if I don't do these things

Thank you for the very accurate description of my life ?And like the op, I have a thing with numbers.  For me it's eight.  All things (alarms, locker numbers and combinations, etc) have to add up to a sum of eight.  I have to check my doors in four sets of eight.  Getting out of the house takes awhile.  It really messed me up when we got a new stove that has 5 knobs.  Checking the one with four knobs fit my routine well, but I am afraid of the number 5.  I have gotten literally stuck in front of the stove because I can't do the right number of checks and therefore the anxiety goes out of control.  Now I count the five knobs eight times and I'm ok.  I still worry the house will burn down no matter how much I check though.

I'm so relieved to hear other people have these same experiences. 

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10 hours ago, quietly bonkers said:

I'm so relieved to hear other people have these same experiences. 

No, you are not alone......many people, like you and I, suffer greatly with OCD.

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I used to suffer greatly with OCD, but now it is mainly in remission. If I am under a lot of stress traits of it comes back though.

I've always been fond of odd numbers, particularly the number 5. 4 and it's multiples were bad numbers to me. In my scheme, the number 13 was actually a good number (contrary to popular opinion). These numbers played into my counting rituals.

Basically, I'd get an intrusive thought. I would then have to do something, say, 5 times such as taking 5 sips of water. If the though never left, I'd have to repeat the ritual. And so on until I could hold the thought at bay. It occupied a lot of time and a lot of my life.

I suffered from this since the 1st grade in school. The intrusive thoughts were always that something bad would happen to my dad or mom or that there would be tornadoes. I magically thought that if I did not have the bad thoughts then that bad thought would not come true. So I developed the rituals to block intrusive thoughts. I am now pretty adept at blocking thoughts without rituals. 

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