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Letter counting/alphabetizing

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I am sitting here in tears because I am so happy that I have FINALLY found people that have a similar "problem". My word counting is a little weird. My brain will pick up words, no matter what I am doing, and I will count consonants on one hand and vowels on the other. Then, the consanants and vowels must be divisible by the number of syllables in the word. Anyone else do this or ever heard of it?? I am in desperate need of help here. I feel like I am going insane. I think this started when I was in elementary school or a little later, but has NEVER been this bad. It is actually keeping me awake at night, along with my other worries. I was finally able to tell my husband a few months ago. We have been married for almost 13 years. That should tell you how embarassed I am. I cried the whole time I was telling him about it and I honestly don't know if I can bring myself to tell a doctor. I just feel so stupid! Any similar stories or advice would be very, very appreciated!!

 

Ah Ruby, please don't make your stress level worse by thinking you're going crazy:

1. Your brain is just overstimulated.

2. Some of us are just wired with this predisposition.

3. Our bodies have to get rid of the excess energy racing around in our body, so our brains have come up with this ingenious way to use it up.

4. It just becomes problematic when it starts to add to our stress, which is bound to happen eventually.

5. You HAVE to get exercise. It's a healthy way to get rid of some of that excess energy.

6. Cut out the caffeine.

7. Talk to your doctor about trying an anti-anxiety med

8. How old are you? Hormonal imbalances might be playing a part...if you're over 35, 3% progesterone cream can work wonders if you're out of balance.

 

Now, as far as the specific way YOU play your brain games, I've found that we all do it a little differently. I have several little letter-counting/typing/balancing games going on in my brain, (and my fingers are moving, typing away) and I've been doing it for so long I'm not even aware of it most of the time. But sometimes it starts making me feel like I'm going to crawl right out of my SKIN, and that's when I know it's time to exercise and get out some of that excess energy.

 

Let us know what tack you take, and how it works, okay? You're just a little more intelligent than the average bear, and a little more tightly wound, so figure out how YOUR body can best rid itself of some of that excess.

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Ha Ha...I have been wanting to know if there were others who could count the letters in sentences and I have found this site.

I can count letters in sentences as people speak.

I have been on a radio talk show for this "skill"...I didn't win, but people were blown away by it.

My friends tend to call me Rain Mel (as in Rain Man).

I have been doing it for years...not exactly sure how long, but, it's pretty funny how I didn't think it was that big of a deal until I started telling people about it and they were shocked and amazed!!

 

Is this considered Obsessive Compulsive?

 

Mel B :)

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Hi, just found this forum and i'm glad i'm not the only one.

 

My mind is crammed to bursting counting the numbers of letters in sentences with a prefernce for groups of 3 letters. Often altering the sentence by spelling it differently to fit my need of groups of 3. Even writing this, i can't stop doing it. It's driving me crazy!

 

The groups of 3 especially in names seem to put me at ease.

 

HELP, i'm going nuts!!

 

I usually make sentences in my head and they need to add up to an even number (ex. 10/20/30/40, etc...) so I tend to add words into a sentence to make it add up evenly...very odd, but, until I do it, my brain will keep repeating the sentence.

 

This is very interesting hearing everyone else's situations :)

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I am sitting here in tears because I am so happy that I have FINALLY found people that have a similar "problem". My word counting is a little weird. My brain will pick up words, no matter what I am doing, and I will count consonants on one hand and vowels on the other. Then, the consanants and vowels must be divisible by the number of syllables in the word. Anyone else do this or ever heard of it?? I am in desperate need of help here. I feel like I am going insane. I think this started when I was in elementary school or a little later, but has NEVER been this bad. It is actually keeping me awake at night, along with my other worries. I was finally able to tell my husband a few months ago. We have been married for almost 13 years. That should tell you how embarassed I am. I cried the whole time I was telling him about it and I honestly don't know if I can bring myself to tell a doctor. I just feel so stupid! Any similar stories or advice would be very, very appreciated!!

 

Ah Ruby, please don't make your stress level worse by thinking you're going crazy:

1. Your brain is just overstimulated.

2. Some of us are just wired with this predisposition.

3. Our bodies have to get rid of the excess energy racing around in our body, so our brains have come up with this ingenious way to use it up.

