Reassurance-seeking differs from information-seeking as it is a compulsion that will keep you stuck in the OCD loop. Reassurance-seeking is done with the intention to lessen your anxiety/distress and to seek a specific answer that will provide you reassurance of what you fear. When you want reassurance, you repeatedly ask questions that are often unanswerable, and don’t accept their answers unless they give you the certainty you’re seeking. People can seek reassurance from many places including friends, family, and the internet.

Even though you might feel relief after getting a little reassurance, that relief quickly wears off and leaves you wanting more. The more reassurance you get, the more you will continue to want it. OCD is masterful at creating doubt and that will only continue the cycle of needing more and more reassurance.

How can you tell the difference between information-seeking versus reassurance-seeking? Here are some examples of both to help make sure you are staying in the “information-seeking” zone.

Information-seeking examples:

Reassurance-seeking examples: