Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Constant Counting Disorder


My wife is constantly counting all day long. she looks at me and counts the features on my face. she counts every letter that she sees in every word. when she is reading, watching tv, driving, no matter what she is doing she is always counting. It is really starting to affect her daily living and she’s starting to get real bad headaches and be depressed. any help would be grateful Thank you

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Dombeck intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Dombeck to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Dombeck, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Dombeck and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

This counting behavior may be nothing to speak of (clinical-wise), or possibly it could be an outward manifestation of an anxiety disorder, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or possibly a neurological problem.  There is no way to tell without a face to face interview, detailed history and a physical/neurological exam. OCD is characterized by obsessions which are repetative thoughts and worries, repetatively themed in nature, and typically concerned with what seem like dangerous situations to the person having them. Examples of common obsessions are "did I leave the door unlocked?", "am I contaminated with germs?", "are my hands dirty?", etc. Counting things is a common behavioral theme, a sort of compulsion for some with OCD. A compulsion is a behavior that is acted out in an attempt to quiet down the obessive thoughts. As such, it is typically an anxiety reducing behavior and that is why it is repeated so frequently. I’m not sure what obsession a counting compulsion might be compensating for – it may not be linked to a particular thought – but the general pattern is that by acting out the behavior, people feel safer/better.

Given that there are compulsive behaviors present, and, particularly becuase there are headaches present, it would be wise to recommend to your wife that she be examined by a psychiatrist (or at least a regular medical doctor who can screen for organic brain/neurological damage).  Some headaches are signs of larger problems that require treatment, and the impact of benign headaches can be lessened by medical treatment in many cases. 

If OCD is diagnosed (by a psychiatrist), there are medications that can help the condition, but you should also know that behavioral and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy can be of assistance as well.   

More "Ask Dr. Dombeck" View Columnists

  • Hayley Crawford

    Hi. Im constantly counting things, and ordering things in my mind, it stops my concentration and this prevents me from learning at school. when im reading words i will re-arrange letters for example say i read the word
    TODAY i would re-arrange the laters and spell it out as TYOAD and ill repeat it over and over again. i count absolutely everything over and over again and i can never seem to stop my self, i just have to check to see if i counted correctly and if some-one disturbs me i have to start again, this really does affect me. i also do this really stupid thing where u have to do something before something happens or ill die. so i do it but knowing i wont acutally die but still have to do it in that space of time. could you help me?

  • RF

    I wouldn't call it a problem as such, but I count all the time. It is not cause I care how many there is of something, it just seems to be something I do and after reading the answer above I think it is maybe to stop anxiety. I am a really anxious person and have a lot of negative thoughts and worries.

    Hayley in your last comment when you said you have to do things before something happens or something bad will happen - that struck a chord with me, because I do the exaxt same. For example if I am walking along the road and I hear a car coming along behind me, I think to myself, if I don't make it to that wall before the car comes past, I will fail my degree etc etc. I usually go for things that are achievable though, so it's more half negative half positive!

    Glad someone else has the same issues!

  • Bradley

    i count everything.. all the time.. repeatedly

    i could be watching tv, driving, on the computer, anything and i will catch myself counting things. its not like im supressing bad thoughts or anything its just that it seems like my brain HAS to do it and i cant stop it! I think it could be some kind of nervous tick i developed while was younger (abusive childhood) but now that im 18 and away from it for several years i figured it would go away. But it seems to be getting worse! It starts messing with my head, making me sick, giving me headaches, and sometimes making me dizzy. For some reason i cant seem to stop it and im wondering if i can just get it out of my head. is there any kind of medication or something i can do to help it? please help


  • Zami

    I also find myself counting constantly by fives. I break every object down into lines and count by fives. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember and I do not get headaches but I find it is almost a reflex action and I catch myself doing it without even realizing I am doing it. I find it calms me down when I am frustrated and for some reason the number 95 is to me the "perfect number". I cannot explain this and no one understands what I am talking about when I attempt to explain the situation. Please tell me what this is and explain to me why I am doing this.


    I'm constantly counting. I count how many steps i go up or down. Sometimes how many steps it will take to my car. I count the dimensions of things... i don't get a headache but i got very panicky about certain things. If i start thinking about death i get a warm feeling over my body and in the back of my head and i just have to breathe in real deep and sigh real loud and start thinking about something else. i should see a psych.

  • Tara

    I count in fives and sixes in the shapes of stars. I do it with my jaw, feet, fingers. Either by dots Six, or lines Five. sometimes I fill in the counting with letters and try to make "perfect sentences". And it's even better if a word ends with the same letter the next word is going to start with i count it as one letter. never mind it's hard to explain. and I completely feel helpless. I have to make sure I didn't mess up counting, or i have to start over again with complete concentration. It is a problem this "checking my work" May cause me to self esteem problems. does anyone else deal with this.... I do it 100-400 times a day probably...without even knowing it most of the time..what is the deal ahhh

  • Nick

    Im so glad that i found this website and actually know im not crazy. Im glad it is something that has been diagnosed in someone else. Does anyone have any suggestions because its really starting to affect my job my relationship my family everything has to be perfect. I really just wanna feel like there is someone else out there who knows how i feel and can sympathize with a very severe case. I cant help but to count anything i come into contact with whether it be leaves on the ground or how many steps i took to get to the door. Someone please give me some advice that will help me. Im to the point where im willing to try anything. It really feels like im going crazy.

  • Monkey

    When i finally realized i was counting things over and over i said "i got a problem." I would be sitting in the parking lot at work and would count the points in the rims of the cars. I would also count the numbers on my work page. For instance i would count all my zero all one etc. I have really gotten to where i count everything more than once and always come up with another number so i will do it again. I now wish i could stop because i do not want to got to the Dr and they diagnose me with OCD!!! Hey i have counted these numbers 4x and i got 392 390 391 392!!!!!!!!!! It is CrAZy

  • michelle

    at times of high stress in my life, I count syllables.

    Odd huh I do it constantly all day

  • Joshua Lara

    Hello. I always seem to be counting to 8, no matter what the thing is. Usally it is when i am walking or looking at random patterns. There are also moments when my counting goes beyond that, as in when drinking out of a glass i count 8 seconds or 8 gulps... These are just a few moments when my counting to 8 is noticable. So far, i haven't felt that it has caused a huge issue and almost nobody can seem to notice it. Though i am happy that i can keep it to myself, i still worry for i am only 16 years old.

  • Anonymous-1

    I didn't realise or take OCD into consideration...

    I've been having those condition since a very young age i'd say about 8 years old and now things really are clearing up... thanks

  • Barb

    I count to ten constantly, in my head. It is so very annoying. I cannot seem to control it. It is like my mind is never quiet. I think there are a few triggers that get it really going. Television screens are big triggers. The numbers of channels and the volume control numbers on the screen get my mind really going. I wish it would go away. I just wish I could control it. I am very normal in every other way. Nobody would ever know this happens. I have a very stressful life, 2 jobs and other responsibilities. I think this has always been there, but has gotton worse as I get older (47). I HATE IT!!

  • Anonymous-2

    Haha i have an equal problem. Everything in my mind and everthing i do has to be equal. Like if i step over on crack on the ground with my right foot i have to step over the next one with my left...or vise versa if i rub one eye i have to rub the other and it never stops with everything i say, think, or do lol. If i do something that causes something to not be equal i cut off the excess with my mind lol im weird. Im not as bad as i used to be, but im more nervous now and anxious since i trained my mind kinda to not count. I made straight a's in school and im a perfectionist kinda. I constantly try to control my mind but i cant.....Im also really anxious at times for no reason. ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! Xanex help.... but i dont wanna go to the doctor....My mind should be strong enough to control this problem!

  • katrina - Southern Illinois

    I count the features on someomnes face as I am talking to them. (2 eyebrows, 2 eyes, 2 nose holes, 2 lips, 2 sets of teeth) aahh a perfect number ten. Also counting by fives and two's. Lines in the highway as I am driving, windows, tiles on the floor, dresser drawers - they all have to end in an equal number or I will re-count and add to it to make it come out right and I feel much better!!!

  • lauren

    Finally, a possible explanation! I have been suffering from unrelenting horrific head and earaches for four years now with no found medical reasoning. I have been counting on my fingers (each syllable) as we speak, as if I were typing on a keyboard since I was a young child. I always did the counting, but the keyboard thing started after taking keyboard class and learning the finger placement of correct typing. I count the syllables to each word I hear or read and break down contractions (don't into do not) so that the words are correctly syllabalized. I know this is an OCD thing and have never met anyone with the same habit. What amazes me the most is reading that another person is doing this, but that the headaces are also present. They are excruciating and have made my life unrecognizable. Oddly, I have always done the counting thing and it only annoyed me. Now, the idea of it possibly being the cause of my headaches means it has eventually caused physical pain. Amazing how seemingly unimportant things can actually, over time, cause life altering problems.

  • Joe West

    I have had this problem all my life. I constantly count syllables of words on my fingers or numbers. I am obsessed with the number seven and i count the holes in peoples faces 2 eye holes 2 ear holes two nostrils and 1 mouth= 7. when there is a group it is worse. 7 14 21 28 35 32 49 56 63 70. It goes on and on and on. It drives me insane. I have the same problem as lauren. I am constantly tapping my fingers with numbers and syllables. I dont get it. I feel like im losing my mind.

  • joe

    Three shall be the count and the counting shall be three.... search..Holy Grail.

    I am constantly counting my gulps when I take drinks (non-alcholic). A secret till I was 50. I have opened up to close friends and my wife and all think I am wierd.. which may be the case, but does not answer the question .. WHY? I am not bothered by it... nor do I try to "beat records" or anything like that.. I just do. I may have NOT counted some times but my memory fails me. I count other things but only as digits.. I may count people going in a building.. never see faces... just counting as digits.. 1,2,3,4 ect. I find when "this" happens it seems to be a fill in the bordom type thing. But the counting of gulps has been there for as long as I can remember with no recolection of when it may have started or why. Do you count your gulps? I would like to know if I am alone. I have only found ONE other person That (admits) to counting gulps in my 51 years on Planet earth. All opinions diagnonis and questions are all welcome. NOTE: Not that I have the money anyway, but at this time I don't think I need to speak to someone.. but.... Things that make you go HMMMM ...?...

    The best to you all!


  • Anonymous-3

    I see that most of you who count, count things. I just count. Sometimes I start at 1 and keep going until I realize that I am counting to way over 400 and didn't even realize it. I have been under a lot of stress lately. I have also had the symptom of "pill rolling". This is a movement of the thumb and index finger as if one were rolling a round pill. I do this continuously and sometimes hold my thumb inside my fist in order to stop, because it is embarASING, BUT BEFORE i KOW IT, i'M DOING IT AGAIN.

  • melissa

    I find my self counting all the time too! Especially when Im in the doctors office. I count the tiles on the floor, the tiles on the ceiling, the number of is very annoying, because although I just counted them I will start all over when there is nothing left to count. I also believe it happens most when I have anxiety, or Im bored. Im just glad to see Im not crazy.

  • Oe

    This is the first time i have looked this up and reading some peoples comments make me thankful i dont have it so bad to where i get headaches but i count letters from everything, words that people say, words that i say on my fingers and i will add a word to make it even and i dont stop until it ends on an even number and then i feel good enough to stop but then i'll find something else to count, bricks on a wall, tiles on the floor etc. i just really want to know what causes this? and if theres some way to stop it without taking drugs, i can control my mind enough to stop it i think and would like to find a way. been doing it since i can remember and im 23 now and reading some peoples info at over 50+ i would like to stop this and not be doing it the rest of my life before i do start getting headaches because of it...

  • BB

    I have the same problems mentioned above, I never really thought much of it until it was mentioned on TV the other week and I decided to look it up. I'm glad I did as it seems pretty clear I'm not the only one! I count lines (around the ceiling, TV, words e.g a 'W' has four lines, roads, cabinets, windows anything and everything). I count how many colours I see, how many letters in a word and all must add to an equal number! Its annoying as I just cant stop it, it hasn't caused any real serious problems but if anyone has any suggestions as to hw to stop it then PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know!

  • Anonymous-4

    I thought I was weird for the longest time because I count a lot, too. I don't quite match up to what everybody is saying here, but especially in times of stress/anxiety/overwhelmed feeling, I count almost every move I make. So for instance I would count- in seconds- the amount of time it would take me to get up from the desk and then walk to the bathroom. Sometimes I give myself a time limit for certain tasks I perform and tell myself that I have to finish something within 15 seconds. Then I go on to the next task and give myself another time limit. This could be from brushing my teeth to brushing my hair or cleaning a counter top. I sometimes even count like 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, get up to a certain number while I am doing something, and if I am running behind I will pause and then start over again. It's a weird habit I've had for a while and it drives me NUTS. I'm a 22 year-old female. Anybody else have this weird habit?

