One way to recognize OCD is to look for excessive efforts to get reassurance. This can take many forms, and in my experience often comes up as questions asked to a spouse. “Did you check the locks on the door?” “I’m feeling a little ill, do you think I have lupus?” A recent interview with Dr. Wayne Goodman correctly suggests that the best way a spouse can respond to such questions, in cases of OCD, is to try to avoid providing that reassurance that only strengthens the compulsive tendency. Arguments over such requests for reassurance can sometimes become problematic for couples. In that case, consultation with an OCD specialist is appropriate.
(Originally published at http://www.anxiety-ocd.info/blog/2010/01/reassurance/)