4. It just becomes problematic when it starts to add to our stress, which is bound to happen eventually.

5. You HAVE to get exercise. It's a healthy way to get rid of some of that excess energy.

6. Cut out the caffeine.

7. Talk to your doctor about trying an anti-anxiety med

8. How old are you? Hormonal imbalances might be playing a part...if you're over 35, 3% progesterone cream can work wonders if you're out of balance.

 

Now, as far as the specific way YOU play your brain games, I've found that we all do it a little differently. I have several little letter-counting/typing/balancing games going on in my brain, (and my fingers are moving, typing away) and I've been doing it for so long I'm not even aware of it most of the time. But sometimes it starts making me feel like I'm going to crawl right out of my SKIN, and that's when I know it's time to exercise and get out some of that excess energy.

 

Let us know what tack you take, and how it works, okay? You're just a little more intelligent than the average bear, and a little more tightly wound, so figure out how YOUR body can best rid itself of some of that excess.

 

 

 

Thanks so much for responding! I know that I shouldn't be stressing out over it, but it has started to really get to me. As for the exercise, it is hard for me to find the time with a newborn. But I am definitely going to work on it. I have an appointment with a pyschiatrist on Monday to try to get help with this and my ongoing depression issues. I really don't like that idea, but I feel like I don't have any other option.

 

Again, thanks for the tips!

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I am sitting here in tears because I am so happy that I have FINALLY found people that have a similar "problem". My word counting is a little weird. My brain will pick up words, no matter what I am doing, and I will count consonants on one hand and vowels on the other. Then, the consanants and vowels must be divisible by the number of syllables in the word. Anyone else do this or ever heard of it?? I am in desperate need of help here. I feel like I am going insane. I think this started when I was in elementary school or a little later, but has NEVER been this bad. It is actually keeping me awake at night, along with my other worries. I was finally able to tell my husband a few months ago. We have been married for almost 13 years. That should tell you how embarassed I am. I cried the whole time I was telling him about it and I honestly don't know if I can bring myself to tell a doctor. I just feel so stupid! Any similar stories or advice would be very, very appreciated!!

 

Ah Ruby, please don't make your stress level worse by thinking you're going crazy:

1. Your brain is just overstimulated.

2. Some of us are just wired with this predisposition.

3. Our bodies have to get rid of the excess energy racing around in our body, so our brains have come up with this ingenious way to use it up.

4. It just becomes problematic when it starts to add to our stress, which is bound to happen eventually.

5. You HAVE to get exercise. It's a healthy way to get rid of some of that excess energy.

6. Cut out the caffeine.

7. Talk to your doctor about trying an anti-anxiety med

8. How old are you? Hormonal imbalances might be playing a part...if you're over 35, 3% progesterone cream can work wonders if you're out of balance.

 

Now, as far as the specific way YOU play your brain games, I've found that we all do it a little differently. I have several little letter-counting/typing/balancing games going on in my brain, (and my fingers are moving, typing away) and I've been doing it for so long I'm not even aware of it most of the time. But sometimes it starts making me feel like I'm going to crawl right out of my SKIN, and that's when I know it's time to exercise and get out some of that excess energy.

 

Let us know what tack you take, and how it works, okay? You're just a little more intelligent than the average bear, and a little more tightly wound, so figure out how YOUR body can best rid itself of some of that excess.

 

 

 

Thanks so much for responding! I know that I shouldn't be stressing out over it, but it has started to really get to me. As for the exercise, it is hard for me to find the time with a newborn. But I am definitely going to work on it. I have an appointment with a pyschiatrist on Monday to try to get help with this and my ongoing depression issues. I really don't like that idea, but I feel like I don't have any other option.

 

Again, thanks for the tips!

 

That's great. I know they've come out with new, better anti-anxiety/anti-depressant drugs (in fact, I just saw a book specifically on that subject at Barnes and Noble, if you want to check it out.)

Don't forget to get some time for yourself, maybe swap babysitting with a friend or something, so you have some time to recharge (shop, nap, create, lunch with friends, whatever.) You can't give-give-give without taking some time for YOU, or you're bound to get depressed and anxious. (I had 3 kids within 4 years, so I know!) A applaud you for going to get some help - I started having panic attacks, which forced me to give in and seek help - now I wish I'd done it 10 years before that!! What a difference. Keep us posted.