  • Anonymous-5

    I have a similar problem, when i am just sitting down watching ,tv, driving around or pretty much doing anything i drift off and count. I usaly count on my fingers in a wierd manner. I will count my first pinky finger then ski to my middle finger then back to the one in between then to my index finger and back to my middle and so on so i end up with 7 instead of 5 Wierd i know, Alos i count my clock say it says it is 10:00 o clock i will count each number as 1 like the 1 is 1 the 0 is 1 each . in : is also 1 so i get 8. then i do somthing even more wierd i will count the sqare around it to make 4 more wich equals 12. Also somthing very distracting is when i am driving around in a car i count the lines in the road and stop signs and the reflecters in the street i will count anything. It is very distracting to where it is hard for me to concentrate. I feel a little better seeing some people have similar cases, but i would still like to learn more about it. If anyone is interested i will accept any emails on the subject.

  • brandy

    O thank god! I count everything and if it doesn't add up to 13 I will add some thing. I do it with laundry, dishes, talking to people, the number of items I eat, chewing, walking, words, etc the list goes on and on and on, I get really upset and hunt for items. I can't stop. I count letters in books the number of breaths. I have really bad head aches all the time and I made an appointment with the doctor today. But its good to see that I'm not alone

  • brandy

    It is nice to know I'm not the only one though I didn't read one exactly the same. I count everything and if the total isn't divisable by 13 I do what ever I have to to get it there. I can remember doing it as a child and now I can't hardly read. I get head aches bad. But its still good to c other people that are similar

  • Lynda Vaughan

    I am 55 and have been counting since I was a child young enough to begin reading, since the counting was first all about the big road signs and the letters on them. I was a seriously abused little girl diagnosed with everything from PTSD to Bipolar Disorder and I started suffering severe migraines more than ten years ago (before that my life was filled with serious problems that lead to seven marriages, no apple pie) until I finally was hospitalized with some amazing doctors where I experienced a program called DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and I stayed as an out-patient for quite awhile. Let me say that I have been diagnosed DID(Dissociative Identity Disorder) and suffered the terrible abuse that caused it, but EVERYONE has their own reasons and diagnoses for counting! Don't give up with one psychiatrist, psychologist, hospital, or doctor it took me a long time to find the right place, but when I did it was quite a chance in my life!!!!!

  • Diane

    I have been reading articles about people counting syllables, etc. I really thought what I did was so "out there". I've been married for 23 years, and have 5 children. I have a few of my kids with disabilities. Life hasn't been easy, lets just say that. I work in special education and waitress. When I'm not doing that I'm taking care of my family. I kind of figured the reason I do this is because my brain, after a full day, just cannot relax, it has to be doing something.

    Some of the things I do is: I count syllables in phrases on commercials, in songs, on t.v. etc....My "magic" number is 5. Everything has to be in a multiple of 5. I also do this with phone numbers to be able to recite them so they come out in a multiple of 5. I started with find a 5 syllable word for every letter in the alphabet, but now, I'm on to find 5, 5 syllables words for every letter in the alphabet. I am very goofy about making sure I can just rattle them off. I will perseverate on it, if I can't just rattle them off. I also, when I'm driving find first the letters of the alphabet on billboards, licenses, etc. I set a goal for myself depending on how far I am from my destination. I also have a thing with numbers. I, have figured out that anytime you divide a number by 9, the number after the decimal point will be the same. It took me a long time, but I figured out the smallest number that was divisible by all number 1-10...2,250. I also will go through and come up with Cities, Countries for every letter in the alphabet. Sometimes, I will also recite them and work to get them in a multiple of..yes, you guessed it "5". When I text message, write e-mails, I'm pretty meticulous about puncuation, etc. I also do a lot of crossword puzzles, word puzzles. One time I was at a party where there was a word scramble and I was done in about 45 seconds, and no one could believe I could do that! Words just seem to shuffle and make sense.

    As a rule, none of this stuff interupts my day. I do this when I'm alone, in bed trying to fall to sleep, (I will admit it has interfered occassionally with drifting off to sleep, and have found myself waking up still doing it). I do try to stop myself from doing it, but then I just slink back into it.

    I have always felt this is a way my mind unwinds. I have constant stimulous in my life. I have always wanted to write a book about the experiences I have had in life. However to be honest, I am scared to death of failing. I have been told I have a gift for what I do, working in special education, but I just feel the pressure to help everyone else, and I think it takes it's toll on me. I do not want to go on any medications. They scare the death out of me, and I don't think it's necessary, since it doesn't interupt my day.


  • mike


  • Trey

    this is one is for diane the syllable counting lady, before I start my first ever entry into any kind of web site like this, I have to quickly note that I have several lucky numbers and the first one is obviously my name Trey, three. And this is going to diane the syllable counting lady whose name ironically equals 33. Anyway I never knew there were other people who counted syllables. I can actually count them as they come out of peoples mouths and then when they are done with the sentence I can tell them how many syllables it was. When I was a kid it was the worst handicap for me, I could never stop counting syllables, I couldnt learn in school because I was counting the teachers syllables, I used to have to put my hands over my ears, just so I couldnt hear what they were saying so I could get a break from counting them. Luckily as I got older it got better and now I am much better at controling it. But I liked to arrange everything so that it would equal 14 syllables because when I was taught what a syllable was in like first grade we learned that supercalafragilisticexpyalladocious was 14 syllables and I was hooked after that. Note I suffer from severe OCD and still count non stop, but it is always different things and I have learned to cope with it pretty well, even though it certainly hinders me from maximizing my potential. I cant believe other people actually have counting problems like me. This is way cool.

  • Anonymous-6

    As a child i used to count every word i ever saw..Even road signs and words people said to everything...Always whispering to myself what every word consisted of.

    For some reason i completely forgot i used to do this until an aunt recently mentioned it to me. So i googled it and here i am..I am now 23 and haven't done it in probably over 10 years. I dont know if maybe it has manifested itself in another form and ive not figured it out yet but i definately havent done it in years...

    is it known to simply grow out of people?

  • Ryan

    When i was a kid i used to count driveways and mailboxes as my mom drove by them every place we went. I did that for a few years and eventually started counting peoples features, every person i counted was 29, 10 fingers 10 toes 2 eyes 2 ears 2 eyebrows 2 nostrils and a mouth so if i was in a room with alot of people i would count 29, 58, 87 and so on and kept doing it over and over. I would also add numbers together on clocks even the little dashes and count letters in words i read. And recently i keep clenching my fists and curling my toes as i count. Ill count 5 in my head every time i clench my hand or curl my toes all the way up to 40 and just keep doing it over and over. Its an obsession with me cause im not depressed and i dont do it to deal with anxiety. Its good to know other people are doing it to so i know im not going crazy, but i wish nobody else had to go through it cause it gets very irratating.

  • Marcus

    I've had all kinds of crazy habits since I was a kid. I started counting the number of blocks on the sidewalk on my walk home from school. I used to count to ten as fast as I could as many times as I could. i used to snap my fingers. I had a habit where I couldn't let any air bubbles get into the space between my upper lip and gums (weird I know). I have always had a really bad habit of popping my ankles, wrists, fingers, and neck, and whatever else that would pop. I couldn't stop until something else grabbed my attention (still do that). I used to have a habit of spitting all the time while outside (another weird one). I am constantly assigning my fingers to patterns I see, but not really keeping count, just assinging each finger to a space in the lines on the road, or on the spaces in an entertainment center. I always do that to music I'm listening to or just to whatever's playing in my head. I don't get headaches or anything, but I'm a very nervous and anxious person. I went with my ex to a psychiatrist (her own problems) and asked him about everything. He said I had a form of OCD that wasn't really hurting me or affecting my life adversely. He said that it probably helped me accomplish everything I had. It is nice to hear that I'm not the only one though.

  • Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

    Hi Marcus,

    I want to make two comments about what you wrote:

    1. You do have OCD and that does NOT mean that you are crazy.

    2. Despite what your psychiatrist told you I would recommend that you gradually stop your self from engaging in the OCD thoughts and actions. The more you do it, the more you have to do it. But, it can be stopped by refusing to do those things. It will be difficult at first, but, if you give your self fifteen minutes between wanting to do the thinking, counting, etc, and doing them, you will gradually find your self doing it less.

    There are many excellent self help books on this.

    Dr. Schwartz

  • Marshall

    I googled "why am I always counting?" and found this site. I hate math yet I count non stop. I found all of your comments very amuzing because your all just like me. My number is 7 or 5. It has to be am odd number because there has to be an equal number of things on both sides with a center point. i.e. facial features. left ear, right ear, left eye, right eye, left nostril, roght nostril mouth= 3 on each side on in the middle=7. Or on a road. Gutter, gutter, lane, lane, left yellow line, right yellow line, between the lines=7. Lol I know i'm crazy but this is the only OCD thing i do. Weird

  • Joe

    For example:

    What a nice jacket that is....

    In my head I will break it down one of many ways until a divisible number sticks.

    Wha tan ice jac ket tha tis (see how this works?. I break it down into 3 letters per syallable of the sentence, and I reach the last letter perfectly perfectly when finished saying the sentence bases on syallables.).

    It could be simple words too, not just sentences.

    Audiovox (Break it down by 2. Au di ov ox).

    Tender (Ten Der) 3's

    Maple Tree (Map let ree) 3's

    Reindeer (rein Deer) 4's

    Sometimes I mix it up.

    Federal (Fed e ral) 3, 1, 3

    Envelope (Env el ope) 3,2,3

    When mixing it up, I try to have the 1st and last numbers be the same, while the "oddball" is in the middle.

    Does anyone else try to breakdown words or sentences based on syllables in this fashion?

  • tony

    I count all the time in my head .mostly cars on the highway while i'm driving .this includes cars in front of me and ones i see in my mirrors.tractor trailers count as two.always must end up with an even number or i'll wait for another to appear.then start over again with a new group.also objects in aroom bed, tv's dressers,etc.allin twos.however all this seems to make me very aleart of my surroundings.i notice things out of place or missing.i was wondering if any of you other counters has thisability im always being commented on my attention to detail.of course i think the MARINE CORPS may have contributed to the attention to detail.please comment

  • ellie

    i count in blocks of 100 in every piece f time like when im waiting for the bus, when im on my ow hanging around waiting to meet someone or for it to be time to go somewhere when someone says brb online wen im showering when adverts are on and lots of other examples that i cant think of right now

    this doesnt seem to be like anyone else on here.

    the earliest time i can remeber counting sort of liek this is when i was little like 7 and my dad would go out and id be like no dont go and hed be like il be 5 mins so id count for 5 mins then be like:( or sometimes if i was going to be distacted if it was likean hour id set timers . but i dont really remeber doing it that much. Then i was away with a freind a few year ago and i kept asking her the time and the id say oh hang on let me guess and id getto within a few mins of the time it seemed really satisfying which i know is weird.

    but those werent excessive i didnt think but now its got to the point where its in almost every empty thoughts in the last year or so its become really neurotic :/. anyone else find this?

  • David

    Thank goodness for these responses. It's such a relief to read everyones response. Just knowing the issue, reading the experiences and the Doctor's professional response is so reassuring. I count slats on vertical blinds, facial features, I judge the width of a door and then measure how many fit along a wall....tiles, patterns on wallpaper,....on and on.... Normally during levels of high anxiety....I think you have to train yourself to identify you're doing it...and STOP. It's a self auditing and train yourself thing.

    Occupy yourself with creative things.....If you're life is consumed with work, do other activities. One side of the brain can do all the work whilst the other side is non functional - not healthy......go jogging, play golf, do sport,...join clubs, socialise more...

  • David

    ref my response below, I later found this....on wikipedia and folks on here might find it helpful....I did..

    It fully describes the disorder as clearly as the medical profession appear to understand it.....not everything describes one individual, but I found a few similarities to my condition....Counting appears to be 'pure O' or pure internal OCD, where we do it in our head rather than arranging soda cans in our fridge.....

    Good Luck!

  • Anonymous-7

    Argh, nice to know im not on my own with what i do. I went to the doctors about it and he said it was strange so he sent me to a physiciatrist or something like that. I got all embarrased talking about it so walked out and left it. I forget that im doing it, but when i remember i think GOD IVE BEEN DOING THIS ALL THIS TIME. EVERY word i look at i split up, create weird sentences with it and do all sorts of things with numbers with it. For example Kit kat.

    I make a sentence like

    Its Kit kats.

    I ts kit kats.

    That goes 1 2 3 4.

    Its so annoying, ive tried to stop doing it but i cant. Im a teenager and i hope i stop doing it eventually. It really annoys me all the time and i am ALWAYS doing it, whatever im doing. Nice to know im not alone.

  • Anonymous-8

    I have the same problem its got so bad I count pavementsd and cars door frames and dented patterns in doors I count and pair things together eg if thers a word that's 6 letters I would count the 5 on my hand and place the six as all my 5 fingerts to make a whole number. My mum has this too its because of stress

  • Anonymous-9

    For a couple years now, everytime I look at the time, whether it be a car clock, phone clock, computer, anything!, I add the numbers together even multiply and divide...its weird.

    example: 11:24. 1+1x2 = 4. or 9:33 - 9/3 = 3. i do this all the time...its crazy. would this be classified as ocd or anything? Its really been bugging me like crazy lately as i cant not do it.

