I have been under a lot of stress lately (health problems that snowballed into financial, relationship, living arrangements and career problems).
Anyhow...when I was about 10 yrs old I was a "toucher"...ya know, you have to touch something a certain amt of times OR ELSE something bad will happen to you. When I was 10, my touching routine before bedtime was ridiculously long...about 45 min. NOBODY ever knew. It's always been a secret. This was when my parents were separated. I have no idea how I got out of it, but I did. I have had many stressful events in life since then...but I never returned to the "touching" ....until now at the age of 32.
I am embarrassed. I feel helpless to this feeling of impending doom. I take occasional Xanax....used to be like 2x a year for the last 8 years...Panic Attacks usually, and now I am about 2x/week. (.25mg tablet). I take them when I start to feel the shakiness, can't breath, feel like you have to have someone around you b/c something bad will happen soon.
I do not see a therapist...I don't know the kind I need. I am just wanting to stop feeling aneed to "touch" things 4x (that's my #). And I'd rather do it by thinking differently instead of meds. ......And why on earth did this come back?? that is, the "touching"...I thought I conquered that over 20 yrs ago. It just started about 2 weeks ago. It's really disturbing. Its something from my past that I was SOO HAPPY to have gotten rid of. It's not as severe as it was when I was 10...but it's getting longer and more of a disturbance in my day.
I would guess that the touching has started up again because of the increased stressors in your life. I suspect that if you can deal with the stress in other ways, the touching might decrease. Deep breathing, meditation and soft music might you you relax; exercise can be very important during times of stress. Cognitive behavior therapy and rational emotive therapy are often useful in helping people interpret and react differently to the stresses in their life; you can do a net search and find a lot of information about that
Talking with friends can help as can writing in a journal or diary. A therapist could be helpful if you find that talking about the stresses helps alleviate them.
I think the issue may not be the touching but rather the stressors: health, financial, relationship, living arrangements...The touching is a symptom of the stress and a way of handling it. The touching may now have increased your stress but try to look at it as a way that had worked for you in the past and is now coming up again to help. It will go away again when the stress is less or gone or when you have learned how to manage the stress in other ways.
I totally agree with Firenice. The only thing I would add is maybe look into cognitive behavioral therapy. It is usually pretty good for OCD which it sounds like is your diagnosis. Between the drugs you are on and meditation and maybe CBT you should be able to decrease you stress leve significantly and if you can't get it under control then you have to figure out how to decrease your stressors which in this day and age can be pretty tough.
God, I had a bedtime routine too when I was about ten. Funnily enough when my parents were having really bad arguments and marriage problems.
It does sound a bit like OCD but don't panic, I know I had it and have had it in other ways during my life. I wonder now if it's related to feeling out of control. I used to check switches were turned off - over and over again. It drove me mad but I couldn't stop myself. And then my brother and sister bought me a clock radio for christmas and told me I wasn't allowed to turn it off every night and I stopped just like that and never went back to it. Weird huh?
I can't give you any advice, except that it's probably come back because of the stresses in your life, and perhaps it's the way that you unconsciously stay in control. I'm sure some sort of therapist could help you through it, give you strategies to help you stop. I just had to reply though, because it brought back my 10 year old bedtime ritual which was just unbelievable.