Schizophrenia and Obsessive Thinking

October 6, 2015 Elizabeth Caudy

Schizophrenia and obsessive thinking, which is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), rarely present together (although there is a noticeable comorbidity between schizophrenia and OCD). However, I do not have OCD and my schizophrenia symptoms never included obsessive thoughts.

At least not until I was put on an antipsychotic medication with a rare side effect of causing obsessive thoughts. Then, not only did I have to deal with symptoms like hearing voices, but my generalized anxiety disorder morphed into a deep well of obsessive thinking with no bottom. Schizophrenia and obsessive thinking is a tough pair to deal with.

Schizophrenia And Obsessive Thinking With Fixations

It started with fixations. I remember obsessing over whether I had locked the Schizophrenia doesn't usually include obsessive thinking. But sometimes medication for schizophrenia can cause obsessive thinking. Look at this.door after I left the apartment. But it wasn’t just locking the door. I worried that I’d left my nightstand light on. I worried that I’d left my laptop on and even that I’d left a drink by the laptop even though we don’t have any pets that could knock it over. I worried about these things as if they were matters of life and death.

That’s when I started making lists.

It started with making a list for when I left the apartment. Things on that list included:

  • Making sure there was no drink by my laptop
  • Making sure my mouse was turned off
  • Making sure I’d taken my morning medications
  • Making sure the back door and front door were locked

I’d make sure of all these things and then make a checkmark so that later I could refer to the list and the checkmark would let me know I’d taken care of that particular item. I realize they are all perfectly reasonable things to check before leaving the house, but keeping the list was quite cumbersome, especially if I was carrying things out the door with me.

I started keeping a list for my car, too. Items on that list included whether the doors were locked and the lights were turned off. This list was even more cumbersome. Again, it was especially hard if I was carrying something, which I usually was.

But it wasn’t just obsessive thinking and making lists. I washed my hands all the time because I may have picked something up off the floor or touched something that had a chance of being dirty. Sometimes I didn’t think I had washed my hands correctly, so I washed them again and then worried about everything I had touched after I had first washed my hands.

Schizophrenia And Obsessive Thinking Is Ending For Me

It was clear that I needed to change my antipsychotic, so I did. I’m not fully recovered from obsessive thinking, but I’m doing a lot better. I’m not making lists anymore. And I don’t freak out over a miniscule stain on my shoe or about whether my tights are too shiny. I’m learning not to care as much if something falls on the floor or into the sink. Life is getting better. I just need to keep my eyes on the big picture, and not get caught in the web of little details.

Photo by Elizabeth Caudy.

Find Elizabeth on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and her personal blog.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2015, October 6). Schizophrenia and Obsessive Thinking, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 21 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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October, 7 2015 at 3:26 pm

My son is struggling terribly right now.. He has bipolar and was manic recently. He also has severe ocd, intrusive disturbing thoughts continually. What antipsychotic does not make ocd worse. He is delusional and psychotic from the mania. Antipsychotic seems to worsen the ocd. Can't find doctor who understands his debilitating ocd is.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Caudy
October, 8 2015 at 4:05 am

Keep looking for a doctor. You will find one who understands the situation.

Jim Buchanan
October, 7 2015 at 10:49 am

I have bipolar and OCD, some of the things you do/did sound like me. My symptoms are, thank God, not disabling, but they sure are irritating and time consuming. I hope switching meds solves it totally for you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Caudy
October, 7 2015 at 12:29 pm

Thanks! I hope so too!

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