  • Anonymous-10

    I count things all the time. They always have to be even, but I really like it better when they add up to multiples of 10. It's super annoying. I especially do it a lot when I'm running on the tredmill. I count the pictures on the wall, and then the sides of the wall so it will add up to 30. It always adds up to that, but every time I run, I still count them over and over. I work in a book store, and I tend to count the shelves a lot too. I count windows, and I count squares a lot, like four sides to the tv, and the walls, six counting the ceiling and floor. I've mentioned it to my family before, and they thought it was kinda weird, cause none of them do. I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this.

  • Dawn

    I find my self sitting around counting to a hundred and it has to be an even five numbers per hand if i dont move my fingers in the right sequence then i have to start over. Can this really be normal?

  • KCM

    I never really analyzed or even thought about my incessant counting of items that I would face or think about.

    On my Mothers death bed she chared with me that she always counted. Either on her hands or in her mind. I rersponded that I did too, and she responded that she was "compulsive". She was 72 years old. After her death I began to think about my counting of things and found it amazing that this was not a learned behavior, but that I had inherited the compulsion through "genetics". I even counted the 19 different points made in the Lords Prayer.

    I have begun to tell my self to stop when I find myself counting and it has resulted in a little more anxiety, however my compulsion has wained to a degree.

    I will finally address this with my counselor to see what else I can do to significantly reduce my "counting" and hopefully learn other tools to help with this.

    There is always hope!

  • Libby

    I'm 60 years old and I have been counting since I was a child. I count words, letters, tires on big trucks, signs, facial features. You name It, I count it. My number is 12. When I was younger everything had to come out to an even 12 or it was bad luck for my family. To this day everything has to come out to 12. I found this disorder runs in my family. Nearly all my sisters have confessed to counting.My oldest brother has a lot of tics and probably counts also.

  • des

    me,my mom and grandma all count strokes in words, shapes,cars, etc. for example: elephant, the e has 2 strokes, l has one stroke, e has 2,p has 2, h has 2,a has 2, n has 2, and t has 2 strokes, that equals 15. but it has to come out even,so i would ad like an extra stroke to the t or something. anyone else do that with words or numbers or objects?

  • Anonymous-11

    I constantly count in my head . Usually 1 through 8.

    Even if I am talking to someone else I still notice that I am counting way in the back of my head. It also seems like the counting is in rhythm.

  • Jane

    Hello, I am in my Sixties, and when I was a child of 4 or 5 I was always counting , things like wallpaper and table leggs squares in the pavements, And I sometimes think why was I doing this so much, I do not do this now.

    Regards Jane

  • SK

    I wish mine was more common like a lot of you have posted but its pretty simple i guess you could say. I dont need to end at a specific number. I will be pouring a drink and count till its full or other random things where i count out of no where. I then remembered as a child i was always counting the signs by the road or the dotted lines so this issue must go far back. It wasnt till recently that ive noticed doing it with other things. Perhaps thats when or how it started.

  • RW

    I have been counting things it seems all of my life. I'll count my teeth and the spaces between them. I need to make sure that I end on a positive number. In a room I will count lights, the spaces in the walls, shadows, etc. I seem to use a factor of 4 to make certain that I end positive and mostly at 100. When walking I count my steps and make sure I end on my right foot with a positive count. Sometimes it drives me crazy. I don't know what others think when they see me looking around a room to count. I'll read license plates and keep reading them on all the cars I can see until I end on a positive number. This is normally done by tapping it out with my feet.

    Does anyone have any recommendations to help me with this?

  • Sam

    I used to count my own facial features constantly until i felt satisfied (with what i don't know), it used to drive me insane, I would count the places where a feature would come to a point, i.e. the edge of my mouth or eye, I've pretty much managed to stop it, although I do catch myself still doing it sometimes. I also catch myself counting my footsteps occassionally.

    I look for word patterns aswell, I used to think that people were using a word that I used days or weeks previously (which is inevitable i know).However, I used to memorise whole conversations and I would feel really paranoid that my friends were all involved in some sort of game in which they had to try and use a word that I used previously without me noticing. Very stupid, I know.

  • allan

    If i see a word anywhere it could be on tv, at work, when driving or even something someone has says i have to add it up. For example if the word is video i add up the v which is the 22nd letter of the alphabet, i which is the 9th letter, d is the 4th, e 5th and o 15th. So that makes 55 then i divide it by how many letter were in the word which is 5 and i get the average which in this case is 11 and id convert it back in to the 11th letter of the alphabet which is k. I do this all the time. Sometimes i'm adding up huge phrases. I don't know is this is some kind of ocd or if it's just a common thing people do.

  • Janet

    I used to count my steps when I walked or jogged or climbed steps. My mother told me she counted. I also have ADD. I recently went on a medicine for migraine headache (topirimate) and when I got to 100mg, ( increased 25 mg per week), I realized that I was getting my work done and no longer counting. After years of craziness I feel normal.

  • Kat

    I am sooo happy i have found this site!!! For years my doctor, friends and family have been looking at me like i am strange for counting lines!! I didnt even think it could be OCD!! I draw things in my mind and make the number of lines add up to 7, 10 or 12 - if it lands on 13 i do everything i can to add a number or take one away!! like, a cube 4 - 4 and 4 lines. I cant seem to stop myself from doing it. I have been doing it ever since i can remember, must be a good 15 years (and im 26 now). If anyone knows a way to get rid of it can they please let me know? id give anything to be able to stop doing it, it is really rulling my life and i know it is going to get me into serious troube one day - getting nocked down cause i am drawing the shape of the green man in my head or crashing my car cause i am drawing the outline of a roadsign!! I really think i am going mad!!!

  • Colleen

    My daughter just turned 11 this weekend. Tonight she drew out a schematic for me of how she counts syllables and that each sentence needs to end in an even number. She said that she started this last winter and it "used to be behind her head" and now it "is in front" pointing from the back of her head to the front of her head. What do I say to her and how do I help her? We started righting down the "rules" and she wants to write a journal about her "language".

  • Cookie James

    Hi I'm glad to know others can relate to me. I'm constantly counting the words I say in sentences while, and after I speak. I put all the words that start with the same letter together, and then arrange it chronologically according to what number the letter falls in the alphabet.I then say over the sentence in my head starting from A words till Z if any. Even if the sentence doesn't make sense, in my mind it's in order. The same for numbers if a number plate is PAT9423 I would put it in order of APT2349 and that makes more sense to me. Sometimes in conversation or doing work at school I may miss a point because I'm so busy arranging the sentence to make chronological sense. When I can't complete it this frusrates me and I get headaches. I'm constantly counting my steps sometimes aware and unaware of it. My number in counting is 100 everything must add up to 100 for every 100 steps I make I stop for a few secs and then I go again. this is really time consuming and exhuasting I just want it to stop!

  • Anonymous-12

    wow..i do the same thing and also have very bad headaches.. I started years ago counting to forty and no further,then by fours.. i count all the outlines of faces bodies and words..It has gotten so bad that some times i think i am losing my mind..I dont no how to stop it...

  • Gareth

    "I breakdown words and sentences by counting - Joe - Jan 26th 2010

    For example:

    What a nice jacket that is....

    In my head I will break it down one of many ways until a divisible number sticks.

    Wha tan ice jac ket tha tis (see how this works?. I break it down into 3 letters per syallable of the sentence, and I reach the last letter perfectly perfectly when finished saying the sentence bases on syallables.).

    It could be simple words too, not just sentences.

    Audiovox (Break it down by 2. Au di ov ox).

    Tender (Ten Der) 3's

    Maple Tree (Map let ree) 3's

    Reindeer (rein Deer) 4's

    Sometimes I mix it up.

    Federal (Fed e ral) 3, 1, 3

    Envelope (Env el ope) 3,2,3

    When mixing it up, I try to have the 1st and last numbers be the same, while the "oddball" is in the middle.

    Does anyone else try to breakdown words or sentences based on syllables in this fashion?"

    I am exactly the same! Certain words stick in my head and I'll find myself finding all the ways to divide them evenly, or if I find the word has a prime number of letters I leave the middle 1. Some words I do nearly every time I hear - possibly because I already know them to have satisfactory results (normally only with longer words - for example, "everything" which I already know is either every-thing or ev-er-yt-hi-ng). I guess my brain is most satisfied when the way I break up the word matches the way the syllables are split up. The worst part is that this is very distracting from whatever I'm meant to be listening to, and my wife will often be wondering how I could have missed vital parts of conversation or dialogue on the TV when it's just because I've zoned out on one particular word.

    This isn't my first habit of this fashion - as a child, I would count syllables by moving my jaw from side to side - for 3 syllables, I would move my jaw to the right, then back to the middle, then to the left. In this case, I was most satisfied when a word or phrase left my next movement to be opposite of what it was for this word - so for 2, 6, 10 syllables. (In fact, for many years I would simply use "Oh boy oh boy oh boy" as some kind of default 6 syllable phrase to get me started)

    Then about 4 years ago I got into a habit of texting a lot, and this spurred a shift in my mental habits - now I would get stuck on a word, just like I do now with breaking syllables up, but instead I would think of how it would be typed in a text - so for example, if "everything" had been the word in my head then, I would have thought 3837984464 (or, if I hadn't been using T9 recently, 3388833777999844444664)

    I can't really pinpoint when any of the changes happened, but I can say I'm getting pretty sick of always having this obsession in my head. But I'm very glad to have found that I'm not alone!

  • Ocdminds

    I used to have this counting habit from 1 to 4 and then reverse count it from 4 to 1 virtually on everything and it will go on forever.

    Its crazy...



    OCD Help blog

  • tristan 14 and i cannot stop counting all kinds of things in fours, chewing and picking my nails and keeping a beat in my steps, the sound of my pencil writing on paper and tapping. well, say im walking in my living room, and theres the wood floor, and a carpet rug... if i am walking and step one foot on to the rug by accident, i HAVE TO turn around and touch my other foot, then the first foot again, and then back to the other foot...messed up.... everything has to be in fours too! if i am walking and i pay attention to my heel jitting the ground, and then my toes, i have to do the same with my other foot too,and then again with the other foot, and again with the first foot. if i accidentaly mess up and lose track of the number of times i have done something, i get a stomach ache and a headache sometimes. sigh... this is making me feel wierd. my nails are chewed down about an inch or two from where they should be. oh...and you may notice that there are no mistakes in this comment... and lots of three dots... like that... that is because i check over everything i write...

  • Anonymous-13

    my girlfriend also suffers from these symptoms and disorder so it must be more commen than we had once realized

  • ghalani

    this is so weird i too count my hubby thinks i can just stop, ive ried over an over i count everything an everything needs 2 end in an equal number from door frames to colors to wrinkles its gettin to where i go to bed with headaches an wake up with headaches i dont know how to stop i want to stop my brain hurts from all the counting ugh

  • Anonymous-14

    I am 16 now and from my very childhood (may be when I was of 4), I am suffering with the same thing and many more type of other mental problems..I don't know why but I am so quick in counting and I repeatedly use my this ability without any reason..My counting manners keep changing and some times I even reach more than 1 billion in counting(I also multiply and divide numbers)

    I never felt this weird thing as a problem, but from last 3 years I am loosing my memory and concentration , I also find some signs of Polar Disorder in me..Now whole day I do only one thing, that's imagination..I am now finding myself unable to make a connection with society..My health is also miserable, I am very good ai my studies but I can't(due to this problem)give my best now, people hope so much but I don't think they will get according to expectations..I am so isolated that I never told even my parents about this problem..Can anybody help me to get rid on this "calculation mania"?

  • Anonymous-15

    counting means that you need order in your life. This is what a Doctor told me. I always count by 3's I yes I believe that I do need order in my life.

  • Anonymous-16

    wow i had no idea all these people did the same thing today i ask my uncle my mom and aunt if they counted my uncle said he does i dont have to end in a specific number and i dont get headaches i mostly count when im driving or riding in a car i count trees, windows on houses windows on cars lines on he road telephone pole and i can not stop i dont even kno how long ive been doing it i never thought it was really a problem its just annoying somtimes and i have jus been wondering why i am doing this i dont kno anyone around me that does the same thing except my uncle but its really werid when i watch tv i count facial features ears nose eyes mouth in church i count people boards jus pretty much anything i can count i noticed that when i am bored or my mind is free i jus count but really im 20 with a 12mnth old and a 2mnth old so i really have alot to think about i jus wish someone could tell me why i count so much maybe we are not crazy maybe we are really intelligent it doesnt bother me that i cant i just want to kno why i do this

  • Anonymous-17

    Hi, I am 64 years old and am a pastor and have been doing these things as long as I can remember.When I eat I arrange to finish up with one bite of each food thereby making it even. Also, I will have one last drink of liquid with the last bite of food. Even if I start out with a larger portion of one food, I will manage to take larger amounts till all is equal. If I go in a door, I must exit from that door. If for some reason I enter the front door and have to exit the rear door, I know that when I return I must enter the rear door and exit the front door so it evens out. I also sleep with two pillows on my right side and one on my left, however, in the middle of the night I reverse the procedure except all pillows go on the left side. In my mind this evens it out. I also clear my throat and cough a even number of I have learned to laugh at this over the years and it causes me no distress.

  • Fred

    Sure, I count. So what? It doesn't affect me, i can still keep doing what I do. I usually get stuck with time, 1:09, 2:00, 2:09, 3:00...

