I have noticed that posters here ask over and over again for reassurance. That is one of the biggest compulsions that ever existed. Seeking reassurance keeps OCD fears going strong. Looking for reassurance comes in many forms, asking others, searching the internet, self searching, "is it really true? No, it can't be true...,etc), HIV testing (boy have we seen a rash on that one), etc. And what happens? Does the OCD sufferer get that magic feeling that all is okay and is never bothered by the obsession again. Hardly! The reassurance is questioned. Well, the tests may have gotten switched, that person is only saying things are ok to get me off her back, there could always be an exception to the rule, it could only happen to me even if there is a 99% chance it would not happen, etc., blah, blah, blah.
Please read the following articles by OCD experts to find out just how counter productive seeking reassurance is, and then try to live with the anxiety that MAYBE what you fear will happen, as that is the only way to healing.
This is the single best quote I have ever read on reassurance seeking by the OCD center of Los Angeles, and Jon Hersfield.
The Problem with Reassurance
So why is reassurance such a big deal? To put it in clinical terms, when an individual seeks reassurance, they reinforce that they are unable to tolerate the discomfort of the uncertainty they are experiencing. At the same time, they reinforce that the best way to alleviate the discomfort of that uncertainty is to compulsively seek reassurance.
Mindfulness WorkshopConcurrently, reassurance as a behavior sends the message to the brain that whatever unwanted thought set these events into motion must be terribly significant. “If he goes through all of this just to know for sure, then this thought must be really important!”
Finally, reassurance is addictive. If reassurance were a substance, it would be considered right up there with crack cocaine. One is never enough, a few makes you want more, tolerance is constantly on the rise, and withdrawal hurts. In other words, people with OCD and related conditions who compulsively seek reassurance get a quick fix, but actually worsen their discomfort in the long term.
Other articles plus the link to this one: