What Is OCD Counting? Symptoms To Look For

OCD Counting: Everything You Need To Know

Do you have OCD? Do you like to count things? If so, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we will discuss what exactly OCD counting is. And, also cover the various symptoms that you should know, as well as some tips for overcoming them. Moreover, we’ll also provide a few self-help strategies that can help you get started on your journey to recovery. So, if you’re ready to learn more about OCD counting, keep reading!

What Is OCD Counting?

What Is OCD Counting?OCD counting is a subtype of OCD that is characterized by repetitive and ritualistic counting behaviors. People with OCD counting often feel the need to count certain objects, people, or even actions. This can be done for no specific reason or purpose but may be triggered by anxiety or fear.

For example, someone with OCD counting may feel the need to count how many steps they take each day, or how many times they blink their eyes. In fact, they may even start to feel anxious if they are not able to complete their counting ritual.

In some cases, a person with OCD counting may feel the need to count out loud or in their head. This can be distracting and disruptive, especially if it is done in public. OCD counting can be a difficult and challenging subtype of OCD to live with. However, there are treatments and strategies that can help manage and reduce symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms Of OCD Counting?

Individuals with OCD counting may feel the need to count everything they see. This can be extremely distressing and interfere with daily activities. The common symptoms may include:

  • Excessive double-checking of math calculations
  • Spending a lot of time arranging things in numerical order
  • Avoiding situations where numbers are involved
  • Constantly needing reassurance about whether something was counted correctly

Moreover, a person with this condition may also experience the need to:

  • Count objects in a particular sequence or pattern
  • Touch things a certain number of times
  • Step on cracks or lines on the ground
  • Avoid numbers, such as 13
  • Have everything in their environment symmetrical or balanced.

These compulsions are often time-consuming and can interfere with work, school, and social activities. If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD counting, please reach out for help. There is hope and treatment available.

Why Am I Constantly Counting Things?

Why Do People Feel Like Counting Everything?

There are many different reasons why people with OCD might start compulsively counting things. Some of the reasons can include:

Need for control

Counting can be a way to feel like you have power over your environment and the things around you. When everything feels chaotic and out of control, the act of counting can help bring a sense of orderliness and calm. Moreover, it can be a way to take control of your thoughts when your anxiety is running high.


Counting can also be a way to ease anxiety or calm yourself down. For some people, the act of counting can help to quiet their minds and provide a temporary sense of relief from anxious thoughts. As anxiety can be linked to feelings of uncertainty, counting can also be a way to quell these fears by providing a sense of certainty.


For some people, compulsively counting things may be a way to achieve a sense of perfectionism. Counting can help to ensure that everything is in its proper place and that nothing is out of order. This need for symmetry and organization can often be linked to OCD.


Another reason why people may start compulsively counting things is that they feel uncertain about something in their life. Counting can help to bring a sense of certainty and stability in an uncertain situation. It can also be a way to avoid making mistakes by ensuring that everything is done in a certain order or manner.

These are some of the reasons why people with OCD might start compulsively counting things. If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, it is definitely time to seek professional help.

What Are The Things That People With OCD Count?

People with OCD can count on just about anything. However, below are some common things that they usually count;

  • steps
  • breaths
  • road signs
  • floor tiles
  • number of times they blink
  • Sheep when trying to fall asleep
  • cracks in the sidewalk

The counting of such things is in response to a worry or fear. For example, a person with OCD might count their steps because they fear that if they don’t, something bad will happen. And, mainly the obsessive thought is, “if I don’t do this thing that I’m obsessing about, something bad will happen.”

It is important to understand that people with OCD are not actually trying to be annoying or difficult when they engage in such behaviors. It’s not about being lazy or seeking attention. Rather, it’s a coping mechanism for managing anxiety.

Unfortunately, it’s a coping mechanism that usually backfires. That’s because the more someone with OCD counts (or engages in any other type of compulsion), the more their anxiety increases. Hence, leads to more obsessions and compulsions. So, it becomes a never-ending cycle of anxiety and fear.

