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Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4660
Experience:  MD Psychiatry
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I've suffered from OCD for a years now. I've been doing

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I've suffered from OCD for a years now. I've been doing really well for the last couple of years. However, I haven't been doing too well recently. I'm teaching English in Asia. A couple of weeks ago I lost my SD card for my camera. I work at an elementary school and last time I remember having it was when I had taken it to show pictures from my latest trips to one of the parent volunteers. Then a week or so later I couldn't find it. I had looked everywhere, at school and at home. Then school secretary even sent out a mass email to teachers, but no luck. I think i put it in my wallet and it must've dropped out somewhere. Now here's the thing. Ever since I lost it I've been so paranoid. There weren't too many photos. I started thinking what if there were naked pics of me and someone had found it or worse yet what if someone found it at school. Even though my initial thought was that there weren't any inappropriate images of me because otherwise I would not have showed the pics to the parent. The more I think about it the more I'm doubting the situation and keep thinking 'what if...there are images of you'. What if in a few years, you leave the school and someone finds it and then what'. I'm going crazy here. I know I should trust my initial gut feeling but the 'What ifs are killing me...'It's like I have to know for sure that there aren't any naked pics of me. I don't think i'm going to find my SD card. I hope I find it soon, so that I can have a peace of mind. Then I think if someone hasn't found it by now, I don't think anyone will.
When I first discovered that my SD card had gone missing. The first thought that came to my mind was what if there are inappropriate images of me…. Then I had moments of relief when I would remember that there aren’t any inappropriate images on it. I even went home that night and took a pic of myself in front of the mirror. OCD tries to justify why there might be inappropriate images on it. I am trying to lose weight and I could’ve taken mirror pics to monitor my weight loss. Eventhough I know that that night I didn't feel right taking the pic and then I knew for certain that there could not have been any inappropriate photos on it. I get moments like this (feelings of relief) but then the OCD sets in with the What ifs..I know I should listen to these short lapses of relief as I know it’s not the OCD talking, it’s my true self.
As the weeks pass the thoughts just get worse and the doubting starts. I think it has more to do with me over analysing the situation. I think constantly thinking of the What ifs and the fact that there's no certainty.
I don't know what to do? The what ifs are killing me!!!
It's been weeks now and I really need to move on. I keep thinking if only I could find this SD card then I'd be so happy.

Hi there,

Welcome to Just answer !

I am sorry to learn about your predicament and I empathize with you.

Well you see it is a hallmark trait of OCD to form compelling vicious cycle of thoughts entailing a content which the person finds uncomfortable to deal with and struggles to ward it off / evade it . So in this particular scenario too your OCD symptoms which had remained dormant for quite some time now but due to the unfortunate stressful event where you lost your SD card , the OCD symptoms got flared up and lead to the development of a vicious cycle of obsessive thinking which only got stronger as time elapsed.

So there is a need to break this cycle and subdue your obsessive thinking and this is possible with the use of right drug.

So kindly mention the drugs that you are currently taking ?

I will get back to you once you reply to my query.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your quick response. I've never taken drugs to manage my OCD. I don't want to rely on drugs to deal with OCD. This time round it hasn't flared up as much as it had in the past.

What I'm wanting to know is that is this OCD? Am I really being paranoid about the SD card? I keep doubting what if there are inappropriate images. I know that I should trust my initial instinct and not let it get worse, right?

Well yes this self doubt that is lurking within you is an extension of your underlying OCD. However if you really try hard and start repeating to yourself that you are going to trust your instincts and follow logic rather than let your mind wander behind unreasonable self doubt then I am sure you will be able to overcome this phase.

Also just come to think of it, if you had any inappropriate material in the SD card would you have been so reckless so as to show it to a completely anonymous person, well I do not think so. So basically I am just saying that you should give more credit to yourself than you are giving now, there shall be no doubt in your mind about the presence of any inappropriate data in the card , so just try to distract your mind to some constructive things and stop wasting your precious time over a trivial , illogical cause such as this.

I hope this helps you to see the bigger picture, just finally bring closure to this cycle of self doubt which is taking away your precious time and causing unnecessary distress and procrastination.

Wish you all the best.

Take care.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She's not an anonymous person. She's a parent helper and we've become good friends but I do know what you mean. There's no way I would save inappropriate pics on the card when I was going to show her the photos of my trip.

I'm also sure I went through the phots the night before to delete photos of the trip I did not like.

I keep on thinking though what if I took the SD card home that night and took pics and then lost it. I do remember putting the card in my wallet or bag but then I couldn't find it that weekend. I don't remember using my camera after I showed the parent the pics, though. I don't remember taking pics like that though but the memory of me recently taking pics so that my OCD could analyse them is intefering and creating false memories.

