Repetitive Compulsive Behavior: What It Is and How to Manage It

Repetitive Compulsive Behavior: What It Is and How to Manage It

Do you feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of doing the same thing over and over again? If so, you may be dealing with repetitive compulsive behavior. In this blog post, we will discuss what repetitive compulsive behavior is, as well as some of the most common treatment options. We hope that this information will help you get on the path to recovery!

What Is Repetitive Compulsive Behavior?

What Is Repetitive Compulsive Behavior?Repetitive compulsive behavior is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) characterized by recurring behaviors or thoughts. People with repetitive compulsive behavior may feel the need to perform specific actions over and over again. And this behavior can interfere with their daily functioning and well-being.

It is estimated that 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children suffer from OCD. Repetitive compulsive behavior is one of the most common symptoms of OCD, along with intrusive thoughts and anxiety.

Many people might recognize some of their own behaviors as being similar to those with OCD. However, it is important to note that not everyone who engages in repetitive behavior has a diagnosable mental health condition. It is only when repetitive actions significantly interfere with day-to-day life and work that action needs to be taken.

What Are Some Examples?

When it comes to identifying repetitive compulsive behaviors, it is important to look for patterns. Here are a few common signs of OCD:

  1. Performing rituals, such as counting or tapping objects in a certain order, over and over again.
  2. Checking things multiple times throughout the day, such as locks or lights.
  3. Perfectionism – spending too much time on tasks to make them perfect when they don’t need to be.
  4. Hoarding – collecting items that don’t serve any purpose and refusing to get rid of them.
  5. Avoid situations or places that cause anxiety, such as public restrooms, crowded spaces, or social events.
  6. Intense fear of contamination or germs and washing hands excessively to the point of it becoming a ritual.
  7. Having frequent negative thoughts that cause distress and affect daily activities such as work or school.
  8. Feeling the need to constantly organize belongings and arrange items in a particular way.
  9. Excessive worrying – spending too much time worrying about what could go wrong or obsessing over potential outcomes.
  10. Constantly questioning decisions and choices, even about things that seem inconsequential.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it may be a sign of OCD and should be discussed with a mental health professional for further evaluation. With the right treatment, many people can live healthy and fulfilling lives.

It is important to remember that everyone experiences anxiety and worry from time to time. But if these feelings become too frequent or intense and start to interfere with your daily life, it may be a sign of OCD. If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, talk to a doctor or mental health professional for further evaluation.

How Does It Feel Like?

How Does It Feel Like?Having repetitive compulsive behavior can be overwhelming, as it takes an emotional toll and makes lives difficult. Those who suffer from this condition often feel a sense of guilt, shame, or embarrassment for their behavior. They may also feel anxious, frustrated, and helpless because they cannot control their compulsive behaviors.

Additionally, these individuals may feel judged by others due to the compulsions they engage in, and this can lead to feelings of isolation. People with OCD may also experience depression, fatigue, or a lack of motivation due to the intense mental strain associated with their condition.

Therefore, the feelings associated with OCD can be quite exhausting and difficult to manage. It is important that those suffering from this condition find the right help in order to combat their symptoms. With proper treatment, individuals can learn how to cope with their compulsions and take back control of their lives.

What Disorders Are Linked to Repetitive Compulsive Behavior?

Repetitive compulsive behaviors are often seen in individuals suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

OCD is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts and rituals that involve obsessive behaviors or an exaggerated need for order. Individuals with OCD may display compulsive washing, cleaning, checking, counting, or even repeating certain words or phrases.

ASD is a complex developmental disorder that is characterized by difficulty communicating, difficulty forming relationships with others, and a need for sameness in their environment. Individuals with ASD may engage in repetitive behaviors such as rocking back and forth, hand flapping, repeating certain actions or words and arranging objects in specific ways.

Repetitive compulsive behavior can also be seen in other mental health disorders, including:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
  • Trichotillomania (compulsive hair-pulling)
  • Tourette Syndrome

So, be sure to speak to your doctor if you or someone you know is engaging in repetitive compulsive behavior. The earlier a mental health disorder is diagnosed and treated, the better the long-term outcome.

What Triggers Repetitive Compulsive Behavior?

What Triggers Repetitive Compulsive Behavior?Generally, people who suffer from OCD are not sure what triggers or causes their condition. It is believed that several factors can contribute to the development of OCD, including:

  • Genetic predisposition – it is estimated that genetics may play a role in 40 percent of OCD cases.
  • Brain chemistry and structure – studies have found that abnormalities in certain areas of the brain or disruption in neurotransmitters can lead to OCD.
  • Stressful life events – major changes in life, such as the death of a loved one, can trigger OCD.
  • Perfectionism – some people with OCD feel compelled to make things perfect, which leads to compulsive behaviors.

It is important to note that OCD is not caused by one single thing. Many experts believe it is a combination of factors that can lead to the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive behavior. It is also important to mention that OCD does not have a cure. But with treatment and lifestyle changes, symptoms can be managed effectively.

How Can You Manage These Behaviors?

When repetitive compulsive behaviors may seem unmanageable, there are several strategies that may help. Some of these tips might include:

  1. Talk about your behaviors: It is important to talk with friends, family, and even professionals about the behaviors in order to gain perspective.
  2. Creating a consistent routine: Schedules may help reduce stress and give a sense of structure.
  3. Reducing stimuli or triggers: Finding out what triggers the compulsive behaviors can help reduce their frequency or intensity.
  4. Exercising regularly: Physical activity can help reduce stress and promote healthier living.
  5. Practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques: Techniques like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help take the focus off of the behaviors and encourage calming emotions.
  6. Seeking professional help: Seeking help from a mental health professional can be beneficial in understanding the source of the compulsive behaviors and developing effective strategies to manage them.

It is important to remember that everyone experiences compulsions differently and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing them. With patience, perseverance, and guidance from a mental health professional, it is possible to gain control of these behaviors and lead a more balanced life.

These tips may help in managing repetitive compulsive behaviors, however, if the behaviors are becoming increasingly more difficult to manage seeking professional help is highly recommended. A mental health professional can work with you to develop a tailored treatment plan that works best for them and their individual needs.


In conclusion, repetitive compulsive behavior may be caused by a variety of factors, such as biological predisposition, environmental influences, and psychological stress. It is important to remember that this type of behavior can be managed through the use of proper intervention strategies, such as those discussed in this article.

With the right treatment plan and support from family members, it can be possible to reduce or even eliminate compulsive behaviors. It is important to seek help if you feel that you are exhibiting any type of repetitive behavior that could be causing distress in your life.

Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately for more information! OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Contact us today if you have any queries regarding OCD treatment, or ERP therapy the experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session