Why People Repeat Actions: The Truth About OCD

Why People Repeat Actions: The Truth About OCD

It’s been said that people do the same things over and over again because they’re afraid of change. But is that really the only reason? In this blog post, we’ll explore the truth about OCD and why people have OCD repeating actions. We’ll also discuss some of the tips to stop these actions. So keep reading on!

What Are OCD Repeating Actions?

What Are OCD Repeating Actions?Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder characterized by intrusive and persistent thoughts, images, or urges that cause distress, and repetitive behaviors that are performed to reduce stress. One of the main symptoms of OCD is compulsively repeating certain behaviors in order to reduce anxiety or worry.

These “rituals” are often done in order to reduce the likelihood of a feared outcome. And can include things like checking locks multiple times, avoiding certain numbers or colors, counting items repeatedly, washing hands frequently, etc.

This condition can even manifest itself in more subtle ways. Such as always sitting in the same spot or double-checking emails before sending. Therefore, if you find yourself compelled to repeat certain behaviors, it’s important to take some time and reflect on whether this could be a sign of OCD.

What Are Some Common Repeating Actions?

Generally speaking, some of the most common repeating actions associated with OCD include:

  • Checking multiple times: It is common for people with OCD to check something multiple times, such as the locks on their door or making sure appliances are off.
  • Counting: People with OCD may count certain objects, words, or actions. This is often done in an attempt to reduce anxiety and control a situation.
  • Hoarding: Some people with OCD have difficulty throwing away items, thus leading to a buildup of clutter.
  • Cleaning: Many people with OCD have an intense fear of germs or dirt. As such, they may engage in frequent cleaning rituals and wash their hands multiple times throughout the day.
  • Arranging: For some people with OCD, arranging objects in a particular way may be a compulsion. This could include making sure all items on their desk are perfectly aligned or that their kitchen is organized according to certain standards.
  • Tapping or touching: OCD repetitive actions include tapping or touching certain objects multiple times in an effort to reduce anxiety.
  • Seeking reassurance: Finally, many people with OCD may seek out reassurance from others in order to reduce their anxiety. This could include asking multiple people the same question or seeking approval for certain decisions.

Ultimately, repeating actions are often a symptom of OCD and can be difficult to break free from. And OCD repeating actions can be disruptive and have far-reaching effects on a person’s life. So, it is important to speak to a mental health professional if you believe that your repeated actions might be due to OCD. With the right help and treatment, it is possible to manage this condition and break free from the cycle of repeating actions associated with OCD.

Why Does OCD Make You Repeat Things?

Why Does OCD Make You Repeat Things?While for some people, repeating everyday tasks can be a way to feel productive and organized. For others, it is an involuntary symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). There are some common causes that make people repeat their actions.

One of the most common causes of OCD is anxiety. People with anxiety tend to ruminate on specific thoughts or worry about certain outcomes, which can lead to compulsive behaviors like repeating tasks or activities over and over again in order to relieve stress.

Another factor that may cause someone to repeat things is perfectionism, which can be a symptom of OCD. People with perfectionism may repeat tasks because they feel like it’s the only way to get something right or perfect.

Lastly, people who suffer from OCD might engage in repeating actions as a form of safety behavior. This means that they do certain rituals and routines as a way to reduce their anxiety and fear. For example, if someone with OCD has a fear of contamination, they may compulsively wash their hands over and over in order to feel safe.

In addition, there are certain triggers that can cause someone with OCD to repeat their actions. These triggers can include:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Certain environmental cues like seeing a specific object or person

Overall, repeating tasks is an involuntary symptom of OCD for many people. It is important to recognize the underlying causes and triggers that lead to these behaviors. So that you can better understand your own symptoms and manage them effectively.

What Other Mental Illness Makes You Repeat Things?

Well, repeating actions is not only associated with OCD. It can also be a symptom of other mental illnesses, such as Tourette syndrome and Palilalia.

People with Tourette syndrome may vocalize or repeat certain words or phrases, and those with Palilalia often repeat the same phrase over and over. In some cases, people with OCD will also experience repetitive behavior that is not related to their obsessive thoughts. This is referred to as “Pure O.”

In addition, the mental illness schizophrenia may cause people to repeat certain words or phrases, and act in a manner that is out of character for them.

Regardless of the type of mental illness, it’s important to remember that these behaviors are not within the individual’s control. And should be addressed by a medical professional. Hence, with proper treatment and care, these behaviors can be managed effectively.

How Does It Impact Life?

How Does It Impact Life?No matter how seemingly insignificant, OCD repeating actions can be disruptive to daily life. Individuals struggling with this condition may find themselves engaging in the same behavior over and over again. Even when they know it isn’t necessary. Hence, these actions can cause some negative impacts on your life. These include:

  1. Loss of time: OCD repeating actions can cause you to lose out on valuable time that could be spent more productively. People with this condition often find themselves stuck in a loop, unable to move away from their repetitive behavior, costing them precious moments they could have used elsewhere.
  2. Anxiety: Constant repetition of the same activity can create an overwhelming sense of anxiety, as the individual is fearful of not doing it correctly or being judged by others. This constant cycle can leave sufferers feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
  3. Interpersonal difficulties: OCD repeating actions can cause relationships to suffer as well. People with this condition may feel uncomfortable in social settings, or they may not have the energy to engage in activities with their friends. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

While OCD repeating actions can be disruptive, it is important to remember that they are a symptom of a larger issue. Seeking professional help is the best way to address these issues and find ways to reduce their impact on your life.

How Can I Stop OCD Repeating Actions?

OCD repeating actions can be challenging to stop without professional help. It is important to recognize that OCD is a condition, not just a behavior, and so it requires long-term management and treatment. Here are some strategies to help you manage your OCD and stop repeating actions:

Seek professional help

Finding the right therapist or mental health provider is essential for successful treatment. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been found to be particularly effective in treating OCD, as it helps people recognize their thoughts and behaviors associated with the disorder and then learn new ways of dealing with them.

Develop a self-care plan

Self-care is important for managing OCD, as it helps to reduce stress and provide structure in your life. This may include healthy eating, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and engaging in relaxing activities such as yoga or meditation.

Practice mindfulness techniques

Mindfulness can help to increase awareness of thoughts and feelings that are associated with OCD, and manage them in an effective way. Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, body scanning, or guided visualization can help reduce anxiety associated with OCD.

Use distraction techniques

When faced with the urge to repeat an action, try to distract yourself with another activity. This may include reading a book, taking a walk, listening to music, or engaging in some kind of creative activity.

Identify and challenge your thoughts

Identify and challenge your thoughtsWhen faced with negative thoughts associated with OCD, try to identify them and challenge them. Ask yourself if the thought is logical or helpful. If it is not, try to replace it with a more realistic and positive thought.

By recognizing the symptoms, understanding the causes, and utilizing these strategies, you can take action against OCD repeating actions. You can learn to manage your OCD and reduce the impact of repeating actions on your life. With the right treatment and support, you can take control of your OCD and lead a more fulfilling life.


To conclude, OCD repeating actions are very common and have several underlying causes. While it may seem like a harmless habit, if left unchecked, it can lead to serious consequences such as depression and anxiety. Therefore, it is important to address the root cause of OCD repeating actions and seek professional help if necessary. With proper treatment, those affected by OCD can live healthier and more productive life.

For more information and guidance, please contact OCDMantra. OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding OCD treatmentERP therapy experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session