    Sometime I count other things in numerical order. I do it in my head, and it doesn't interfere with my life, so I let it go, and just stop when I notice it.

    I only mainly do it when I'm stressed, which is not as hard to come by as it used to be, but i'm cool with it. Just like the 3 thing I do, everyting in 3's, i just noticed that.

    And eating all of one food item at once, then moving on.

    Whatever. It doesn't hurt anything, and I still function just fine.

    Everyone has problems. Some are big, some, not so much :)

  • Paul

    Hi, I have read a few comments and understand the mental strain. OCD behaviour is linked to fear, or being afraid. The biggest thing is understanding that. In chinese medicine from what I know, fear is related to kidneys, there are herbal supplements that a chinese practitioner can advise.

    Secondly, meditation is a big thing as well. The reason is because it allows your mind to focus on something else rather than being busy with thoughts that bug you. Having Faith is another big element, understanding that fears are just emotions and that overall nothing is wrong and being content.

  • Bobby

    I catch my self Counting the letters in words, they may be on a sign, tv,a book, a menu...that must end in 10...10 is my number...

    I will count the lines on the road while driving...mys end at 10...or i have to count it again till it end in 10...

    Or when im in a room, I will count cieling tiles, or the squares on a tiled floor...or on a house i will count how many pices of hardy plank or sidding were used...

    I have counted how man Cars are waiting in a red light...

    I count how many companys are one one sign...

    I can remember doing this when i was in 4th grade...

    This disorder doesnt affect me really...doesnt give me any problems except for when i read for more then 10 minutes...I am a fantastic reader...but my mind starts to wonder while reading...i might continue to read a paragraph when my head it thinking about what im going to do next...or what im going to eat for lunch...or something about work...and while i think about these other things i never stopped reading what i was when i realize i was doing that, i would go back to focusing on what i was reading and also realize that i had not comperhended not one word i had read...could not remember anything about it... but i can go back and read it... and remember it then and i realized that i had read it already...

    so weird...

    But im 25 and know i have this (CCD) but it hasnt hurt me in any way...and it dosent affect me in my personal life...Its as if my mind starts counting to prevent me from thinging about negetive things stop's me from stressing and dwelling over other things...

    If there is a way to prevent this disorder. I would like to know...feel free to e-mail me...E-mail at ATT-BOBBY...

  • Chantelle

    Hi. Im constantly counting things, and ordering things in my mind, it stops my concentration and this prevents me from learning at school. I count absolutely everything over and over again and I can never seem to stop my self, I just have to check to see if i counted correctly and if some-one disturbs me I have to start again, this really does affect me. I also do this really stupid thing where u have to do something before something happens or ill die. so I do it but knowing I wont acutally die but still have to do it in that space of time.

    What does this mean if this is happening? Is it bad?Is it Normal? Could I die from it?

  • Anonymous-18

    Why do I do this??? I often count on my fingers what I've recently heard using each letter per finger. Eg.. (tv's on now & just heard) 'Now dance, summer edition'. 21 letters... Gotta move left thumb x 3 and little finger x 1, then do same on other hand.. sometimes needing to do this thing 4 or 8 times until hands are 'balanced' or I repeat rhythm. Sometimes rhythm changes. It's wierd, I know!!!

  • Phoebe

    hi, im 13 and i have caught my self doing this for months now. i will count spaces, lines, and words and it is getting really annoying! if i see a cabnet i will count the spaces inbetween each cabnet and if it isnt even i will add things, like imagnary circles, or dots. i will count all most everything. i will count how many steps it takes to get from my house to my bus stop, i will count how many steps it takes to get from class to class and if someone messes me up... i will go back to my last class and start over. by the end of the day i will get a headache but not a bad just a small one. but im glad im not the only one who does this! i thoght i was going crazy.

  • Carolyn

    I also count everything and say all the colors in the room, count the features on faces and the such. I can't stop, been doing it for a long time. Wish I had insurance to go to a doctor!

  • Anonymous-19

    i didnt even realize I did these kinds of things until i read some of these comments, thanks guys. I have multiple numbers, like one, three, five, ten and eleven. sometimes one hundred and its fourths are easy to apply to situations, but most of the time i stick with my lower numbers because i dont like to count for long. for instance, i'll be washing my hair and pump out three squirts of shampoo because i know that way i can use two squirts of conditioner to make five, and even one "bonus" squirt at the end if i mix the two. or when eating popcorn, ill scoop up some and then count the amount as it goes into my mouth. for example, if i grabbed four pieces ill rearrange it as being three pieces and one. My case is not so severe, but i have been feeling awefully anxious lately and came on this site to try and see if i fit any of the symptoms on here. this seems like a great group of people, thanks for sharinga .)

  • lilly

    I count every minute of the day. It has to be by 5's 10's or 3's. I count windows, doors, laps, anything with rows. It makes me go crazy. I just can't stop. A doctor told me that I needed order in my life. I can be talking to someone and counting start counting the windows in the room.

  • Anonymous-20

    This only started a couple of months ago, but i'm always counting to 5 by moving my jaws. It includes making shapes with five sides/points.

    However most of the time I seem to counting up to 5 in this pattern:






    As a result my jaws ache, yet i cant seem to stop it! I'm only 16, and so it's affecting my studies = (

    Is this a form of CCD?

  • Anonymous-18

    I've recently noticed that my 9 year old son with ADHD has to touch things. For eg. We were leaving the house the other day to get in the car and he took a step back to tap/pat the back door when leaving the house. Also noticed that he taps a pattern with his fingers just like I do when I'm counting letters in words that are said. (Patterns).

    Seeing him touch things reminded me how I used to have to touch things multiple times as a child also. I seem to have outgrown that though now just finger count.

    Hubby and I can be watching TV & I finger count letters said while holding hubby's hand. We've been together 18 years and I only mentioned this habit to him about 12 months ago. He said he's felt me moving my fingers for years & didn't think anything of it!

    I was in the high classes in school at my sons age & have never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, yet my son is way behind his peers at an academic level.

    It seems so stupid to go to a doctor about this! But what have I passed on to my son??!! :(

  • Zach

    Ive noticed that when ever I pass by objects while driving I always count them I get angry at myself when I pass to many objects so that I can't get to the all in my head so I count in my head and with my jaw moving. Most I the time I end up catching myself countin and try to stop but then run around and not only count objects but how many times I try and get myself to stop it sometimes makes me feel trapped because I really do honestly get entirely angry at myself for not being able to cout every object I pass. I don't have a specific number that I count by however it does get quite annoying even more so when you try and drive and your just counting or making sure you have aknowledged that you have passed that item. Sorry about the grammar or spelling or even the run I. Sentences can about that sht :p RUNESCAPE

  • armzhillz

    i count things using rhythms froms songs or random sounds??..i have doing this since i was about 12 and im 25 now...i now suffer from serious anxiety, depression, and headaches and ear aches...also i use my fingers, toes, teeth and jaw to count. im on medication for anxiety but i never thoght to mention the counting to my docter because i thought i was the only one!! what does this mean? im not an obsessive person and im very unorganised. do i have OCD or am i going crazy?

  • Johnn

    I have the need to count the syllables when someones talking or during a song or if i see a word i count the letters and then i make up a sentence with that many syllables and sometimes if i count with my fingers and it doesn't end on one of my end fingers i have to change the sentence so that it does.

  • Tracy

    I am constantly counting everything and it's taking over me. I am Bi polar and I'm on a lot of medication but I've always counted , my magic number is ten no more no less everything has to be ten or I will make it add up to ten then I count in multiplies of ten if I get it wrong or distracted I will start again when I finish I have to check and start again. I also count objects and letters by lines to add up to ten and everything has to be straight and organised by label and height order or by colour coordination. This is driving me crazy I don't go out anymore I just count and count all day. Please help

  • Maue

    Thank goodness I'm not the only one who's constantly counting syllables. I started when I was about four.

    I had to count the syllables of every sentence that I and the person I'm talking to is saying. I count with my two feet and I divide the syllables by four and the last syllable should end up on my right shoulder or I would go nuts. Thankfully, I can determine which shoulder or feet I should start with before I begin counting.

    I also count as I walk. Whenever walking, my right foot should be the one to take the last step if I'm going out of the door or walking through something that has lines. Same thing goes with stairs.

    I also count letters as if I'm pressing the buttons of my cellphone whenever I hear someone speak. I have a keypad in my head which I press whenever I count letters.

    I also 'box' things. Wherever I go, I have to put the things I see on a box. Or I have to trace the corners of everything that is square in shape.

    I had a lot of rituals that I did when I was little but I stopped doing some of them when I gave birth to my daughter and focused all my attention to her, though some of my rituals stayed with me.

    I also had a person in my mind that I talked to when I was a girl. He left me when I started making friends and said he could rest because I was starting to be 'normal'.

  • RONN

    i am ronn from kosovo and i have the same problem i count evereything that i see,and i dont know what is it...OCD??

  • jhick

    Since I was a teenager I have always counted things and tried to get to a number that matched my age. I am 48 and still do this. Example: at age 13, eyes would be 6 (pupil, iris and whites X 2), eyebrows 2, nose 1, mouth 1, ears 2 and hair 1. At 14 I would count the same features on people and add something like their body and on and on.....It isnt really annoying but never thought anything about it until I decided to google it and found this site. Interesting to see others that count things for various reasons.

  • leigh-anne

    i have adhd and possibly ocd [ as im told by camhs [ child and adalseant mentle health service ] i count thing i want or i like ,things that i have and places i have them in ,and with things like straight lines endges like on a t.v i have to count te sides and evry straight detail in it ,same with evrywhere i go ,i can have up to all sorts of numbers [ eg ] 17 27 87 .it carrys on ,i have about 4 pages full of random numbers ,if i dont count them i start to feel angry and adgetated and feel like something i own or in my life is wrong or has gone missing :( it can be a good thing sometimes but it often anoyes my family

  • Kevin

    I am 33 and have been doing this for as long as i can remember without really giving it much thought but its getting really annoying, i used to draw all the time as a child and now im a designer so i guess im still drawing on a daily basis but i draw everything in my mind, like im watching tv and will draw the outline of the tv over and over again, i draw peoples faces and straight lines and count things, like how many stairs im going up, or how many paces from one place to another. It wouldnt be so bad if i could remember the end figures but i never do, my memory in general is beginning to get really bad, i forget peoples names seconds after they have told me them, i forget dates, times and figures its really beginning to get me down, my conversational skills have also completely dissapeared. I have nothing to say to people, even my friends and family. its getting to the stage where im almost uncomfortable around people who i have known and loved my entire life.

  • Brenda

    when I get up in the morning I count to 5 on my fingers. I try to make myself stop.

  • Abi

    I count words and letters in sentences, i try hard to pass 5 but be less than 12...i cant watch a movie without counting, i did it as a child but that's because my spelling was terrible so it helped....but now it's annoying and i cant stop!!!!!!!!

  • Daren

    Wow i dont know what to say i have heard of the color and numbers and letters tick but what i do is every letter has a number a is 1 b 2 blah blah blah but all 1 3 5 7 9's and so on i count on my left hand and 2 4 6 8 and so on i count with my right always done it even kinda helps with certain scenario's lol should i talk to a doc or just enjoy my tick

  • Kelly

    I googled "I count things when anxious" and found this site. For as long as I can remember I've counted the lines of people glasses, faces, bodies and clothing almost like I'm drawing them in my head. I also count the sides of windowns, posters, and the sides numbers themselves.

    I like to count peoples features and the sides of various objects until I reach my age. I have been doing this since I was about 7 years old and am 29 now.

    I also add things. Mostly times on digital clocks. Like if it was 3:45, it would be 3+4+5=12 an then 1+2+3. Then it gets even crazier. Then I count the shape of the 3 as if I was drawing it in my head three dimentionally. I would get 8, would do the same drawing / counting thing, until I get to 10. Then I stop.

    I mostly do this thing when I'm watching TV, just spacing out. Doesn't really negativly affect my life.

    I typically count the sides of art on the wall or windows while at work, at meetings. Sometimes I space out when I shouldn't.

    But I'm Glad to have stumbled upon this site. It's comforting to know that others count too,interesting to see the variation in things we count, the numbers we like to get to, etc.

  • Kayla

    As long as I can remember I have always traced and counted EVERYTHING in my head, I don't go a day without doing it, anytime, anywhere, not just when I'm anxious. When I was younger I used to count all of the lines in the road and get mad when they went solid or we went too fast to count, or I would count orange cones on the road, It drives me insane and I can't stop!!! Glad to know I am not the only one though..

