In Focus:

you've locked the door: What drives your checking habit?

Most of us have suddenly thought, "Wait — did I actually lock the door?" For some people, this might lead to locking up with more intention next time. But for others, it may be an anxiety disorder. Researchers say it's all about being afraid of losing control.

I once had a neighbor who checked the door of his flat a dozen times before leaving for work and walked round and round his car as many times when he arrived back home, to make completely sure that everything was right.

I often imagined the terror he must live with all the time, going through imaginary scenarios of break-ins or the car ignition being left on.

This particular case may have been an instance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an uncontrolla

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