'Obsessive' Habit or 'Calming' Habit???

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1303
   Posted 9/28/2007 10:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok, I have a new issue. My teacher has been thinking that I am OCD. Most of my friends now believe so too. But, I have a new problem. I can't stop clicking my pen. I dont buy clicking pens because I tend to click them a lot. But, I was given a clicking pen yesterday and when I got anxious I started clicking it. I click in a calming rhythm. No one really said anything about it. But, I clicked it for a solid 4 hours!
Anyways today my friends were playing with me. One of them knows I hate when people touch me at all. She would rub my arm or my leg and I would jump away. Its just how I respond. Even if she were coming at me I automatically move away. I dont even like to hug people. I never hug. Which is sad. I cant stand people touching me. But, anyways, she and another friend were doing that and they thought it was funny how I react.(they were just playing not meaning any harm) Well, somehow I ended up with tears. It wasnt so bad I had to cry, but I had tears! No idea why! But, I seen my pen, grabbed it, and started clicking. That was at 11:30 this morning! It is now 10:30 P.M. and I just stopped clicking it about an hour ago.
I sat in a daze and my friend realized how much being touched really bothered me. I sat in a daze clicking my pen the rest of the school day.
That means I clicked my pen between 8 and 10 hours STRAIGHT! Wow! Shocking to me too. No idea how. I dont even notice. I just do it. It is weird because it seems to calm me down. I guess because of the rhythm...I dont know.
But, any opinions on what I should do? Why is it people do things(such as click a pen)? Could this be an OCD thing? Is it all getting to me? Have you ever had a 'habit' like this? Or known someone who did?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much! Take care! 

Post Edited (TeNNiSd0C09) : 9/28/2007 9:57:20 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 9/28/2007 11:06 PM (GMT -6)   
hi there!

I was in a group with a guy that bounced his leg all the time when he was anxious. So during group he was always sitting there bouncing his leg. He said it made he feel better, that he consciously knew he was doing it, but for some reason it relieved his anxiety. He said he never does it at home and he can stop whenever he wants, but its become a habit that is relieving to him. He did this pretty much all day, everyday. The one thing he realized or was aware of is that it made other people around him uncomfortable sometimes ( i remember one day it cause me a bit of anxiety) so he was really working on stopping that, but it was hard for him because it was something he did so often and found relief.

Anyways, i dont really have any advice for you, just want to tell you there are a lot of other people that do repetitive activities to relieve themselves from anxiety. Maybe it is the rhythm? Or the subconscious mind wanting to flee, or move, or do something... And it becomes habit. I think that the long it goes on, the harder it may become to stop, and you might be come dependent on your pen (as you associated it with relief). There maybe some other things you can do that will alleviate some of you anxiety, that maybe less habitual and still rhythmic. Riding a bicycle ( pedalling is very rhythmic and has some wonderful meditative qualities -- counting your pedal strokes, and matching it with you breathing is very relaxing for me). Playing an instrument -- whatever it maybe can be a nice release and fun too!.... I dunno. Just some suggestions, maybe mixing it up a bit.

I'm not sure if that is helpful at all, it probably isnt much... But I hope that you continue to seek out answers. Its great that you are aware of your actions and ask questions...

take care, keep us posted.
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

"Breathe! You Are Alive"
- Thich Nhat Hanh

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1303
   Posted 9/29/2007 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you for your reply. That did actually help A LOT! Thanks so much for sharing that with me.

I am starting to think it is more of a comfort thing. I think it does alleviate some of my anxiety especially at very stressful times. (like with my friends yesterday) So, I guess I need to find something less annoying to those around me that I can do when I get that way. I haven't figured out what yet, but I am sure I will come up with something.

Thanks so much!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 9/29/2007 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
You are very welcome, and just remember that its just my opinion. I hope some others, especially people out there that have the same experiences share some insight...

take care!!!
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

"Breathe! You Are Alive"
- Thich Nhat Hanh

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/29/2007 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi there,

First of all I am sorry that you are experiencing this problem.  Also, why would your friends continue to taunt you when they know you truly do not like someone in your space?  This all happened in school? I may have read it wrong.

I am not sure what your describe is OCD or a way of comforting yourself like some people with high anxiety will sit on the floor and rock back and forth for hours to help them feel less anxious.  Clicking your pen maybe more of that kind of reaction. 

I would really like to hear what your Pdoc or therapist has to say.  Remember we can only share thoughts but are not professionals and I think you would do well with a therapist to work through your issues.

Take care and know I care.


Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
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Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 10/1/2007 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
My brother always shakes his leg when in anxiety mode and it will calm him down............

I clean and do other things to calm me when I am in axngst ..............

IMHO I think that thiis a calming effect for yor a/p
Now that is only my opinion

If I am sitting down watching tv I will twist the corners of my hair which helps as well as any water running seems to soothe me completely or the vaccuum does as well ...........I just have to turn the vaccuum on and it starts to help straight away ..........

** DO be careful nothing is in the sink lol I have flooded enough of my kitchens this way.....actually I seem to recall many of the residents I had in my retirement home loved to listen to the water run and it had a calming peaceful aura surround them ........
HMMMMMMMMMMMM great thread and Ideas...........

Be well ...........LYN
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