What Is “Just Right” OCD? Learn Its Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & More!

Last Update on May 27, 2022 : Published on May 28, 2022
What Is Just Right OCD

A subtype of Obsessive-compulsive disorder, “just right” OCD is when you feel that there is something just not right. You know, the feeling that something is off.

Maybe you’ve walked into the kitchen and just feel something off there. Maybe your sibling moved the coffee machine to the other side of the kitchen or maybe the toaster is not in the right place. Get me?

Feeling uncomfortable when something isn’t just right is a common feeling but for people with “just right” OCD, this uncomfortable and nagging feeling can be severely distressing. To the point where their daily lives and relationships are affected.

If someone has this subtype of OCD then they have obsessions and compulsions about things being incorrect or out of place. One example can be: Obsessing about the counter not being clean and compulsively cleaning the counter until it feels “just right”.

In this blog, let’s explore more on this subtype – “just right” OCD, the symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

What Is “Just Right” OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental health condition that features obsessions (unwanted thoughts) that leads you to follow through with the compulsions (repetitive actions). More or less, OCD is born out of fear that fuels obsessions and compulsions.

However, not all subtypes of OCD are born out of fear. “Just right” OCD, for example. Just right OCD is about the persistent and uncomfortable feeling that something is off, incomplete, or just not right.

The obsessions and compulsions in “just right” OCD isn’t about fear or avoiding a fearful outcome but it’s about getting rid of the nagging feeling. This subtype of OCD is also referred to as, ‘Tourettic OCD’.

Is It The Same As Perfectionism?

Perfectionism is the need to have something, to be, or appear perfect. A perfectionist is all about striving for flawlessness. These people often have high standards towards themselves and refuse to accept any imperfections.

Perfectionism and OCD have been associated with each other. For example, many OCD compulsions and obsessions are driven by the need to have everything in perfect order. “Just right” OCD can often look a lot like perfectionism. However, there’s a difference.

People with OCD often struggle with intrusive, unwanted, repetitive actions that may cause distress. These traits are not present in people with perfectionism or similar traits. Please keep in mind that not every perfectionist has OCD and vice versa.

“Just Right” OCD & Tics

“Just Right” OCD can be referred to as Tourettic OCD so sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between “Just right” OCD and tics. Tics are often involuntary and repetitive actions such as:

  • Sounds
  • Phrases
  • Jerking
  • Blinking
  • Tapping
  • Hopping, etc

“Just right” OCD can often look like a tic as one may repeat their actions to rid the feeling of something off. For example, you may repeat a sound or word again and again until it feels “just right”.

Many people can be diagnosed with tic disorder and OCD together. In the DSM-5, there’s a specification in the criteria for OCD diagnosis to help describe if one has been previously diagnosed with tics.

“Just right” OCD and tics are not the same things though. In the former condition, the actions are thought-based while in the latter, the actions are more involuntary.

Symptoms Of “Just Right” OCD

Similar to other conditions, the symptoms of “just right” OCD can also vary, depending on the person and their experience. “Just right” is a subtype of OCD and is different from regular OCD. to differentiate the two, understanding the symptoms is important.

“Just right” OCD symptoms can be:

  • An uncomfortable and nagging feeling of something just not right
  • Experiencing distress about sights, smells, textures, tastes, etc that seem off or not quite right
  • Repeating actions, behaviors, words, etc until they feel just right
  • The inability to identify why something feels off, incorrect, or not right
  • Feeling a strong urge to rearrange things so that they are organized in a way that is just right

Please keep in mind that “Just right” OCD can affect your daily life – personal and professional. For example, you might just be driven to write an email again and again until it feels just right. This action can make you stuck on one task and can affect your other tasks.

What Causes “Just Right” OCD?

There is no certain evidence of what causes “just right” OCD, however, there are some factors that can contribute to this subtype of OCD:

  • Genes: OCD can be passed down from generation to generation which means if someone close to you in blood has OCD, then you’re more likely to have the same.
  • Personality: Even personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder can cause you to develop OCD.
  • Past Trauma: If you’ve ever experienced a trauma or have gone through a major life change, then these events may also trigger OCD.

Can “Just Right” OCD Be Treated?

Yes, “Just right” OCD can be treated. Some treatment options to help treat “just right” OCD can be:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Talk therapy or CBT can help ease the symptoms of OCD. A type of CBT, Exposure Response Prevention or ERP is most commonly recommended to treat OCD. Other therapy approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can also help.
  • Medications: In severe cases of “just right” OCD, a professional may also prescribe medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to help manage the symptoms of the OCD.

It can be challenging to treat “Just right” OCD as the subtype is harder to diagnose and address. Also, people with OCD have specific triggers but people with “just right” OCD can be triggered by anything.

Writer’s Thoughts

Even though “Just right” OCD is challenging to address, diagnose, and treat, it is manageable. You can live a happy life with OCD with the right treatment. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of “Just right” OCD, then it is recommended you speak to a professional for the right diagnosis.

You can also join an online support group for people with OCD or reach out to a therapist by signing up below.

BetterHelp’s trained professionals can help you find the right therapy and right therapist from the comfort of your home.

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NOTE: May is mental health awareness month and to mark the month, Calm Sage and BetterHelp are offering a 40% discount on the first month of online therapy.

You can sign up with BetterHelp using the code given below and start your healing journey today!

I hope we could help you understand what OCD is “Just right” OCD. If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments below. You can also share your thoughts with us at info@calmsage.com or DM us on social media.

Take care!

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