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Compulsive pattern making

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pixiedark

New member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
4
I'm not sure if this is the correct place to be posting this as i am not sure if i have OCD or not, i would just like to get some opinions and/or hear from people with similar experiences if possible.

Ever since a very young age i have compulsively made patterns in my head within objects i see around me. The shapes are usually squares or rectangles, eg windows or television screens but they are also sometimes organic, eg peoples' faces.

The patterns don't manifest themselves visually, i just picture them in my head. There are three patterns i do over and over almost constantly especially when i'm bored and they are at their worst when i am alone and bored.

Even though i have had this habit my whole life i haven't seen it as a problem until recently. I have been having trouble sleeping because my brain wont "switch off" because i can't stop making the patterns inside my head (with my eyes closed, not inside shapes per usual) and i have trouble concentrating and i seem forgetful because when people tell me something i am not listening to what they're saying because i am focusing on the patterns so much, so if they bring up the conversation later i have little reccolection of it.

If you have any questions, please ask. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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Dollit

Guest
I don't really understand what you're saying - I can't really understand by what you mean by making patterns in your head.
 
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pixiedark

New member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
4
I don't really understand what you're saying - I can't really understand by what you mean by making patterns in your head.

It is very difficult to explain. I have patterns that i draw out over and over again in my head. I imagine them being drawn within objects i see around me.
 
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pixiedark

New member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
4
I have similar foibles - do you paint?

Yes.

I discoverd that painting or drawing the patterns provides some relief. I think it's because it makes them more tanginble and I can see them in front of me and not have to do them again and again.

I also play guitar and have recently began to use the patterns on the fretboard to create guitar riffs. This also helps alot.

I just really want to know why I do it.

I am seeing a doctor soon. I saw one a week ago but she wasn't helpful at all, she basically told me i'd "grow ou of it" despite the fact that i am an adult and I told her it has been getting worse since childhood.
 
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Apotheosis

Guest
Were there any periods of illness in childhood? I have had some quite severe times of being ill - one time I was badly poisoned with an infection on my leg. I hallucinated a lot at the time. Such things can have an effect.

I can relate this experience to drugs too; especially LSD. This drug often causes 'geometric hallucinations'. Things join up & form patterns & shapes. Lines link forms. Visual disturbances have largely gone now. There was a time they were constant - things used to melt & shimmer a lot - like a heat haze.

Our minds/consciousness - works through pattern recognition; on many levels - from ideas, to mathematics & language; as well as with things visual. It is possible that you are just aware of a certain 'thought process' or mechanism; & through habit have developed such a 'pattern' of thinking.

Are you aware of 'negative' space; just the space between things? Or does this effect just concern things which are there? - It may be an idea to have a go at focusing on the space between objects. To bring in awareness of the whole field. Does that make sense? Artists have used this technique a lot. Try a drawing of a tree; or anything - & just draw the spaces between the objects. It may help?
 
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Dollit

Guest
That sounds incredibly difficult to live with - I hope you can find a way to get some relief from it.
 
icetsunami

icetsunami

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
142
Im on the fringe of this from time to time. I follow the outlines of objects with my eyes and also trace the shapes of letters on signs etc. If I am travelling and stop for a moment I have to finish what I'm doing or I feel annoyed.
 
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Lignocaine

New member
Joined
Jul 8, 2016
Messages
1
Hey did you ever manage to find out more on this? I have done doodling in my head for years, doesn't really affect my life, but curious as to what it's linked to!
 
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lintypickle

New member
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Messages
1
Hi there. My name is Elijah. I've had this same issue as long as I can remember. I do it all of the time. However, it has never inhibited my life-style. Sorry that you have to go through this.

Do any thoughts accompany it? Do you notice anxious thoughts, etc?

For example, I mainly did it to distract myself when I was in the office at school. (I have adhd and anxiety). If my post doesn't help, I hope you at least feel validated. You're not alone! :)
 
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tmccoy1970

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Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
1
I don't know if you still check this or not, but came across it and wanted to provide you some information that may be helpful. I also do this, and it is quite annoying. It's called outline tracing disorder. There are actually many others that do this on a regular basis. They say it can be more significant with people that have OCD, depression, anxiety and are "perfectionists". So, you are not alone but I don't know of anything that can be done about it.
 
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Pinkyfresa

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Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
1
Yes, I️ same thing happens to me. I️ find myself always tracing objects, they don’t give me anxiety or anything but I️ find myself doing it all the time. I️ do enjoy painting I️ have ya done it in a while , and I’m
Pretty good at it too however I’m a perfectionist. And I️ think one of the reasons why I’m always outlining. It’s weird. Can’t explain either. Ur not alone
 
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moggins9t9

New member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
3
Hi. I just came across this as I'm looking to put a name to the problem.
I draw shapes with my head, I don't know why, I can't remember when it started but it was years ago, if it's not shapes then I'm spelling words out which makes me look like a twat because my head is constantly twitching and moving. It's really starting to impact on my daily life and i also really struggle to sleep at night as i cant stop my brain from wanting to physically expel these shapes/words from my mind.
My mother has a mild form of Tourettes and ticks her head (looks like she's shaking it) and I have depression and anxiety which can't help the matter but I don't think they are the cause. Any one else do these strangely weird things?
 
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Tabatha

New member
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
2
I'm not sure if this is the correct place to be posting this as i am not sure if i have OCD or not, i would just like to get some opinions and/or hear from people with similar experiences if possible.

Ever since a very young age i have compulsively made patterns in my head within objects i see around me. The shapes are usually squares or rectangles, eg windows or television screens but they are also sometimes organic, eg peoples' faces.

The patterns don't manifest themselves visually, i just picture them in my head. There are three patterns i do over and over almost constantly especially when i'm bored and they are at their worst when i am alone and bored.

Even though i have had this habit my whole life i haven't seen it as a problem until recently. I have been having trouble sleeping because my brain wont "switch off" because i can't stop making the patterns inside my head (with my eyes closed, not inside shapes per usual) and i have trouble concentrating and i seem forgetful because when people tell me something i am not listening to what they're saying because i am focusing on the patterns so much, so if they bring up the conversation later i have little reccolection of it.

If you have any questions, please ask. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
Hey. Sweetie that's ocd ocd can be anything like that
 
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