Multiple Sclerosis Community
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Avatar universal

MS and OCD

After reading a post from a new member I was wondering who can relate to both of these, MS and OCD?

I never wanted to admit to my PCP that I have some compulsive behaviors. Such as, checking my alarm clock 3 times, I used to buy things in three's at the grocery store but now that I'm aware of this I only get one or two. It doesn't sound like much but my husband used to point out these things to me, also frequent hand washing.

See when my PCP asked me about any issues with OCD or anyone in the family with this I said no. This was right around the same time that I was told by neuro #2 that he thinks I could have "Worried Well Syndrome" and or conversion disorder. That's why I didn't want to say anything about this mild OCD thing I think I have.

If anyone out there can explain more about this I would appreciate it. Do you think I should tell my PCP about this. How do I revert the already answered question.

My 2nd neck and spine MRI is in 4 days, I can't wait.

Take care,

11 Responses
147426 tn?1317269232
Personally, I think you should tell your PCP about this.  Sometimes the smallest fact can drop other pieces into place.  Tell him that it is mild and less intrusive in your life than it had been in years past.  Also, tell him how devastating it was to be told that the neurologist thought you were merely one of the "Worried Well."  Explain it was to avoid someone jumping to the "Anxiety Theory" that you were not truthful with him.  

You can always say, "So I;m human.  So sue me."

Avatar universal
LOL... Yes your right honesty is always the best thing. I'm sure you can appreciate why I held back on this one.

Is there a corrolation with the two??? Do many of you Dx'd have these issues??

Thanks Q..
338416 tn?1420049302
Hmm...  Not sure whether we can call it an 'issue' or not.  

For several months, my brain was in a weird sort of state.  It kept dredging up bad memories, times when I made bad choices, and repeating them over and over.  The memories were so strong that I would make an involuntary "TSK!" noise when it happened.  This started happening several times a day.  I knew I sounded twitchy, but I couldn't help myself.

Eventually things calmed down and my brain stopped being quite so mean to me.  I've managed to change the "TSK!" impulse into a singing impulse, which is just as weird, but less twitchy.

But this doesn't logically lead to the other, if you know what I mean.  Having a chronic disease is traumatic in and of itself, and could lead to emotional upset.  So I still don't know to this day whether my behavior was because of damage to the brain, or because I was upset about the disease.
984138 tn?1359816673
Hey i do some things to but nothing to make me worry or tell my  doctor. Like i hvae to count in my head sometimes i dont know why i just feel the urge to do so or i wont feel right. i got to go 17 18 19 20 20 19 18 17 and do it until i feel i did it right and also i think with my fingers and toes i have to like put my pinky on my ring my index on my middle and snap lol weird right but i dont do 24/7 just here and there and am aware i do it so i try not to do it anymore and probaly only do it now very rarley  not to alarming to me. And your aware of it and are changing it with no problem so yeah i think ur doing good. u can tell ur doc if u want i just chose not to cause mine r minor.. it just my thing i say lol but if its interrupting the things u do then yeah i would speak up
293157 tn?1285877039
Hi there, I would tell my Dr about how your feeling, I don't think I have OCD, but then my hubby might tell you different... not that I'm trying to be funny.   It's not a funny matter.  

let your Dr know that it's a concern or it's on your mind...

take care and let us know how thing go
147426 tn?1317269232
Obsessive and ritualistic behaviors are far more common than people admit.  As long as it doesn't disturb you or interfere with your life, it's really not a problem.  It makes us interesting and quirky.  

But, if the behaviors cause you anxiety - beyond worrying that they are somehow fundamentally wrong - then why worry?

Avatar universal
To the best of my knowledge, OCD is a way some people experience anxiety. The behavior somehow gives the illusion of control, and thus a calming effect.

Anxiety is a mood disorder, others being depression and bipolar, and possibly more. Depression has been linked to MS as a primary symptom, as well as a secondary one. I don't know if other mood disorders also relate this way to MS.

Can anyone shed light on this?

147426 tn?1317269232
Yes, almost all the "neuropsychiatric" disorders have been reported in MS.  These are disorders that are known to have their basis in brain chemistry, like the mood disorders including Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety,  OCD, and emotional lability.

There also are some psychotic states taht have been reported mimicking schizophenia or delusional states.  My Handbook states that these might be from lesion involvement of the temporal lobe periventricular white matter.

ess is correct about the more minor manifestiations of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but the full-blown, often disabling form is known to be a problem of neurochemistry.  Interestingly (not related to MS though) abrupt onset of OCD has been reported in numerous children after strep infections, suggesting an immune process misdirected to the central nervous system.

Avatar universal

I was Dx w/ MS in 2008 and w/ OCD back in 2000.  Little did we know the OCD was caused by MS.  Looking back at my life, I can almost say my MS was inborn - I've had motion ticks, mood swings, minor obsessions and compulsions since I was a kid.  I am originally from Europe, a cold climate.  I still have occasional obsessions though I've learned to live w/ them and keep them under control w/o medication.  I take vitamin D and vitamin C every day; thank god, no MS drugs.  I've talked to the psychiatrist who treated my OCD 10 yrs ago, and, as soon as I told her about the MS, she said: "this is the reason! your symptoms were atypical" (she suspected Tourette's, OCD and Bipolar at different points - and now we both know it was all caused by MS).  Unfortunately, I don't have a treatment solution, except NOT take any medications except natural remedies.  Vitamins (D is vital, B is essential - I now take 4 grams of D and 1 gram B12 each morning) to keep me physically active.  I also do yoga and walk as much as possible; obviously, avoid heat and try to stay mentally active too - take classes, solve puzzles.  I don't know what to do about the mental part.
667078 tn?1316004535
Good for you.

I have had MS since I was an infant.I was not diagnosed until 2009 but I went to Neurologists all the time as a child. I had my first hospitalization for Neurological in 1965.They knew there was something wrong with my brain they just did not know what. I am Bipolar, sort of. I do not fit the classic form of Bipolar. My Psychiatrist says it is the MS.

I spent my teen age years in state mental hospitals. I learned if you do not take charge of your life someone else will. I did not want anyone else in charge of my life. I did not want to be doped up on medications either.

I have learned to live with the Bipolar. I have started taking medication for it recently because I also have Cancer and the depression is too much for me to handle.

I am also a recovering alcoholic I have not had a drink in 32 years.

I believe you can rise above anything. It is not easy. I have a lot of fears but I still do things in spite of the fear.

I am pretty happy even though I had a terrible childhood and I have all these illnesses including stage 4 Cancer. I also do yoga and mindfulness meditation. I like Thicht Nhat Hahn and his teachings. He is a Buddhist Monk who grew up in Vietnam.

I think MS can cause many mental illnesses because it effects the brain. Also just because you have MS does not mean you can not have other illnesses. MS also causes stress which could cause mental illness.

The only thing I don't like is the "Look" Medical personnel read my chart and give me the look. Anything they can't explain they think oh she is mental. They also had me down as a hypochondriac when I was going through years of cancer. When I was diagnosed with cancer they treated me differently.

Suddenly instead of putting me off the Doctor sees me immediately. I am stoic and do not bring up medical stuff unless I have to.

It is great you are taking charge of your life.

1637739 tn?1371692306
I found your question interesting. I actually asked my neuro about this sort of thing.  I catch myself tracing letters or numbers from things i read or signs i see.  I have to mentally make myself stop but sometimes cant. Lol  It is really just a quirk thing they said.  Nothing to worry about.  I tend to be a little OCD. I get anxious when my house is messy, etc.  I wont obsess over this......something I can definitely live with.  I was just worried my mind was starting to go and Im only 40! Lol  

Gotta love mind games, Jeny
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