  • suzy

    sometimes or maybe always I´m not sure... I catch myself counting... but its only when i´m doing things.. such as going up the stairs.. or when i´m putting the dishes in the dishwasher.. but i dont count all the dishes together, just like the same glasses, and matching plates and stuff.. also when i´m cutting something.. for example a onion.. i count how many times i cut it

    I dont think that i have the ocd.. i think that i do these things when i dont want to think about other things or when i´m stressed out.. or maybe its because i´ve always liked math, and accounting and stuff like that..

    who knows.. but whatever it is its not causing me any harm or getting in my way.. :)

  • James

    I've been counting from an early age. I remember being a kid knocking on a friends door then having to quickly count to a number before someone answered the door. Another one that i still do today is count the features on people faces (there are 12 features i count or 14 if they have glasses) I dont know why this is or why i count. I feel I have to do this, it makes me a little anxious if i dont. Ive naver talked about this before so feel a little silly but glad i came across this site. There are many other things i do particulary routines! I think it has become worse after a family berievement

  • Krystal

    I have read everyone's comments and it makes me feel a little more normal. For as long as I remember I have turned the time on digital clocks into a division problem (4:44 4 goes into 44 11 times) but I watch it non stop. Also I do the same with license plates, I add them or multiply them until they are at an even number and the letters on license plates I always put them in alphabetical order. I also. Punt lines on pics and various things. I am 31, married with 3 kids and I honestly just realized recently that this is not normal, again no one knows I do it and I live a very successful life but I feel like it controls me. I've never been on anxiety or depression medication, I want to get over this though because I do believe it puts anxious thoughts in my mind. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  • andrea

    i caught myself counting 1_2_1_2_1_2 at age 7. i was riding in the backseat of the car doing this with trees passing. i would catch myself doing it with a specific thing we passed like lines on the road. also when i walk. im 33 now and catch myself doing it laying in bed sometimes or whenever. ive never been diagnosed with add but i do have a hard time paying attention. i also started having severe migrains at age 12. i noticed someone had posted a similar post. im not ocd but i need control over something always. as far as obsession for me, it also has to do with control until i get my way. if i dont get my way or control i have unbelievable rage in me. i think it all breaks down to needing control and caused by neauroligical disorder

  • Em

    Y'all, this is so wonderful. For as long as I can remember, I count and trace. It's completely obsessive. I thought everyone did it until I spoke with God. He asked me if I've ever watched an hourglass while the sand falls through. I said no but I told him that I count the lines in numbers on a digital clock, I trace things constantly, I just count and it comforts me. God told me that there is nothing wrong with me, he told me I have 'an incredible ability to focus.' I said, 'but why can't I focus on anything substantial?' He said 'that's where I failed you, I didn't teach you that everything you focus on is important, because it is who you are.' I will not try to mask my tendancies with medicine. As frustrating as it is to have this constant habit, I have finally accepted it. I love myself and I love what I do. For the parents who are worried about 'my kids are touching door knobs!!!' What is the big deal? Do me a favor and look up natural selection and do some research on Evolution. Maybe we will all start to realize that there is nothing wrong with us, our brains are just developed differently. Rather than trying to change who you are, just learn to work with what you have. Embrace your God and know that you are beautiful.

  • Anonymous-21

    Finding this site through Google has been a total godsend - realising there are others like me means so much! I would like to do the same as everyone else and share my story, maybe someone else will see this and realise they are not alone.

    My number is 9, and I love that I can write this and know that people who read this will probably understand. I have only told one or two people about what I do, but they did not get it. I count most things I see, up to 9 or in multiples of 9. I also prefer odd numbers to even ones. When I count car signs I also do this thing where I first add together the numbers, then add 5 (1+1+1+1+1) for the total number of digits in the car registration in my country), then add 15 (1+2+3+4+5) and then add the numbers that correspond to the digitised version of the numbers (e.g. 1 is 2 as there are two lines on the digit if you imagine seeing it on a digital clock). I then add all this together and break it down to the nearest single digit, e.g. 23 = 2+3=5. This is taking up a lot of time and energy!

    Another thing I do is to ask questions associated with the number I end up at, whether this is car plates or anything else. So I would ask Does X Like Me? and decide on what I would count to get the answer, which would have to be an odd number in order to be Yes. A higher number (7 or 9) is better than a lower. Emotionally exhausting to be doing this all the time, but I've been at it since I was about 14, and I am now 31. Time to move on! Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your stories, it meant a lot to me today.


  • Layo

    I keep counting every thing I do but not everything I see, for example every time I take 7 steps to get somewhere I always add in a last little step to make it 8. So yes, for me everything has to end at eight. Also, my left foot HAS to start the first step so that the right can take 2, and so on. I have no idea why I do this, I try to stop but I just can't forget it. It also bugs me like crazy when there are stairs that have an amount of steps that aren't equivalent to 8 or are multiples of eight. And yes I can go up to infinite multiples of eight, or the last step has to be a multiple of 8. But when I listen to music everything changes. I have to step on the counts as the beats and if I'm not caught up I start running to catch up. I will be really happy if someone could relate to me, because this is REALLY getting annoying. Could this be a disorder or a mental problem?

  • Megan

    I looked this up because I feel the need to count eveyrthing. Sometimes I even have to flip my food over enough times until I feel I have looked at both sides a good amount of times. I actually have to MAKE myself stop. Its really annoying and I think my husband just passes it off like Im exaggerating or something. So I stopped talking to him about it. My dad says that he counts too but not nearly as bad as I do. I find shapes in EVERTHING so I can count it. Even when I am listening to someone talk I am making patterns on their face. I do this with many many many things. I have to call someone while I am driving to distract me from counting the lines in the road and making boxes out of them. While I know its unsafe to talk and drive (I use speaker phone), I get BAD headaches because I count the constantly moving lines in the road.

    I am always wonder if I do actually have a problem or If I should just leave it alone. I feel silly cause people laugh that I do it (not meanly) but I feel like its getting worse and I am just adding things to my daily counting to count.

  • Cheyenne

    I cant stop spelling words in my head, Seems to be only when Im upset or nervous! Ive been doing it since I was about 12 or 13. I'm 20 now. It doesn't matter what word! sometimes Ill do it out of no where or not even realize im doing it. Ive never told anyone not even my parents! sometimes i can go awhile with out doing it and something will just spark it back up again. Today was my first day looking it up and several different things popped up Adhd, Bipolar, Ocd. I guess im just glad to know now i'm not the only one. and not scared to go to a doctor and be afraid to have them look at me crazy LOl!

  • C.B.

    Whenever I look at a solid object, I see a word in my mind. For example, if I saw a jacket, I'd see the word in my mind: "jacket". If I see a uniquely colorful item, such as a red jacket, I'll see in my mind: "red jacket". I unintentionally do this for every object I look at, and the suddenness of the word popping up frightens me.

    I dislike seeing things that change or appear suddenly, such as a changing traffic light. If I know the light is going to change from red to green, soon, I look away. This applies to when I see words pop up because when I see the words, I look away and to a different object I'm thinking that this is why I have difficulty looking at a person when I'm talking to them or when they are talking to me, and why I'm constantly looking at different places and/or objects. I have been diagnosed with ADHD by medical professionals. Could this just be a part of the "symptoms" of ADHD?

  • Chris Martinds

    It feels good to write this... I frequenlty take walks around my house and just count numbers away. Literallly for HOURS at a time I can go, my mother thinks I'm completely insane (as do I). I just count 1 3 6 10 15 21 28 36 45 55 etc... which is essentially the pattern of 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+etc... I can go all the way to 300 with this. When I start counting it just lets my imagination roam free, I feel like its an escape mechanism from reality, I even signed up to go see a psychologist to have them examine me (though Im still waiting for a reply)

  • Rachel

    My five year old son counts all the time. Not really any object, he just counts. I want to know how I can relate to that. I don't count all the time. what are things that could be fun for him to do?

  • Anonymous-22

    The past 4months I have started to count everything on my fingers e.g song lyrics, people taking and it has to add up to ten other wise I must keep counting until I get there and I feel very frustrated if I keep missing the ten mark.. Im so glad I have found people that have this problem because I was starting to feel a little crazy..

  • Anonymous-23

    This is the first time I've looked into this. I'm glad I found this site! I remember starting to count when i was 9. i recall playing pingpong, and feeling like I had to count to a certain number before I could hit the ball...seems like I counted with my teeth... and I type alot of words out in my head and if the word or words don't add up to an even number I add a period or something so it can balance, haha it's so weird! Sometimes my thought sentences repeat in a slow rythm.... weird! I started on celexa last June for getting angry too much which has helped alot but made me kind of stupid, like unable to find the right word when speaking. I too had a stressed out childhood with much yelling, anger and nail biting... I get anxious and have quit jobs over the 'workplace bullies' - I get really tense when people get aggressive. I used to bite my mails but now I kind of chew on my cuticles and they look terrible. I've worried about this a little over time, perhaps it's some anxiety disorder or OCD? What can be done about it?

  • Anonymous-24

    As a child I would count syllables when people spoke, or on TV , movies, songs. I started trying to stop in my 20's

  • Anonymous-25

    I thought I was the only one with this annoying problem!

    Constantly through out the day, certain words get stuck in my head and I repeat them over and over again, splitting them into sets of 2 or 3, depending on which number they are dividable by. Most of the time it is 2, even if the word can be divided by 3.

    For example, chocolate will be

    cho-col-ate (repeat) OR ch-oc-ol-at-ec-ho-co-la-te (repeat)

    In the second case, because

  • Wallas

    Yes, I would say it is anxiety reducing behavior. In my case I count words or summ numbers when thinking whether I did right or wrong, or to find out for example if he/she was happy or not with my decision. So whenever the answer of certain question is not obvious in my mind to reduce anxiety I start looking for "signs" words or numbers. My rule is if qunatity of letters in the words are odd or sum of the numbers are odd its GOOD otherwise BAD. I think it affects my thinking/ decision making ability as brain always looks for easy way to solve the problem - IN WORDS/NUMBERS.

    Anyone who know how to stop it?

  • Lynn

    Since i can remember being able to spell, or count, i have counted letters on my fingers with the goal of having the number of letters add up to an even 5 - that is all the fingers on one hand. If i end up on my little finger after counting, then i am relieved, thumb is like coming in second, ring finget is tollerable, but otherwise i will continue counting until i get to my 5.

    I allow myself to bend rules, "to", can be "to" or "too", "one" can be 1 or one, or even "on" if i am stretching it. Zero can be zero, or 0 or nothing at all. Contractions can be taken or left, as well as with punctuation, they can be a symbol or spelled out. I have many 10 letter words memorized so i don't have to wastse my time with them. then after counting everything forwarad, i will have to spsell it backward to make sure i come out to the same finger. Somehow if something comes out to the even 5, then it is good.

    I don't think I need help with this complusion, but i would like to understnd it.

  • Anonymous-26

    For as long as I can remember, I have been counting things by two's. I count anything with corners whether its picture frames, doors, a pattern on the wall, bold letters, anything. I use the corners to put things together by two's and it always has to end in an even numberif it doesnt, I count it a different way to make it work or start counting something else that will end evenly. I create patterns in my head of different ways to count the corners or sides of things. If two picture frames were next to eachother, I'd go back and forth between them until I've hit all the sides. I haven't found any posts about people counting by two's and the way I do it is kind of hard to explain without showing someone. I remember once I was able to somehow turn it off but once I started doing it again I haven't been able to stop. It does sometimes distract me form conversation if the person I'm talking to is wearing something that I can pair like a necklae or something. I also do it with guy's shirts if it has a collar or if they're wearing a tie. I count anything that will match up. Sometimes I can't stop counting until I have finished the whole word or object. If I get interrupted, I often find myself going back and restarting the count all over again.

  • Anonymous-27

    I find myself counting steps but just randomly. Nothing has to equal and there is no pattern. when I realize I am doing it I stop. I have been under a lot of stress and hopefully if my life ever returns to normal it will stop.

    I use to blame it on teaching my children to count by counting stairs. My children are all grown now and I am still doing it. Maybe habbit and not completly crazy. I wonder now if they are doing the same, I will have to ask. Maybe that is where we all started.

  • Megan Reading

    When I was 13, I got a pretty bad concussion and a few months after the initial injury I started counting things. Now, I know there are many people who do this, for example, my mother counts the the number of letters in a word or the number of words in a sentence, but I'm different. I count the number of sides of objects. I can't look at something anymore without automatically counting the number of sides it has, but it gets worse. If an object has rounded edges I think of how many sides it would have with edges and I always do whatever possible for the sides to add up to 10 or at least an even number of multiple of 3 other than one ending in 7 or 9. I drive myself crazy watching tv and continuously counting the number of sides on a person's face. I'm on the verge of insane and it's only been 6 months. Is there anything I can do to stop this before I go completely insane?

  • Ashley

    I am constantly counting letters in my head, for example...."i love cats" thats 9 letters, IT GETS WORSE, THEN, i count the word "nine", then i counthow manyletters the word"nine" has, so its "four" then i have to keep saying four in my head....and everytime i count anything it always reduces to 4, also if i count something and it ends up being 6, in my head i say "six, three, five, four, four, four" you see where im going with this? IT ALWAYS ENDS WITH FOUR....i count lettes in sentences all the way up to the 70s, let me use another example, thirtyfive has ten letters, ten has three letters, three has five letters, five has four letters, then i keep saying 4in my head.... 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 ........IT DRIVES ME ABSOLUTELY INSANE....i am insane....i used to have anxiety, not so much anymore, im pretty sure i have OCD tho, come see my home :)everything always has to be in place *sigh*

  • Tom

    I am 37 and I have been counting since I was 9. I started out counting sides and corners of objects and images. I couldn't stand the outcome so I also started counting the interior sides and corners of images also.

