One of my major obsessions is something that is known as "Hit and Run OCD." It is the sense that you have struck someone while driving your car. I only have to hit the slightest bump in the road and I'm convinced that I've killed some poor pedestrian and that he or she is just lying there and left to die. The anxiety is even worse if I've had some type of difficulty while driving.
For example, one night a few years ago I was driving out of my college campus and headed home for the night. While I was stopped at a stop sign, a young man to the right of my vehicle motioned to someone else on the left side of my vehicle. I looked out my left window only to see another young man standing right next to my car! I was shocked because I had not seen him standing there, and would not have seen him if the other person had not motioned to him. The two of them continued talking and walked off together. I was absolutely horrified and felt positive that I hit the young man to my left. I started to drive away, but the anxiety became too agonizing so I turned around and parked in the nearby parking lot so I could examine the "scene of the crime." I did not see a body lying in the road, but at this point my OCD was so strong that I did not even believe my own eyes. I did the only thing I knew to do. I sat in that parking lot for 15 or 20 minutes, just waiting for the police and/or an ambulance to show up. They never came, of course, because I had not hit anyone.
This specific obsession has tormented me off and on for a few decades. I try to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession through an assortment of compulsions. In particular, I will either drive back to the scene, or I will ask my husband to do so; I might check my rear view mirror compulsively to make sure all pedestrians are still standing and walking safely; I might check my car for damage when I get home; or I will check all the local online news to see if there are any reported hit and run accidents. The big problem with driving back to the scene is that I often feel as if I've caused more accidents while driving back. Then I have to drive back around again to double check my newly caused accident. I might at that point feel that I've caused another accident, and I must drive back again to check this as well. It can turn into a horrible whirlpool of sickening anxiety that sucks you down until you are so mentally overwrought and exhausted that you have no choice but to give up and go home.
I have been trying to fight this (with some success) for a few years. I'm joining Ann in her 30 OCD challenge. I will try very hard to drive and not look in my rear view mirror compulsively, or to drive back, or to check my car for damage, or to check the online news. This will be really good Exposure and Response Prevention. I think I can do it.