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Just Right OCD

What Does Just Right OCD Look Like?

Just Right OCD involves intense anxiety or uneasiness about things feeling “off” or “not right”.


People with this type of OCD can worry that their discomfort will last forever if they do not correct it. They may also feel like they cannot move on or concentrate on anything else unless the thing that feels “off” is corrected. Therefore, people with Just Right OCD can spend a lot of time repeating certain behaviors until it feels “just right.” 


Scenario: Dominic feels that one of his piano keys sounds “off” even though his piano teacher has told him it sounds fine. He becomes extremely uncomfortable whenever he plays that specific key and ends up pressing the same key over and over again until it feels “just right.” Sometimes he can get the “just right” feeling by replaying the same key in just a couple of tries; other times, he can be stuck for over an hour trying to get the key to sound “just right.”

It is important to note that some things in life are not “perfect” or “just right.” For instance, a piano can be out of tune. However, with Just Right OCD, the person feels intense distress over something feeling “off” and finds it incredibly difficult to move on without correcting it. Others may tell the person that it is not a big deal and to forget about it, but OCD makes it difficult to let go and move on.

Some people with Just Right OCD worry that something bad will happen if they do not do things until it feels “just right.” 


Scenario: Monique worries she will get bad luck if her handwriting is not a certain way – she is not focused on her handwriting needing to be symmetrical; she just feels there is just a certain way it “should” look and feels incredibly uncomfortable until it looks that way. Therefore, Monique spends a lot of time rewriting things until a feeling of “rightness” comes over her.

Just Right OCD Compulsions

Compulsions are anything that people with OCD do to relieve the anxiety and distress brought on by their intrusive thoughts (i.e., obsessions, worries). The variations of compulsions are endless and vary from person to person, which makes it impossible to include examples of all possible compulsions in this guide. Below is a selection of examples demonstrating how Just Right OCD compulsions can present for people.

Examples of Just Right OCD Compulsions:

Counting until one feels "just right".


Rearranging objects until things feel "just right".


Asking others to repeat things until it feels "just right".


Repeating behaviors until it feels "just right".

(e.g., opening and closing doors, tapping, swallowing)


Avoidance of things or behaviors that trigger the feeling that something is “off”.

(e.g., avoiding typing because something always feels off and triggers a need to repeatedly delete and retype)


Mentally checking to see if something feels “off”.

(e.g., repeatedly asking oneself throughout the day if everything feels okay)

Help for Just Right OCD

Living with Just Right OCD can be incredibly difficult and turn everyday things into a burdensome challenge. Fortunately, OCD is treatable, and people can recover. The gold-standard treatment for OCD is a type of  behavioral intervention called exposure therapy. In addition to exposures, there are other acceptance-based interventions that are highly effective for treating OCD. 

We hope that this guide has helped you to better understand Just Right OCD.

You do not need to live a life overwhelmed and controlled by OCD. Equipping yourself with practical information for treating OCD and learning how to respond to OCD in an effective way can be life changing. Oftentimes, people unknowingly engage in actions that feed the OCD cycle

If you would like to learn more in-depth information about OCD treatment and recovery, you are welcome to read our Educational Guides on exposure therapy and other acceptance-based interventions for OCD:

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