Can’t shake it…


Hi everyone. I have finally started working on the book. Working and helping taking care of a newborn baby takes a lot of time but it is well worth it!

I have picked some emails that I had not yet replied from rOCD sufferers and realised that there was something that I did not cover… “NOT JUST RIGHT EXPERIENCES” in OCD. Or NJREs as it is shortened.

From this link:

Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) frequently report uncomfortable sensations of things not being just right (“not just right experiences”; NJREs) and a need to ritualize until they quiet these sensations.

Imagine this – You started your rOCD recovery, things are starting to improve and you are obsessing a lot less. But there seems to be an issue – something kind of feels “off”, something is quite not right. You can’t pinpoint what it is. But it is there. What does this mean? How can you “fix” this feeling?

As with all feelings, there is nothing you can do change them straight away. Your experience in that particular moment is your experience. Nothing more, nothing less. By this I mean, there is no need for interpretation or trying to associate this phenomenon with some other things.

CBT teaches us that you can change the way you feel by changing the way you think. I think this is partly true. However, there are some processes that you can influence and others that you can’t. If you feel cold or hot – no amount of “thought changing” is going to fix this. I believe it is the same with NJREs. These are so characteristic of OCD that it becomes futile and tiring to try and change them. We should focus instead on changing what we can e.g. develop better mindfulness and acceptance habits.

The other thing with NJREs, is that they are a “great” way for our brains to bring us back to old rumination habits. Which in turn worsens our OCD and slows down our progress. So the best course of action is just to ignore them, resist the temptation of engaging and do something else.


  1. hey. i would love to keep in touch with you and help you with your book in any way i can. i am a young journalist from peru who lives with ocd and mainly rocd. i find it funny that you just posted this because yesterday i told my cbt therapist that something is missing in my relationship. i told her that i didnt know what it was… and i said it is like the x factor is not there…

  2. Hi, thanks for writing this blog. I’ve only recently discovered it although I’ve been suffering with rocd for several years. This is the first website I can honestly say resonates completely with me. I feel like I’ve written it! I’d be very interested to hear more about the book you’re writing, as I’ve yet to come across any others that deal specifically with rocd. When do you aim to have it finished by? Thanks and keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your next posts.

    1. Hi Victoria,

      I hope to have the book done by the end of the year. My wife is also editing and adding a couple of things to it (she has a bachelor in psychology). At the moment there are 4 sections in the book:

      1) Understanding rOCD
      2)Understanding love
      3) Q&A section – mainly questions to my personal email from rocd sufferers that I tried to answer
      4) building a recovery plan

      It is taking longer than I thought as the baby takes most of my spare time!

  3. Thanks for this post! It’s exactly as pointed out…as you star moving forward with your OCD thoughts and their acceptance I think that NJREs are a natural evolution….at this stage We have to go ahead, don’t look back and take them as they are: just virtual feelings conditioned by our current status…It all can pass…I am sure. Thanks !!

  4. I am thankful for this post. Even I have moved forward, I am still having that feeling of “something is not right” in my relationship but I can not point what it is. I have tried to discover every single aspect what could be wrong, but I can not find it. I still can not shake the doubt that how do I know this is OCD or not just a sign telling me that my relationship is doomed. I guess there is not such a thing even existing but can not help it…any advice for this how to trust it is OCD creating this “something isn’t just right”-feeling?

    1. I experience exactly the same thing as Rosie. I’ve improved a lot over the years but the final piece I need to crack is when I get these “something’s just not quite right” feelings, how do I ignore them and carry on being happy? Just when I’m having a good day, that sense of lingering doubt pops up again and makes me question whether I really was having a good day.

  5. Hi All.
    I will start from the beginning. Last April i broke up with my ex after 3 years as she Cheated with a friend of mine. Towards the end of this relationship i had ROCD feelings about other girls.. My own relationship.. Is this right ETC.
    Since then i met the most Amazing girl who thinks the world of me, and just before christmas we got together. I have been wonderfully happy and fallen in love. A few nights ago i was looking at her and suddenly thought of my past and the ROCD and since then have been plagued by it.. Thinking of random girls that never usually cross my mind.. Worrying myself if im really in love.. Almost questioning myself and tempting myself into thinking horrible thoughts.
    I am determined not to let this ruin my relationship as i know i have a absolute diamond who cherishes me.
    Anybody share this story or relate to me?

  6. Hey Blip:)

    I don’t even know if this is the right email to ask a question to, but I was wondering if you could address one for me. I am so grateful to your blog, I believe I suffer from rocd. I have a wonderful boyfriend of 4 years and I won’t get into a lot of detail, as I’m sure you get hundreds of emails from worriers like myself. Basically one of the things I couldn’t find anywhere in your blog, so I’m not sure if it even is rocd or just a sign that I need to move on; attraction to others. You mentioned it in your Hollywood syndrome post, how it’s natural to find others attractive, I guess my response is what isn’t natural for me. When I’m attracted to someone else my anxiety goes from 1 to 10 in about 5 seconds. I used to think that it meant I was less attracted to my boyfriend or that it was a sign that I want to date around. The problem is that David is my first serious boyfriend. I love him tremendously and we have made it through some tough times together. But this by far is the toughest because it makes so unsure about everything. My rocd goes crazy on me, and through the help of your blog and some other sources I am hoping that I will begin down a road of recovery. I guess my question is that can rocd be a part of this? When I’m attracted to someone else I spend a lot of time obsessing over it and trying to see if I like this guy or if I want to date him. I don’t think I do…. But my ocd makes anything impossible to tell. I can’t bring myself to break up with David to “find out” but it won’t go away. Are there any tips you have for dealing with this? Or does this sound to you, like maybe I’m just not ready to settle down? That’s what my relatives and friends say which makes my anxiety worse. Any response or hints would e greatly appreciated.

    I also want to say thank you for your blog. It’s so generous of you to take time to help calm the irrational fears and worries of complete strangers, especially with your new baby.

    So thanks:) Jen

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. First of all, it is very difficult for people without rOCD to understand us. They will put everything down to “not being right”. SO, yes a lot of people report this increasing anxiety feeling when they find other people attractive (including me) so I would say that it is “normal” in rOCD.

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