How Do I Stop OCD Counting?

What Are The Ways To Treat OCD Counting?There are several ways that you can treat OCD counting. You can use medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Let’s discuss both of them below:


If you choose medication to treat your OCD counting, you will most likely be prescribed a type of antidepressant. These medications can help to improve your mood and decrease the number of obsessions and compulsions that you experience. The most preferred medications include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), clomipramine (Anafranil), and fluoxetine (Prozac).

It’s important to note that it can take several weeks for these medications to start working. You may also experience some side effects when you first start taking them. These side effects are usually mild and go away after a few days.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective type of therapy for OCD counting. CBT focuses on helping you to change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to your OCD. However, it’s one type of therapy, known as ERP, or exposure and response prevention. That has been found to be the most effective in treating OCD.

ERP therapy works by gradually exposing you to the things that trigger your OCD counting. As you become more comfortable with these triggers, you will learn how to control your anxiety and resist the urge to count. This type of therapy is usually done with a therapist who specializes in treating OCD.

You can try Mantra Care to find the right therapist for you. This is a platform that connects you with mental health professionals who specialize in treating OCD. Book your consultation today to learn more about it.

Overall, if you try a combination of medication and therapy, then it may come out as the most successful approach to treating OCD counting. So, make sure you talk to a mental health professional who can help you decide what type of treatment is best for you.

How Can I Overcome With OCD Counting?

Practice relaxation techniquesOCD counting can be a real and debilitating problem. It can make simple tasks take much longer than they should, and it can interfere with daily activities. The first thing in overcoming OCD counting is to understand that it is not the same as simply being a neat freak or wanting things to be done a certain way. Rather, it is classified as a mental disorder, and it can be extremely distressing for those who suffer from it.

Thus, if you or someone you know suffers from OCD counting, some helpful tips can be kept in mind to help deal with OCD counting. These include:

Awareness of your thoughts

It is important to be aware of your thoughts and when you are feeling most anxious. This can help you better control your urges to count. Being aware of your thoughts can also help you identify any patterns or triggers that may be causing your OCD counting. More often, it helps you to understand your thoughts and behaviors.

Challenge your thoughts

When you have intrusive thoughts about counting, try to challenge them. For example, if you are worried that something bad will happen if you don’t count, ask yourself what is the evidence for this. Is it really likely? This will eventually help to reduce the power that your OCD has over you.

Focus on the present moment

Try to stay in the present moment and be mindful of what you are doing. This can help take your focus away from your obsessions and compulsions. It is very important in order to reduce OCD symptoms. You can try mindfulness meditation or other relaxation techniques to help you focus on the present moment.

Find a distraction

If you are feeling the urge to count, find something else to focus on instead. This could be another task or activity that takes up your attention. It works best if it is something that you enjoy or are interested in. This will help to take your mind off of your obsessions and compulsions. Moreover, distractions can help to break the cycle of OCD. Hence, it can be very helpful in managing your OCD symptoms.

Talk to someone you trust

It can be helpful to talk to someone you trust about your OCD. This could be a family member, friend, therapist, or counselor. Talking to someone can help you to better understand and manage your OCD symptoms. It can also provide support and understanding from others. In addition, it can help to identify any triggers or stressors that may be causing your OCD counting. More often, it helps you to understand your thoughts and behaviors.

Finally, these tips can help to overcome OCD counting. However, it is important to remember that everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for another. It is important to find what works best for you and to be patient. Recovery from OCD takes time, but it is possible with treatment and support.


As you can see, OCD counting is a type of OCD that can be extremely debilitating. If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD counting, it is important to seek professional help. In this condition, people often fixate on numbers and count compulsively in an attempt to relieve anxiety. Moreover, do not be too harsh with yourself while dealing with OCD counting. In this condition, it is easy to get caught up in a negative feedback loop.

So, try to be gentle with yourself and not try to fight your OCD too much. Just take things one step at a time and focus on recovery. If you are looking for affordable Online OCD Counseling MantraCare can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session

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