    No number I came to as a final would put me at ease. So I started to take all images or objects and give them an added dimension or indent to create more counts. Adding more and more.

    One day I started the same thing with Letters and Numbers. The shapes, corners, and curves. I would also give them all added dimensions and depth to keep counting.

    I just realized one day that no matter what I do or who I am talking to that I will always be counting. And I am able to hold conversations and hold jobs while always counting.

  • Patricia

    I don't know how long I have been counting. Seems like forever and I always am afraid what people see, when they look at me. I hide my hands because I catch myself counting. I count words on my hands are in my head and they have to be equal. If there not I have to make it equal even if it means talking to no one in general. Like over hearing a conversation. I try to make myself stop but catch my hands still doing it.

  • Lara

    I've been counting for years, but only occasionally. I think it may of stemmed from when I was a teenager I went through a slight eating disorder stage (bordering on anorexia) and I was counting kilojoules in all the food I ate, so it sort of became an obsessive compulsive habit (I guess I was doing everything in 'extremes' at the time).

    Nowdays, I sometimes notice myself segmenting sentences up into words of 5, so that the whole sentence adds up to a multiple of ten or five. Like the sentece 'I like going to the beach' - I'd segement it as 'Ilike going tothe beach' (4 x 5 = 20). If the sentence doesn't add up to a multiple of 5 or 10, I'll add another few words onto it so that it does. I don't do this often, I'm not even sure really when I do it or where I get the sentences from (sometimes when I see signs in the street I think, or with nams). I don't really see it as a problem. I've always been very intelligent and had a very quick mind. Maybe I am slightly obsessive compulsive or a perfectionist at heart, but this doesn't reflect in other areas of my life (I'm not a neat freak, but I do like to be punctual).

    I've realised though that once you observe your mind through medidation, the mind's grip on you weakens. If you observe the patterns and its tendencies and just be the witness of it - as the awareness in which it all happens, then it doesn't have control over you. So just observe, let the patterns in your mind play, but observe closely, and over time they will weaken, they will fade. I don't think its a big problem anyway, but if you think its interfering with your life, then meditate on it, and see. :)

  • Anonymous-28

    I am now 42, and have been counting parterns like 4 sides of a square, 12 lines in the capital letter E. This since I was at least 6.

    Been anoyed, even asked my doctor while mom in room, but back then, this disorder was not known, nor was ADHD, which was tagged as the disorded kid running around uncontrolably.

    Yes that could be some of my behavior, but doctor didn't pursue my symptom and sent me home with a clean bill of health. Mon very happy!

    Wait, problem is still I keep counting shapes, sides, contours, letters, numbers, you get the point. Always in patterns of 4 8 12 16. Funny thing, this may have helped me in mixing music, since pattern are linked to music beat patterns, who would of know, great outcome, I can mashup some dance tunes till you drop.

    I have been searching on the internet hi and low for years and back in 2005, asked to see a psychiatrist and I did. I explained my history and what I have figured out on my own, that I may have an ADHD issue at hand. Went through the normal try this try that, medication until I said, wait, it helps, doesn't stop but I can almost control it when I do it. This was when I was prescribed Methylphenidate, finally I confirmed the research and my self diagnoses.

    Like I said, I still do it, more controlled. I now know I am not alone with this problem, and especially not crazy.

    Thanks to all who have posted on their symptoms and good luck managing them, I know how distracting and stressfull this disorder can be. : )

    A great guy

  • Anonymous-29

    i have to put everyword in alphabetical order i can do it in seconds .i also count the sides of everything like windows etc,i do all this while speaking n everything else .do i have cdo, ocd

  • Vaughn Minter

    I have always done this, since I can remember count my fingers even! Count by 2's count by 3's count by 4's divide back into 2's. I believe it's my minds way of coping with stress or boredom anger etc. Hell I still catch myself doing it daily

  • kevin squeaky young

    im digital clock counter. always trying to make the numbers add up to 69. forinstance 1:24...2 times 4 plus 1 equals 9 and 2 plus 4 equals 6...69. i also count wheels on tractor trailors and cars. count windows on a house just driving reading all the blogs, i see im worse than some but not as bad as others. i also see like alot.... i also suffer from headaches. i was always good at math in school. i figured thats why i count was anyone else?

  • xxxx

    I count letters and it has to be in even numbers..but now ive catched my self drawing also in my this normal?

  • Maya

    Whenever i see a number i need to sum it up and im always happy if the sum ends up with an odd number. It often distracts me while driving cause i just cant stop counting and adding up all the plate numbers on the cars or numbers on billboards. It sometimes affects my decision cause i look for signs and decide based on the sum whether its odd or even. Im not sure its an OCD and i dont know why do i do this either

  • Anonymous-30

    I count to 5 all of the time and I always try to find any number pattern with the number 5. If I cannot then I will force it to fit my pattern. I am always very anxious when I do this and I feel a sense of control over being able to count to 5. I too count facial features or letters or any type of pattern and I have for years.

  • Sarah

    I'm 21, and have had this since probably around primary school. It made me feel odd to everyone and even gave me twitches.

    I count words in 4's and even letters, bitting the inner of my top and bottom lip to each count and where the letters are placed. I even count the lines and round parts of each letters it 4's. In my teens I started twitching my nose to feel like it was being stretched, my eyelids would close tightly, and even my forehead started to feel the need to be stretched. Counting peoples features on their faces is another thing I have done. Not so much when I was younger.

    Trying to get someone to understand what I do has always been difficult as it just sounded weird, so I felt lonely and the only one to do it.

    I at last know I am not the only one who does such things, and slightly understand it more. On days when I feel it gets bad, I return to this page and re-read the comments for comfort.

  • Anonymous-31

    i fight so hard against it and eventually cool it down but it can easily come back and its so annoying :( i hate it when i have to keep counting and doing things over and over and making everything an even number or sometimes odd numbers but currently im doing really well you just have to get used to not doing it and learn to keep your mind off it and it is indeed very much so easier said than done

  • Anonymous-32

    This is so great!! For so long ive felt isolated..even embarrassed about my counting. I have been counting as far back as i can remember. Everything i count must end in an even number. I count the numbers on dialogue clocks, the outline of the t.v, i will turn a round object into a square in my mind just to count the sides and corners, i count my footsteps..which i have to start on the right foot and end on the right, i have even counted the breaths i take..then when i het to 320..i count zero..i also count by fours (always to 320) then backwards to zero...thank you for this place to talk..thought i was the only one.

  • Rico

    I have been a soldier for over 15 years and deployed four times (three to Iraq and once to Afghanistan) I am so relieved to hear I am not alone on this. I feel a compulsion to trace everything over and over with my eyes. I count flocks of birds, dots or squares on a picture, steps it takes me to walk on any sidewalk square (from line to line) I am afraid to step on them. Most squares take two-three steps. I've been doing it for years. I trace from simple shapes to complex shapes with my eyes all the time yet, I cannot draw. Is there testing I can go through to diagnose my condition? I would like to talk to others about this.

  • Anonymous-33

    I have counted letters on my fingers for years. I don't know where it started, or how, but each finger has a set of letters assigned to is. My right pinky is "A" through to me left pinky being "J", back to my right pinky being "K" through to my left pinky being "T"...
    on through "Z" landing on my left thumb.

    I can spell any word, sentence, paragraph, etc... on my fingers without even thinking about it. I know exactly where all of the letters are going to land.
    I have done this for years.
    I also count my steps.
    Everything has to end evenly and I will actually take an extra step in place to make sure it does so, especially on stairs.
    I really don't think we are all crazy. I think we are exceptional!

  • Anonymous-34

    finally i thought i was the only one. I repeatedly count to the number 60 in my head. I look at letters and break them down in numbers by counting every component including dots and the enclosed area of letters such as A,D,O,P etc. For example the word house = 7, dog = 6. I also do this with numbers eg. 148 = 6 to me. I will count combinations of letters, numbers and symbols such as full stops over and over again in words until i reach 60. I also do this compulsively with car number plates and road signs. I have done it for as long as i can remember since childhood. Lately i have been counting all sorts of things like facial features and eyes assigning a value of 1 for each differently coloured part of the eye and 1 for each nostril and ear. I count dots on paintings and pictures as well. It is that normal to me that i don't even realise I'm doing it sometimes. I also had another obsessive behaviour as a child. I could not turn around. If i turned 360 degrees i had to turn back in the opposite direction as if i was attached to an invisible rope or something. I have never told anyone this before. Hopefully i can find out how to deal with it by researching more. Interested to hear any simlar stories.

  • Karl

    Finally I have come across someone else, I'm not a total freak!!

    I have counted words or sentences in my head since I was a child, 29 now and still do it every day, I think I even do it while I am speakin to people without noticing. I break up words and divide them by the amount of times a number will fit, 12 letter words usually since it can be divided by WOODEN FLOORS - woo.den.flo.ors wood.enfl.oors. wooden.floors. If a word has an i and it doesn't fit the way I want I will dot the i for an extra number.

  • nargess

    i started since I was 4 or 5 . when I realised that I can count up to 100 . and now I can`t stop .

  • Emily

    I separate worlds into groups of letters, so like scientifically would be either or scienti.fically and I would actually mimic typing the words out as if I had a keyboard in front of me. I generally type words while people are talking or while reading, and often if I find a word that is broken up nicely (like requirements, 12 letters so divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 6) I'll repeatedly type it subconsciously. I'm so glad I found this site, for so long I thought I had some kind of unique problem.

  • Marlene Carstens

    I am so glad that there are so many people with the same "disorder" as me. I count the washing pegs when I hang my washing, the pins when I do sewing and even the crockery and knives and ford when I do dishes. I always thought that I was going mad.

  • Chevy

    I have this problem with counting letters as well. (41) I call it a problem because it is getting worse and starting to affect my work. I find it very difficult to read books because as I'm read, I'm counting all of the letters in each sentence and the number of lines in each paragraph. If the paragraph has an odd number of lines, I don't trust it's information as much as a paragraph with an even number of lines. I'm making this paragraph even so you'll trust it.

    I am losing my ability to understand what I'm reading. Is there medication or treatment available that can suppress this?

  • Miss L

    I do sometimes feel aniexty but I always find when im watching a movie, or looking at someones face! I have to count the features I keep counting stuff over and over and If i counted it wrong or in different way then, Even counting sides squares anything!! I have to do it all over again, it drives me nuts! Ive been doing this for a long time, I am glad there are others that are the same but is there any cure???

  • beth

    i thought it was fine that was counting but its irritateting.

    I count the shapes around the face, like from the corner under the eye to the other corner all round, down the nose, in the nose and then even out the number, get 45.

    I count the tiles in the loo, all sides, 4, then in between the sides, 4, then the middle is 1 and then the whole tile 1, = 10.

  • Anonymous-35

    whenever I see numbers I always add them up in my head like if I'm riding down the road and see the number 251-324-5684 I will count it as 251 would be 8

  • allan

    great!! you know guys everytime i saw a words specially in billboard i start counting and made a word into 5,10,15 or 20... example: buy one take one... 12 letters..... so i add 3 letters so that it ends to 15.....

  • ed

    i count the letters in words forwards & then backwards near the end of the word to balance them if i count all the way forwards to the end of the word it doesn't feel right!

    i need to count some of the last letters backwards to balance out the word.

    call me crazy!

  • Sarah G.

    my number is four. i am only 14. i dont remember when i started to count but i will sit for hours and just count to four over and over. 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4. It is kind of like whispering in my own voice saying it over and over. my mom knows about it but i dont think she is ever going to take me to the doctor for it. if some one gives me, for example, five gummy bears, i would have to give one back. if my right arm touches my leg while walking i would have to touch my leg three more times and rhen have to touch my left arm to my leg four times so it would be even. i just want to go to the doctor to make it official. it just bugs me every day

  • Kyla W.

    I don't know if I'm the only one who does this, but whenever peoole are talking or I see worda I'll count them with my toes. If it's one letter my left big toe will go up and if it's 2 letters my left toe goes up them my right toe and if it's 4 my toes go up then down. I do this all day long and if the sentence I'm counting doesn't make my toes go down I start over and add periods and commas until it's even. Lately I've been seeing words in my head and writing them out in my head in middle format (idk if this makes sense) but say the sentence is two birds sat down, I'll write it so all the words like up evenly and if they don't i go insane. Hopefully I'm not the only one who does this ahahah.

  • Anonymous-36

    I constantly need to count the number of letters in a phrase or sentence and balance the sentence in to 2 equal sides. So the sentence "here it is" would be split into here (4 letters) and it is (4 letters also).

    If they do not balance I have extra rules to make it work. Common words can get an extra letter, double letters in a word e.g. too count for another letter. Eventually all my extra rules will allow the sentence to fit.

    I also see words form in front of me, almost as if on a whiteboard when I need to spell them. Very helpful for spelling long hard words. I was a proof reader in a previous job and was very good at it. Maybe it's a hangover from this.

  • Victoria

    I find myself always counting. I count to 110 and then start back to 1. I do it all the time while walking or running. I don't even realize in doing it until I get to around 50 or 60. It's been happening for a few months and it hasn't stopped. I just don't know what it means.

