Music OCD: Obsessions with songs and listening routines

Do you feel music is only enjoyable if listened to in a very specific way? You may have songs you have to listen to, or ignore completely because it just doesn’t feel right otherwise.

OCD can manifest when we listen, and affect us in a number of different ways.

I have many problems when listening to music. I have to start a song with a good feeling, and go back to the start if a bad thought enters my mind. I also avoid certain lyrics.

It started after suffering with the concept of Hell and religious OCD. There’s this song that I love… now when I hear the word ‘hell’ in it I have to skip that part.

It isn’t a religious song, and the word is only sang a couple of times. But when I know it’s coming, I have to fast-forward it. I worry that if I don’t, that I could go to hell myself.

I also have a problem with starting songs again if I didn’t like what I was thinking at the time it started. I will keep going back to the start until it feels right.

Sometimes I will skip a song altogether- even if I wanted to listen to it- because bad thoughts keep coming. Instead of ruining this song with my thoughts, I will just come back to it when I am in a better mood.

Music should make me happy. But because of OCD it is the thing I sometimes have to avoid or risk feeling worse. 

I am not very religious, but even so, having to avoid lyrics such as ‘hell’ is very annoying. I do worry sometimes that I may end up there if I keep listening to them.

OCD themes often overlap. In this account, music comes with religious obsessions, a desire to start over and for things to feel just right.

Mental (or emotional) contamination can affect us, as negative thoughts can feel like they are contaminating or polluting day to day activities.  

With professional help, these worries and fears can be controlled and better understood.

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Hi, I'm Sam. I write about Tourette and OCD to help myself and others.


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