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Armchair psychologists of DL: please diagnose me!

(Clearly, based on the title of this thread, I am a masochist.)

For as long as I can remember -- probably since my late teens -- I have engaged in a weird habit that has escalated over the years. (I am 37.) Every time I see a grouping of numbers, usually on barcodes, book pages, phone numbers, license plates, or digital clocks -- I ask it a question. It's usually about some future event, eg, "Will I get the job?" or else someone's inner thoughts that I could never have access to, eg, "Is the hot guy I see on the bus gay? If so, does he fantasize about me?" I usually frame it as an if-then proposition, and it usually involves adding up the sequence of numbers, although it can have other variants. Two common examples:

1. If this barcode contains a 3 and a 4, then I will die before I turn 65.

2. If the digits in this phone number add up to an odd number, then I will hear about this promotion by the end of the week.

I wouldn't say it interferes with my day-to-day life in any way, but I do it dozens of times a day, and ask the same questions hundreds of times. I would say I "believe" the answer for a few minutes before asking again. In the moment, knowing an answer quiets my anxiety.

What is this? Magical thinking? OCD? Some type of delusion?

By the way, I am formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but have never brought this habit up in a clinical setting.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3011/21/2020

Do you know anyone with a 5 lb. mallet that can bonk you upside the head?

by Anonymousreply 111/21/2020

Let me consult a barcode and get back to you, r1

by Anonymousreply 211/21/2020

Pretty sure this would fall under obsessive compulsive disorder.

by Anonymousreply 311/21/2020

isnt there a Numerology thread somewhere here?

by Anonymousreply 411/21/2020

My diagnosis is - clinically retarded. Find the nearest grease fire and see if it contains any numbers.

by Anonymousreply 511/21/2020

r5 made me laugh

by Anonymousreply 611/21/2020

You're just a crazy goofball, OP!

by Anonymousreply 711/21/2020

You have OCD. Since you type a good level of English I would guess your IQ is OK therefore the OCD is severe if a) you don't realize you have it and b) you seek advice on DL.

by Anonymousreply 811/21/2020

When I was young, I used to multiply numbers and verbally speak numerical patterns out of boredom (like when I walked to school). I also use to count my foot steps in numerical sequences and multiplications.

I still do it today - I verbalize numbers when I'm just in my car, but now with monthly costs, my income, financials and retirement.

I'm rather analytical and like numbers. I think for some people, numbers can be very soothing. No, I'm not an accountant. It's just something my mind reverts to when I'm bored.

I spoke with a couple of therapists about it when I was younger - they said it wasn't that uncommon and nothing to worry about.

by Anonymousreply 911/21/2020

Oh we all do that, OP. Nothing to worry about. (Smile and back away very slowly.)

by Anonymousreply 1011/21/2020


by Anonymousreply 1111/21/2020

Thank you, r9

by Anonymousreply 1211/21/2020

Ok OP -- this is for you, I won't tell you where I got them but they are, indeed, for you.:


by Anonymousreply 1311/21/2020

r13 has dyslexia. It's 311-903283-458-1120

by Anonymousreply 1411/21/2020

What number combo would teach you about brevity?

by Anonymousreply 1511/21/2020


I have a mild version - when I drink water I count every gulp and it has to be an even number. I look for specific dates on the clock (12/25 is 12:25). Other weird shit like that.

Numbers seem to be my obvious obsessive tic.

by Anonymousreply 1611/21/2020

It's probably some very hidden skill that you haven't been able to bring to practicality.

by Anonymousreply 1711/21/2020

Just crazy and delusional. OP tries to insinuate that she's Rain Man OCD, but she is not since she isn't that highly intelligent. Seek professional help ASAP before an inner voice tells you to kill people, OP.

by Anonymousreply 1811/21/2020

Pray tell, r18, how I tried "to insinuate that [I'm] Rain Man OCD"

by Anonymousreply 1911/21/2020

Recently, whenever I’m eating candy or something otherwise countable, I have to choose a prime number’s worth of them. Also have to set TV volume at a prime number.

by Anonymousreply 2011/21/2020

R9 here - I will say though that you say you do this hundreds of times a day? That does seem either an exaggeration or excessive and compulsive.

by Anonymousreply 2111/21/2020

Your biggest problem is that you ride the bus.

by Anonymousreply 2211/21/2020

Yes, r21. I do it all the time. I probably don't even realize I'm going it anymore.

For example, if I walk down a hallway with numbered offices, I'll automatically start adding up the numbers.

I suppose it is compulsive.

by Anonymousreply 2311/21/2020

^^ doing, not going

by Anonymousreply 2411/21/2020

R9 here again - one last time - I also get a bit carried away with my health counter on my phone while exercising or the numerical display on exercise machines. I'm constantly flipping through the various numbers - steps, calories, distance, heart rate - and changing things up to see the difference and multiplying it to see how much more I need to do or other calculations.

I see people on other machines and they never toggle through the data or change the programs or change the incline or other things, it seems so odd to me. Or in my car, I'm always flipping through miles, MPG, time, distance.

I don't even think about it - I guess if I did count how many times I do this in a day, it would be substantial. But it doesn't interfere with my life - which I think is the dividing line between an obsessive compulsive behavior. If it prevents you from functioning normally and wastes time in your day, then there is a problem.

For me, it just keeps my mind busy while I'm doing a mundane task.

by Anonymousreply 2511/21/2020

I consulted my number system OP. My number system advises that you are a child molester. My number system is snarky and hateful but seldom wrong.

by Anonymousreply 2611/21/2020

r25 your responses on this thread have been helpful.

I don't think it interferes with my life in any way. It may be a boredom thing. I also think I dislike the anxiety associated with not knowing and I find comfort in answers -- even if I know they have no basis in reality

by Anonymousreply 2711/21/2020

On label of some items I buy (not food), write date and store where I got it. Know how long it lasted and where to buy another. Is that OCD?

by Anonymousreply 2811/21/2020

R28, you are just highly organized, I do that too. I prefer to call it Okey-Dokey.

by Anonymousreply 2911/21/2020

Insufferability. It's probably genetic, should have been diagnosed and addressed in childhood. But don't worry, it isn't contagious as you need prolonged exposure to catch it. And that's unlikely to occur.

by Anonymousreply 3011/21/2020
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