The ROCD Question “What Are You Thinking About?”

My girlfriend, much like I, is an over thinker. She often has her head in the clouds. When I am having a relationship OCD bout, and I'm anxious, I get paranoid that she is thinking something bad about me. So I'll politely ask "What are you thinking?" or "what's on your mind?". It wasn't until yesterday that I realised this was a checking compulsion. Driven by OCD anxieties.

When it hit me, I told her that I shouldn't ask her that question as it's a checking compulsion. She asked me why I am compelled to check. I told her "I'm waiting for you to tell me you don't love me". Deep, I know. But that's where my OCD takes it.

My beautiful girlfriend in her infinite wisdom told me that every time I ask her the question "what are you thinking about?" she will respond "How much I love you". Where can I vote for girlfriend of the year?

ROCD Question

Illustration by NamiChikhlia.com

I like her approach for two reasons. One, it addresses the OCD worry. This might raise more questions for some people, however for me it does the trick. My brain shuts up when it hears it from the horse's mouth (sorry babe). Secondly, it makes me laugh. It allows me to see through my anxieties and intrusive thoughts. And that my friends, is the key to beating OCD. Defusion from your thoughts. When I laugh, it detaches me from the thought and allows me to see it for what it is - mind vomit!

So if you ask your partner a similar question why not give this method ago? Let me know if it works!

Best of luck,


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2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The ROCD Question “What Are You Thinking About?””

  1. Zoë November 5, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Hi Stu, I just wanted to say thank you for posting these tips and helpful explanations of what you go through. I’ve been experiencing some pretty harsh ROCD symptoms lately and it’s been incredibly difficult for my girlfriend and I to deal with, although I must say I’m extremely lucky to have her as she’s been so patient and kind to me even when my thoughts distress her just as much as they distress me. I’ve bern having a particularly difficult night dealing with my obsessions and reading this helped me to ground myself a little. I’m very grateful.

    • Stuart November 7, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Hi Zoe, thanks for your kind words I’m glad they helped.

      Also good to hear your girlfriend is supportive. My best advice is go speak with a doctor or a CBT therapist about this. They will be able to advise the best approach to recovery. There are many good books on OCD recovery.

      All the best,

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