  • Anonymous-37

    I have never met anyone who counted things as much as I do. I counted stairs as a kid now I count numbers wherever I am looking to reach multiples of 5. I count phone numbers on the tv, constantly count license plate #'s and serial #'s. Its definitely helped my basic math skills but anytime I've told anyone they looked at me like I was crazy. Ill even count house #'s looking for multiples of 5. Glad to know im not alone.

  • Rali

    I am not sure when it started for me but I always add any sequence of numbers to make a single digit number (1-9). birthday , phone numbers, doesnt matter.It's almost as if that number is not connected to me if I dont. the number 3,5 and 8 are my powerful numbers and a lot of important life events have been dates have been converted into these numbers.

    I've never seen or know of anyone who does this.

  • Anonymous-38

    I count windows in cars or houses or buildings, sometimes I'll add the corners and sides plus the inside and the outside which would equal up to 10 for me. Why? I don't know? On the highway I constantly count vehicle tire and try to make them add up to a number with 0 at the end, suck as 40. The numbers in the dash of my car, the fuel links, the volume dial, the numbers on my speed hand, the white and yellow traffic lines I refer to them as 4 each then add them by 4's then add in between them as 4 also and the outsides as 4. After adding them all up I'll also count everything as a 1, then add the total which on a regular road I would get 12 for the 3 lines then 24 for the inside and outside plus the gravel sides equals 4 each to...then add all them with one which equals 45!

  • Myself, "M"

    I'm not sure where to start but daily I find myself counting to the same pattern so I feel ok about performing an action. Forever I would count 1,2,3,4 and repeat it four times since the last number of the pattern was 4. When I got back from a vacation a few weeks ago i felt like I had to change my pattern to 1,2 doing this pattern twice since it ends with two. I count 1,2 1,2 when doing things like holding an object, looking in the mirror, taking drinks of water, etc. I even have to stop the microwave timer on "2". When setting my alarm I can't wake on an odd number it has to be 5:22 am or so. I perform the action until I finish the pattern in my head. I feel major anxiety and doubt situations if I only do the pattern once or if I do it three times, three is not even so I make up for it by then thinking 1,2 ten times in my head so it is even. But if I repeat it 12 times I think I have to do it to 20 so it's intervals of 10. I feel crazy and alone because my dad would tell me to toughen up and it's all in my head. He has told me this years ago when I was experiencing horrific anxiety. It's like this voice tells me to perform actions with this pattern or something bad will happen to me and my future plans. I think it's getting worse with the stress of my Love's stressful job and the distance between us. I know my story sounds crazy and as I was reading others stories on here i couldn't find one like mine. If you have a similar story please post because I feel as if I'm alone. And please write

  • That_Person_Over_There

    So, I'm pretty young (not saying how young). I'm not sure when I started, but I have to add up stuff. When I read a book, I have to count the number of lines on each page, even if I already know what they add up to. When readding a digital clock, I add up the numbers until they are a single digit. I count the number of steps I take. I also have to start the first step of a staircase with my left foot.

    When I read something electronically, I have to scroll down until I am at the top of a line that adds to five (or if it's a paragraph it can be more than 5). It can't be three or two or one or four.

    I have to chew equally on both sides of my mouth. This is sometimes, not always.

    Sometimes I have to count the letters of a word. I also like even numbers.

    Glad to know I'm not the only one.

  • Micah Scott

    My favorite number has always been five, mostly I'd say cause my bday is Jan 5th. I AM OBSESSED with counting words in a phrase or letters in a word to equal 5. If it doesn't make 5, then I will include punctuation marks to add to the total to try and make 5. If I chew on the inside of my cheek, I chew twice, then make my top and bottom teeth touch (this counts as the middle) and then chew twice more in same spot. NOW if i started this process on my lower left cheek I now feel I have to do it starting on my top left cheek then repeat process on right sides. When done I have done this 4 times so I HAVE TO do it once more. So I tap my teeth together 25 times. Then I feel the need to repeat ALL of it again starting with top left then to bottom left then etc etc...its a neverending process but after awhile I mentally stop when something distracts me. WANT TO KNOW THE WORST PART? I'm a father of two kids.They both have beautiful names. My first and middle name are 5 letters long, my middle name was passed down from my dad so I passed it to my son. BUT in order to keep things at 5, I named him Isaac Scott, It's a strong name, nothing wrong with it except I had to give him a 5 letter name no matter what. My daughter came along few years later AND GUESS WHAT I DID!! Yep 5 letter names for first and middle. Her name is Kairi Chloe, beautiful name and she loves her name. I also add phone numbers to be a divisible of 5 as well as license plates. Never told anyone about it cause they would think I'm a nutcase or a crazy psycho. Pssh, I feel like that anyway though.

  • Krista Sophia

    I'm a sixteen year old girl and I count things I sevens. I count the ticks that the clock makes, how often people blink and count my steps. I can count up to three different things simultaneously. When I see my therapist I count the clock and how often my foot shakes (a part of me is always moving) while concentrating on what she is saying. I count how many people are in a room and if it isn't a multiple of seven I leave. I count the telephone poles and the yellow lines on the road. My mind is always counting something. I don't get very much sleep because I always find something to count. I think I do this when I get anxious (which is most if the time) because it keeps me distracted. I don't notice it most of the time but other people are starting to notice.

  • renee

    I've been couning all my life, and im happy i came across this page today. I count, i count everything from cracks, blinds, how many items people are wearing, things around me. And to top it off i have panic attacks, sometimes i feel crazy like no one would ever understand if i told them what i really go through every day. I wish there was something out there to help me with this because it affects every part of my life. Social and school.

  • dri

    Im laughing and at the same time surprised while reading everyones comments because i have had a similar ocd problem since i learned about syllables. I think it was since then that i became obsessed with spelling out words and sentences while I or people talk, and evenly dividing the letters in words into how many syllables there was for that sentence. Example: "I love cats" = 3 syllables, 9 letters= happy even division. .... however if its something like, "I cant sleep"= 3 syllables, 10 letters= 1 odd letter... I then have to add silent letters to the sentence to make it even in my head. I am realizing now that this is causing a lot of attention and anxiety problems in my life because it NEVER stops

    I realize it may be a factor as to why i might fail some classes or burn out often, because my mind is never at rest. Ever.

    On a positive note, i do feel a little more sharp or smarter than many people at times becaude my brain is always warmed up and i am always on my toes. However, im getting tired of always counting and dividing. Im doing it as i type. I will schedule an appt to see a psych.

  • Dave

    I count all the time from the minute i wake up till i finally fall asleep. I'm obsesed with things been in even numbers and believe odd numbers bring bad things. I do it all the time even when driving which i know is dangerous but i can't stop. When it comes to number plates and signs i used to count the number of letters & figures. Now i count the number of pen strokes it would take to write the number plate, eg - DB13 NDN equals 16. even number so i am ok to stay behind or close to this car, DB11 NDN equals 15, i would either overtake, drop right back or turn off the road to avoid being close to this car. I never use odd numbers and will miss out stairs so i take an even number of steps to get up them. This all started when I was 7 and has never gone away. I did see a behavioural therapist for about a year but i just ended up counting everything in his office. It does affect me because my concentration can be affected so i sometimes miss things people tell me which can be bad at work. I've just given up on trying to stop, i know i will always count for the rest of my life.

  • Maybenormal

    Hi, I am a very attentive person with no anxiety but I keep reading signs of shops and streets always. I also count their letters. I read and say them to the point that if I am walking or with someone driving me. I only focus on the signs and other things but my environment I m in. I don't know what it is but i am sure it is a focus disorder because I love solitude and absolute tranquillity and hate noise and people sometimes.

  • Anonymous-39

    I can't belive I have crossed this page and I am not the only person with this problem!

    So I count on 8's, or any thing I count has to be a number on my 8 times table.

    I count words, even the pen strokes. Tiles and their edges. Number plates and how many letters, pen stokes, the corners of the number plate.

    Example: XIW 572= 36.. I counted the pen stokes.

    People's facial feature- 2 eyes, a nose, 2 years, 1 lip etc etc.

  • Relieved

    I am now in my 40's and have been doing this since I was very young. Everything has to be even numbers such as when I walk I have to have an even number of steps between cracks and could not step on any. I also have to touch a surface on the floor an equal number of times such as moving from carpet to tiles etc. I used to have to move my fingers a certain way so they added up to 16 and repeat this often. I have improved with this a lot over time but still have to touch my teeth together an even amount of times on each side and I feel quite anxious if I don't do this. I am now a counsellor but this counting thing has not come up anywhere in my studies and I am relieved to see I am not alone with this. Something that has helped me a great deal over recent years is a therapy called ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) which is mindfulness based(Perhaps Google Russ Harris). In a nutshell I accept the fact that I will feel very uncomfortable when going against my urges and just do the things that I value in my life. Quite hard to begin with but it gets easier the more I do it - I don't even notice when I step on a crack any more and in fact feel good about myself when I occasionally notice that I have done this.

  • Anonymous-40

    When I was about 5 I started counting all the syllables I said to try and make them come out even. After a year or two of that I settled on the number six as a good thing to end with and started incorporating most physical actions with it. So now, at the age of nineteen, whenever I am speaking, writing, walking, tapping fingers, chewing food, waving or even simply exerting pressure on a surface, I have to be counting it. If I take six steps but one of them was on a sidewalk crack I have to rectify it by stepping on five more cracks and taking one last normal step. I haven't met any people who do it and it's encouraging to know I'm not the only one out there. Thanks!

  • CountChocula

    I'm 52 years old, been counting since about age eight. Oat that tIME a baseball I commentator said the World Series would be between an almost exclusively right-handed pitching staff and a pitching staff dominated by lefties. Being a righty, I began stepping on four sidewalk cracks with my right foot before I would step on four cracks with my left foot. Each crack was a World Series victory for that foot. I also count on my teeth, with my tongue, and my hands. I'm either winning various competitions for the right side, or I'm doing addition and/or multiplication to end up on a number I like. For example, when I was a kid, I wanted to be an NFL running back, so I liked number 32, so I would multiply on my fingers 16x1/16=1, thinking that since I had 17 in the problem that I would count to 32. I counted wrong, though, since that problem results on 38. I continue to use the problem, but I'm not sure why. I'd like to quit, but I can divide and multiply faster than someone with a calculator in many cases. I teach social science and when my students witness my math skills, they ask why I don't teach math. I once had a student ask me why fingers were moving all the time and she was puzzled when I told her. It's like anything else: I'll survive, but I hope my kids don't get it.

  • Lou

    I am in the the military and my wife, two son' s and I moved to to Italy for my job. Ever since we moved here my younger son has picked up the habit of counting things such as turning on and of lights and opening and closing doors. My wife and I do not make a big deal of it to him in hopes maybe it is a phase of some sort and Will go away, but it is a year now and still happening. We worry about it and are unsure what it could be. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  • Brad

    I was thinking today, why do i do it, it has always been a thought, but one i have never looked up or researched because i suppose i was worried of finding out the cause. I count sylibals, number of letters in words, and i try and make it so their all even. I will even add on silent letters to make sure they are even at the end. i am 23 and i have been doing this for some time now, i will try and stop myself from doing it from now on.

  • Dixie

    I count letters, the strokes in letters and lines of text in everything. When I'm reading, watching TV, when I'm on my computer, and most disturbing--while I'm driving I do this counting while looking at billboards and store signs. I even totaled my car once because I was counting the lines of text on a billboard instead of concentrating on my driving as I should have been! I count the tiles on floors, the number of walls in a room, and count the features on someone's face as I'm talking to them. It has become so habitual over the years that I do it automatically, until it dawns on me what I'm doing, then I try to stop myself. I usually try to make my counting end up on the number 4 or multiples of 4. It's very frustrating because I find myself doing this in potentially dangerous situations, like when I'm driving and too often it's unconscious. I wish I could stop!!

  • Amanda B.

    This counting stuff has been beating me over the head since I was 12, now I'm 23. I hoped that by now I wouldn't be dealing with it, but it instead evolved into different forms. Sometimes I tried to count an even number of syllables in a sentence. There are times when I count the number of words in a sentence and divide them in groups of four. That pretty much made reading textbooks and novels a more frustrating task (on top of the OCD telling me to reread paragraphs and sentences in case I didn't retain all the information, no matter how trivial it might be).

    A prevalent ritual I've had is measuring how wide words are by assigning a value to each letter. Most lower-case letters like "a" and "b" have an assigned length of 1, letters like "i" and "l" are 1/2, "t" and "f" are 3/4, and longer letters like "m" and "w" are 1 1/2. And I mentally add those fractional values to come up with the width of certain words. For example, the word "apple" would be 4 1/2 and the word "psychological" would be 11 1/2.

    On the upside, these bizarre rituals might be associated wtih being better than average at math, so there's that. Even though I wouldn't wish others to be dealing with these mental rituals, it's nice knowing that I'm not the only one who is constantly performing similar rituals to the ones written in the comments. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. :)

  • Anonymous-41

    I strangely thought I was the only one who counted like this! I count in fives.. Words and shapes. I outline with my hand the shape so that each finger represents a single part and make it equal 5. Very hard to explain but makes sense to me lol. The same when I count words. If a word has more than 5 letters I double up group or pair of letters so that they always fit into my five.

