Episode 28: OCD and the Classroom

Episode 28

OCD and the Classroom

In this episode of Purely OCD, Lauren Rosen, LMFT, and Kelley Franke, LMFT, talk about how OCD, anxiety and perfectionism can impact school. As always, they answer your questions and offer educational information to help manage your OCD.

Experiences at school can trigger OCD and Anxiety.

Some common OCD and Anxiety themes that show up in the classroom include:

  • Perfectionism
  • Contamination OCD related to COVID
  • Social Anxiety

For example: Next week if you have a final, you might briefly consider how you want to study and create a plan. Not having a plan can feel overwhelming and lead to procrastination. In this process, you can also set time limits with studying based on what’s reasonable.                                        

Unfortunately, society tends to reward and encourage anxiety around schoolwork. This can make dealing with it extra tough.                                           

Compulsions in the classroom can involve:

  • Rewriting
  • Re-reading
  • Avoidance (procrastination)
  • Reassurance seeking
    • “Can you read over my paper?”
    • Asking a teacher a question, repeatedly.
  • Reviewing information excessively
  • Rehearsing excessively.

Oftentimes, OCD triggers occur at school. For example:

Question: Do you talk back to unwanted repetitive thoughts or ignore them?

Kelley and Lauren answer this in the context of school. For example: if you have unwanted, repetitive thoughts in class about harming your teacher and you’re taking a test, do you ignore or talk back to your thoughts?

“I would note that it is happening “Oh I notice that you have arrived thought. Thank you for your input on this.” And I am going to come back right here to my multiple choice test and focus on this. It’s going to take a lot of redirect and refocus practice.

Kelley Franke, LMFT

One things for sure – don’t try to suppress or get rid of thoughts. That’s bound to backfire.


Like what you’ve heard? We’d love to hear your feedback. Head over to your podcast app of choice where you can comment and like the podcast in order to help build our audience and spread awareness about OCD. While you’re there, subscribe so you never miss an episode.

Sign Up for Updates from Us

Subscribe below to receive info on our latest news and episodes

Disclaimer: This information is meant to be general information not unique to any individual. Before following any guidance or advice found on this site or in the Purely OCD Podcast a visitor or listener should always consult with their own licensed healthcare practitioner. The Purely OCD Podcast and Website are not therapy or intended as a replacement for therapy. They are for educational purposes only.

Leave a Reply