Ever wondered why people stare at others privates? Have you asked yourself if it’s a tic, an obsession, a compulsive action or all three?
Visual Tourettic OCD
Staring OCD is now known as Visual or Ocular Tourettic OCD. That makes sense to me because the urge to stare feels like an involuntary eye movement is about to happen, like a premonitory tic.
Whether I’d say it is an impulse is not clear. I say that because it would come with motivation, and I’m unsure if I have a genuine cause to stare at people’s privates. But that said, I do have a feeling of wanting to complete the process to feel right. In other words, the sight of someone’s intimate area arouses my need to stare and bring it to a stopping point.
And so, I think of it in a way where the premonitory urge to stare follows an obsession but comes before the actual eye movement, the tic itself. So, for example, the obsession that courts the premonitory urge might be, ‘If you look, you might get caught out, and that would be so embarrassing.’ And that leaves me in conflict because if I don’t peek, I cannot terminate the tic, and I feel the need to do that. Therefore, before I knew it, the tic happened!
Split Second Interaction
The whole thing is a split second interaction. It’s so fast that your subsequent attempt to avert staring or talk yourself out of it due to possible repercussions is not quick enough. So despite your efforts to resist looking, the entire process is that your head jerk (or eye-tic) is faster than the obsessive thoughts and averting, so you stare near-automatically. Afterwards, you criticise yourself with questions such as, ‘Why did I give in and stare?’ ‘Why do I always have to make it feel right?’ Then, of course, you feed the obsession with more what-if questions and then ruminate further about being caught out and the result of that.
Treatment And Tips
Still, as someone who has struggled with this condition for several years, I discovered an evidence-based work plan that worked.
I discuss my plan in my new book “Address Staring OCD: How To Manage Visual Tics And Obsessions”.