Then there's what if a student finds it and saves the photos on their ph and everyone finds out and thinks I sent them. This is totally illogical I know. I would never do that and there would be no proof that I would.

I'm a people pleaser and what worries me the most is when I move on from this school what if they find the card and then think of me as a bad evil person?

Sometimes I think I don't care what's on that SD card. If there are pics so be it. A normal person would not worry about that. Then I think there are

so many more pics of my travels and I don't think anybody would pay attention to the others.

I know this happens to many people (losing an Sd card) but I wonder how would a normal person deal with this?

It's a long weekend this week and I'm going away with a few friends. I would very much like to enjoy my time away and not have to worry about this.

It's probably long gone now. The chances of finding it a slim. It's a tiny card and I don't think anyone is going to bother with it. I don't think anyone has picked it up by now I don't think it's likely to be found.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do have a great reputation at this school and would not want to tar that image. Everybody tells me that i'm such a caring and lovely person with great character and I'm just afraid they'll think badly of me:(

First of all it seems unlikely for the card to be found by anyone in the first place , after all it is a tiny card, besides this people usually do not have that much time to make efforts to explore an abandoned little object which by all means would appear to be a waste product anyways if at all found in the first place.

So your thoughts clouding your mind at the moment are bordering on remote and rarest of rare possibilities and case scenarios which unnecessary lead to distress and unrest in your mind. You got to get over this as there are more chances of the card going unnoticed and possibly destroyed than anyone finding it and then having the energy and time to explore it to find out the data it holds.

Also I must address here that everyone has a private life which one keeps to himself/ herself and within the realms of private / personal life there are some moments which are intimate, not to be shared with others , however if in a rarest of rare case these private moments get revealed to the outside world then it is not going to change people's perception about that person , this I tell you because in your case too if at all you had some private content stored in the card and if we consider it an out and out rarest of rare case that someone finds it and has the time, energy and enthusiasm to explore it , even then I feel it will not amount to any sort of embarrassment for you , since you command a good reputation which is not going to get tarnished by such a small incident which can happen with anyone.

However this is rarest of rare case if at all it occurs in the first place.

You see people are too busy in their own lives to notice such a small card and take pains to explore it, so relax and ease your mind and just go on the trip with your friends and enjoy yourself without giving much importance to this incident.

It is anyways more likely for you to find it later just like that than anyone else , so please stop worrying and carry on with your life as usual.

I hope this helps.

Wish you all the best.

Please kindly leave a Positive rating if you are satisfied with the answer as only then will I be credited for my service.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much for your advice! It's become really helpful! I'm teaching in South Korea so the cultural values are different. I know I shouldn't be paranoid about this cos I'm 95 percent sure there's nothing inappropriate. But that doubt kills me. The OCD really feeds of that! The diubt and worry wasn't as bad at the beginning it got worse as the icd started creating scenarios and what ifs. What would a normal person in my situation do and react?

Well you see your situation might have perhaps evoked a similar response from one and all and there perhaps might have been initial deliberation and dilemma regarding the SD ACARD CONTENTS but a normal person would have slowly yet firmly gotten over this obsessive thinking as time had gone by and he/she would have distracted himself with some constructive work so as to channelize his thoughts onto other important things and had gone about doing usual work as he /she used to.

You see you got to realize one thing here is that with each passing day you are loosing precious time which could have been utilized in a far better way than just brooding over a minor issue, besides this your life does not and should not revolve around such a minor issue which could have happened to anyone and holds no significant effects on your life anyways.

So kindly concentrate on other important things and spend quality time with your loved ones so as to distract yourself from such an inconspicuous issue and let time help you overcome this phase.

I hope this helps.

Wish you all the best.

Please kindly leave a Positive rating if you are satisfied with the answer as only then will i be credited for my service.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for all your help! I regret that it's taken me this long to give you a rating.

I just need to know is this really OCD messing with me? I've been doing really well this past week. But then there are times when the OCD stikes with thoughts like does it make me an evil person to take pics of myself in front of the mirror? even if it's to monitor my weight loss?

Lately I've been getting signs telling me to trust my hunch. I totally believe that this is the universe telling me to move on that it's the OCD creating all these doubts about the content in the SD card which I wholeheartedly know that there is nothing in there that I need to worry about.

It's definitely gone. No one has picked it up and I don't there is a chance that someone will. it's such a small thing that no one will even notice it.

Well you do have some OCD features as we have discussed earlier but still the condition is not full blown to cause what we call as decompensation that is impairment in social, interpersonal and professional domains of life , yes you do tend to procrastinate , like you are doing right now, so I will suggest that you start distracting yourself from this trivial issue to other important things in life.

I hope this helps.

Wish you all the best.


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