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Rag2177,

 

It sounds as if our sons have very similar habits. I don't know if you read about my son (he's 9)in earlier posts, but he too, recently told me that he counts letters not only while people are talking but on the wall, within the books he's reading, signage, etc. He also has some other number issues as well. He is also a very bright child and is constantly moving and talking. He's always been that way. He talks nonstop (even in his sleep). Does your son have any tics or involuntary twitching? My son does, but it's very mild.

 

I took my son to the doctor and he suggested not to worry about it unless I see that it's interfering with his everyday life. I, too, can see his little mind racing while we're talking to him...now I know that he's counting our words. I don't see that it's affecting him in a negative way; however, he has asked me to find a way to help him stop. I still haven't figured out how without medication (which we're opposed to for now).

 

By the way, the doctor doesn't consider this TRUE OCD unless it interferes with his daily routine. Have you taken your son to the doctor?

 

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

 

sbechtel

 

Hi sbechtel

 

Thanks for your reply. As far as I'm aware this is the only "habit" my son has and he doesn't have any tics either. However, he also talks constantly and at some speed! (not during lessons as he always listens very intently) I think this might contribute to him being isolated from his peers at school as I don't think other children particularly appreciate his constant chattering.

 

Since he has told me about his counting he seems to be doing it more (or maybe I'm just noticing it more now) but it does concern me that this could become a problem and cause him to be overly distracted with counting. I recently went to parents evening at school and the only complaint his teacher had was that he sometimes gets distracted when thery're working independantly, not by other people but by himself (he actually wiggled his fingers when he said this as if demonstrating what he meant). When I came home it suddently dawned on me that this "distraction" is probably my son counting, as he always moves his fingers or hands when he's doing it.

 

I too am against using any kind of medication for this but know that he cannot stop it or even try and do it less- as he said "I can't not do it". I haven't mentioned it to the doctor yet but think I probably should, maybe I should also tell his teacher what is going on and then he watch and see if he thinks its interfering with his concentration in lessons.

 

Does your sons school know?

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Well please let us all know what the "mental health" people let you know. Just don't succumb to feeling like you're whacko, or that the syndrome is your "fault" somehow. No stigma allowed! It'll just make you more stressed, and bottom line, it's just not true. You had a pre-disposition to this. Some factors in your life (family issues growing up) probably contributed to it. Anyone else with the same brain/experiences would be having the same reaction you are. I'll be very interested to find out what the "pros" decide you're dealing with, and what they suggest you do about it.

 

I've been reading up on a.d.d., autism, o.c.d., etc., and wondering exactly where I fit in. Is there a continuum that includes all three? Like on one end is high-functioning a.d.d., it moves up through the levels of a.d.d., then on through the levels of o.c.d., then on up to levels of autism, ending at very low-functioning autism? Does anyone know enough about this stuff to confirm that would be a fairly realistic way to look at it?

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Well please let us all know what the "mental health" people let you know. Just don't succumb to feeling like you're whacko, or that the syndrome is your "fault" somehow. No stigma allowed! It'll just make you more stressed, and bottom line, it's just not true. You had a pre-disposition to this. Some factors in your life (family issues growing up) probably contributed to it. Anyone else with the same brain/experiences would be having the same reaction you are. I'll be very interested to find out what the "pros" decide you're dealing with, and what they suggest you do about it.

 

I've been reading up on a.d.d., autism, o.c.d., etc., and wondering exactly where I fit in. Is there a continuum that includes all three? Like on one end is high-functioning a.d.d., it moves up through the levels of a.d.d., then on through the levels of o.c.d., then on up to levels of autism, ending at very low-functioning autism? Does anyone know enough about this stuff to confirm that would be a fairly realistic way to look at it?

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Well please let us all know what the "mental health" people let you know. Just don't succumb to feeling like you're whacko, or that the syndrome is your "fault" somehow. No stigma allowed! It'll just make you more stressed, and bottom line, it's just not true. You had a pre-disposition to this. Some factors in your life (family issues growing up) probably contributed to it. Anyone else with the same brain/experiences would be having the same reaction you are. I'll be very interested to find out what the "pros" decide you're dealing with, and what they suggest you do about it.

 

I've been reading up on a.d.d., autism, o.c.d., etc., and wondering exactly where I fit in. Is there a continuum that includes all three? Like on one end is high-functioning a.d.d., it moves up through the levels of a.d.d., then on through the levels of o.c.d., then on up to levels of autism, ending at very low-functioning autism? Does anyone know enough about this stuff to confirm that would be a fairly realistic way to look at it?

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SORRY!! My computer's all wickety-wack right now, and it sometimes just doesn't finish sending a message, so I'm afraid I tried to send it three times...and apparently they all worked!! Murphy's Law, huh??!?

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Ha, I'm also relieved to have found this forum and realize that there are other people like me who can quickly count the number of letters in words (though I don't do the alphabetizing nor the splitting into 3's). It's actually not that big of a problem for me and is not something I do all the time, more when I want to or to amuse friends (it's a great party trick).

 

Does anyone have any insight on (1) where this comes from and (2) any practical applications for it? The urge to do this compulsively obviously has something to do with being OCD, but the ability itself to quickly count letters in words is something which I've found other people cannot do no matter how hard they try, so something else must be at work. I'm quite good at learning foreign languages and have always wondered whether there's a connection there (seems doubtful, but who knows)...anyone else?

 

--Luke

ljcohler@yahoo.com

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Can anyone tell me when they first began this counting/alphabetizing habit? I have a 4 yr. old with tics who is already reading, spelling words like orange, and counting to 1000. He likes to count how many letters are in words, loves to to rhymes and play games like: which word has three letters, car or daddy?

Thanks!

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Luke, I have no idea what's going on differently in the brain of a "counter" than in the brain of a "non-counter", but if you ever find out (and have ideas of how to use it practically), PLEASE let us know!

 

Caryn, I don't think anyone can tell you what age they were when they started this because we were all too young to monitor our thoughts back then.

 

I think a tendency to play brain games can be an okay thing if the anxiety levels in life can be kept low. In other words, I think my brain games only became a problem when I got really stressed out - then I released some of that tension through over-playing, and it became a bit compulsive...does that make sense? I may be way off in my thinking on that, I'm definitely not educated in the field.

 

Do your son's tics seem to be triggered when he's experiencing a higher level of stress in his life? Maybe try helping him figure out healthy ways to manage stress (exercise, etc.) and see if the tics subside. But the letter game-playing sounds like it may just be normal for an intelligent kid who likes to use his brain to challenge himself.

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Hello all,

 

Like everyone else, I was overjoyed to discover this site and people like me. I have suffered from OCDs all of my life, but only a few years ago did I realize how ingrained they were in my life, thoughts, etc.

 

I see a lot of people count letters, and I wanted to share my own particular "quirks" and se if anyone else shares these issues:

 

1. When I see a word, I add up all the letters by their numerical equivalents. However, since the alphabet has 26 letters, my count will "reset" at 26. So, in the word F - I - R - E, it would be 6 + 9 + 18 + 5 = 38, but we loop at 26 so the number is 12. (26 and then 12 more make 38). However, there are also rules. If the 1st letter is capitalized, I double the number and add 5 (3 since the word capital starts with C which is the 3rd letter, and 2 for a punctuation mark). Also, the number 2 is added for every space if I am adding up multiple words.

 

2. I count by 8s instead of by 10s. I see an eight-dot grid in my head, like two dice showing the number 4. I know where all numbers fall on the grid, since I count on it in a particular pattern. Also, since I now all the number/letter equivalents, I will count by letters or numbers, interchangeably

 

3. I will repeat sentences backwards by syllable, usually just the last 4 syllables I hear or read but sometimes whole sentences. I like the feel of hearing them backwards in my head (head my in wards back).

 

4. My head is constantly counting or reversing syllables or thinking of things to do or making lists or worrying or...it never stops!!

 

I used to think this was all controllable and not hurting my life, but now I just wish my head was clear, I feel I could get so much more done and wouldn't be so tired and irritable all the time - it definitely hurts my relationship.

 

If anyone has any thoughts/comments, please let me know!!

 

--Deryl

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