  • The ADD Me

    I too had been counting as far back as I can remember and I relate to a lot of the experiences here -- counting words, letters, strokes of letters, lines on the roads, signs and lines and letters on signs, tracing the outlines of letters in my head as people are talking. About two years ago, at age 42, I had changed jobs and was struggling to get things done and was about to change jobs again. Instead, I went to a psychiatrist and started treatment for ADD. The first morning after I started medication to treat it I cried all the way to work. I couldn't believe the relief! The counting and tracing and all the other noise in my head was gone! I don't want to suggest that people who count have ADD, but I do want to encourage anyone struggling with it to get help. It may be very easy to find relief. I've journaled my experience on Facebook and you can read about it at Scroll down to the beginning to read about my first day.

  • dusty JR

    my name is dusty Jr. I have been counting at least since i was 12. words, words, and i break them up into syllables (i was actually counting the word SYLLABLES when i wrote it. DEPAKOTE helps, but the only ting that works for me is adarol. Adarol will make you very jittery the first few days, but once in your system, it is amazing. after just two weeks my girlfriend of 11 years noticed i was no longer counting on my fingers!!!! it is a relief. The VA will not prescribe me adarol as i have a drug history, but a private doctor took a chance on me and it CHANGED MY DAMN LIFE !!!! TRY DEPAKOTE FIRST !!! it is not addictive but does take longer to work (a month or so). it also gave me headaches in the back of my head towards the base of the spine (?????) but they were tolerable. Adarol is the only thing though that has REALLY WORKED and removed this compulsive behavior from my life. GOOD LUCK _ U R NOT ALONE!

  • Dan

    It's so great to finally know that I'm not the only one suffering! I have to count in even numbers, I can't stand odd numbers especially 3,6 and 13. Ime constantly checking thinfs as well, such as lights, windows, taps, my alarm to wake me up. All checking must be done in the patterns 1,2,3,4 or 1,2,1,2! I thibk that if I don't check then sometbing bad will happrn later on in life. I've had OCD since I can remember and it's got worse as I've got older. I'm now 17 and really looking for a way to control it.

  • Alexis

    For the past at least 2 years I have been counting. It started off when I was in the car I would count the lines on the road, the tree shadows we drove through. Little things I hardly noticed. Then I started counting how many steps I took to get from point A to point B. Now I count everything strokes of letter and words, bars on a digital clock, sides to shapes. I like when the numbers add up to 10 or multiples of 10. The volume on the TV bothers me if its not in multiples of 5 or 10. I count a lot while I am in the car, especially when I'm in the passenger side. I will count in stead of talk to people. I can't help it. I will tell myeslf not to do it and I just start all the time. Up until tonight when I finally looked it up, I have thought I was alone with this. But I'm not! And that makes me a little less depressed and scared to say something about i!

  • Katie

    I can't believe other people on here do the same as me! For as long as I can remember i have counted the dimenations / proportions of things, I always count with my fingers. It could be the space between lamp posts, tables, train carriages, sofas, desks. It annoys me enough that I can't stop it. I read once that it's a little like OCD even though I'm not like that in other ways. One rhing is don't try to stop yourself doing it as you will get frustrated, just acknowledge the thought and be calm. I'm worse when I'm stressed. Very strange, I only told two people and they thought it was utterly bizarre so nice to know others have similar issues and I'm not a lone nutter!

  • Lisa

    I was about 21 when I started to count things. The main thing I count are letters in each word. I do it during a commercial when I'm watching TV, or when I'm reading a book (which causes it to take a little longer to read, and I love reading!) If I don't get the right count during a commercial I feel like something bad could happen. When I read a book and count, I have to keep re-reading, or counting the letters until it feels "right". It's quite difficult to explain what "right" feels like. It doesn't cause head aches, and as far as I can tell I don't have any other OCD symptoms, so it's hard to believe that's what it is for me. It does, however, drive me nuts sometimes! Maybe I should be evaluated just in case.. hmm.

  • Anonymous-42

    I'm always writing words out in my head, my finger will be moving along!! It's like the letters have to fit into a certain amount of space and I make them fit by ordering and putting them together! I also used to have to do things even, in sixes or fours. I would be eating grapes and would have to eat them evenly

  • Anonymous-43

    I am almost 17. For as long as I can remember, probably the earliest incident I recall being when I was 8, I have obsessively tried to fit letters and characters into the number 15. It started off as 12, but I found that more things fit 15. It's a multiple of 3 and 5, so after I made the letters fit into 15, I would count in 3's and 5's just to be absolutely sure that I really did count 15. Then, feeling satisfied, I would forget about it. I don't think I thought it was normal necessarily, but I never thought anything of it or even thought about telling someone about this weird behavior. It wasn't until I was in the driving the other day and my boyfriend turned the volume to 34 that I told him about my problem with it not being on a multiple or multiples of 5 (ex: 22, 33, 35). We laughed it off but after reading a forum where the member experienced the same exact obsessions as me that I started realizing that maybe I do have OCD. I believe it stems from anxiety. Anyhow, while this article answered questions, it doesn't make me feel any better about my problem. Just another thing to make me feel like I'll never be normal.

  • stephen james

    so calming to read all of these comments from the age of about 8 ive had ocd primarily obsesed with locking things and turning on and of trying to make people say things a certain amount of times or trying to touch them on hand without them noticing i would open and lock doors 3 times rest then 3 times rest then 3 times and rest then another 2 times to make 11 counting it like 3,6,9,11. 11 then became my favourite number later i added another 2 making it 13 because in counting words i realised that thirteen words spelt out uses 13 letters,i dont think 13 is unlucky but people do so to take the bad luck i assumed they would put on me i would then count upwards 13,26,39 and add 2 to 41 everything has to fit into fourty one wether its reading the words on a bilboard or or counting the digets on a reg plate like a 7 digit reg idd count the reg and the first 6 digits again to make 13 and idd be happy 13,26,39,41 but over the years ive found that counting has releived my outward ocd

  • Connor

    i have OCD from how I hang my hangers to how I fold my cloths to how I sit to how my room looks!!! Like my hair has to be perfect or I get stressed. I am constantly making sure lights, doors, rooms, etc. Are clean, locked, and perfect!!! My parents know I am OCD but not a counting disorder. And I so dont plan to tellthem. OCD is not bad it just shows that you are very systematic and organized!!! And the counting disorder is not so much a disorder its more of a phobia. Just work on not counting like listen to music while going somewhere then gradually stop listening to music then you just solved your own problem like therapy But for little to no coat compared to a therapist.

  • Arel

    I count sentences when reading, steps I take if the distance is longer than a few, steps going up stairs, laundry as I fold it, dishes I wash...and I always use a pattern: 10, 10, 5....10, 10, 5...10, 10, 5.

    In addition (pun unintended), every morning I make a list of things to get done that day. Then I alphabetize the list and assign a grid of numbers that make sense to me but there is no way I'd ever be able to describe or explain it to anyone else.

    When I make a sandwich (etc) I line up all the ingredients on the counter alphabetically. But I don't use them alphabetically. Here, I use another number system.

    It seems to me that this is all a method of distracting my mind. If I don't preoccupy it with more than one task at a time (like reading while counting), then part of it wanders off. I take trazadone to help me sleep because it shuts my brain down long enough for me to drift off.

  • Stephen

    I don't know if this is OCD or if anyone else has done this.

    From when i was young walking home from school, i would spell out words or sentences in my head with a letter for each step. e.g. "i am going to the shops" - so starting with my left step, then right step etc i would spell out the sentence, and i would always have to finish on my right foot step. It would go on and on and i would always adjust the words or sentence so that as finished on my right foot. If it ended on my left step it would be like i would be annoyed and start it again. And with numbers i would count them whilst walking and always have to finish on an even number on my right foot. So my last step as i reached the front door would have to be on count of an even number ending n a right foot step.

    If anyone has had similar experiences, could you say as i have no idea what this means and if it is actually OCD.

  • momma D

    I have to make things even. 2 grapes, 2 cookies, I even have to kiss my husband 2 times. If I start with my left foot I have to end with my right, I will skip or almost trip to end on my right foot. my words or syllables have to be even. If I hit my foot or hand or touch something I have to touch it twice. I have always tought I was crazy untill I read this, i'm not alone.

  • Anonymous-44

    Ok. For the past few years (about when I started high school) I have been counting everything. Words, letters, numbers, everything. And I have been having REALLY bad headaches as well. Does this mean im OCD or depressed or something? I'm really worried, and dont want to be thought of as a freak.

  • Anonymous-45

    I am constantly counting objects in the room. I count the DVD's in the rack, the knobs on the kitchen doors and cupboards. I have to count them first from left to right then from right to left. I wake up during the night and immediately start counting in my head and then find it difficult to get back to sleep. I have been doing this for some years and it is now really getting me down as it is getting progressively worse, even to the extent that when I am watching TV or occupying myself with something to take my mind off of counting I am still counting in my head . I have suffered from depression in the past but hope that this is not a sign of this being repeated. Having read all of the comments I know that I am obviously not alone with this condition.

  • Sandra

    I count non stop cracks on the path, knobs on the presses, tiles, cars that pass and the no. that pass have to be multiplied by four so I can work out how many wheels there are......I count how many letters in certain words and then I have to spell them out in my head and work out where they appear on a typewriter keyboard. I sometimes spell out complete sentences. 13 and 9 are my good numbers and if the words or sentences amount to either of these no's I am happy. I hate the no 6, 12 or 18 I also hate the no 2.....most even no's really. It's good to know I'm not the only person who does this.....

  • Steven

    Ever since I was younger I have had this issue. It gets really out of control periodicly but sometimes it seems not as bad. I'm noticing that whenever a bad situation happens that I have no control over and can't know the outcome or resolution is when it peeks. Also, seems to be getting worse as I'm getting older. It's extreamly frustrating and my nerves feel completely shot. It consumes my mind so much in fact that I really cannot focus on anything else, work, daily tasks ect. It's like I'm in a total fog and people do notice, however I don't really ever explain how I feel. Anyways, what happens is.. Normally like I said it's always present everyday anyways, Placing objects to a certain side, in my case the left. For instance, If I place a coffee cup down, the handle must be facing to my left, place my cell phone down, to the left ect. Whenever I do anything activity as well there is a number system, running the faucet, wiping my hand, walking(footsteps). They all have to land on a certain number, for me its 5, 15 or 32. 5 and 15 are safe, but 32 is ultra safe. which is why is so frustrating because depending on my mood or if I'm dealing with a problem or potential problem it has to be 32. So from the second I wake up, till the moment I fall asleep.. This what I'm doing. Everything 32 TIMES!! my brain is so worn down it seems. Used to take prozac for this and it seemed to control it somewhat, but been off it for a while now and now it's back full force. My situation right now is terrible, living situation, financial and realationships wise, so I'm sure that doesn't help. But don't think even medication would help me right about now.. But it's good to know I'm not alone, Thanks

  • Kathy

    When I was a child I thought everyone counted such as I do. I count everything, from lines in a letter to the lines on a door and everything in between. How many lines are in the passing lane,how many light posts from one place to another,how many cars are driving by me, the biggest one I do is adding numbers on a clock. Adding them together trying to make them in to a number my brain likes. Say its 3:07 that equals 10 which is a good number for me. But if it's 3:13 (equals 7) I need to try and figure out how to make it in to a 5 or 10 muliple (5,10,15,20ect)I start counting the lines in numbers trying to make it in to a different number even counting lines on the clock its self to make it better and less stressful on my brain.I count things multiple times a day,the posters on my walls shirts in my cloest everything has to be counted and checked in my brain until I'm so tired I have to stop everything and breathe because the numbers start to cruumble in my mind and start to get confusing (especially on paper doing math is a task I can't do without having horrible anxiety and my mind getting frusterated)
    I have been doing reserch and I think It's OCD (mostly because there is more to the counting that is to extencive to type out here) But I'm not 100%.
    My brain seems to have it's own agenda and wants to do what it wants to do,yells at its self talks to me/its self. It's tiring to say the least.
    I hope to one day allow myself to be rid of the constant anxiety of only one soul knoing about this (my girlfriend) and being able to get my butt to a proper doctor.

    I want to wish you all the best of luck in your indevors whatever they may be.
    Good luck!
    Happy lives to all of you

  • matt

    Thank god I came across this page I thought I wa the only one who did this all day.I recently mentioned to my young niece something to the effect dont worry everybody has little weird things they do do my family immediatly said no they dont thinking I wa joking around.

  • samdeep sitaram sirsat

    i have ocd disorder , i counting a number of series countinuisly

  • I need help

    I have always counted things like I have to walk in fours and then four starting with the opposite leg, which makes me hop and look embarssing when doing it in public. This started when I was roughly 10 and i stopped a few years later but at the age of roughly 15 I started again and its just got worse.

    One of the weird things is I count the dashes in digital numbers, so 2 has five dashes and 8 has seven dashes and the time has to add up to a multiple of 4, I waste heaps of time and effort doing this, it also gives me a headache and makes me stressed when it doesnt add up to a multiple of 4.

    I do a load of other weird stuff like clench each bum cheek at the lamposts I see when I am in a car.



Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand