Outline Tracing Disorder- Everything You Need to Know

Mental happiness and contentment define half of your well-being.  Good physical and mental health goes hand in hand in the maintenance of the perfect quality of life.

Other than severe psychic problems, you may also experience a different sort of mental condition called ‘Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)’. Though it has the word disorder included in its name. It generally does not affect you like other psychological problems.

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OCD does not necessarily make you socially unaccepted because you are certainly a psychic patient. This is just an obsession that can be improved over time with treatment and self-control.

Outline tracing disorder is one type of OCD from many different kinds of it. This article has insight regarding this particularly. It also lets you understand the basic concept of OCD.

Let’s start!

What is Outline Tracing Disorder?

Outline tracing disorder can be defined as an unusual state wherein you continuously keep outlining various living or non-living objects present in front of you with the help of your eyes.

You might be relaxing sitting on the sofa, absolutely quiet, giving a thought about something. Just to notice that at the same time you have been consistently drawing the boundary of anything. It may be the line around the whole area of the roof or the walls surrounding the windows.


In some cases, the shapes you trace are huge to such an extent that it makes you move your head instead of your eyes. That is it. So, ‘disorder’ might be an unacceptable word in this case as this can be totally harmless.

However, this sort of behavior falls under OCD as general people do not experience this.

So, what is OCD?

OCD can be portrayed by compulsions, impulses, or obsessive thoughts that are hard to subdue and take away a lot of time and energy from your life. You also don’t get to spend enough time with your loved ones or even sometimes meddle with your work or school job.

So, at the point, while OCD manifestations are noticed, it’s imperative to consult with a psychologist who will be able to assess your condition and provide treatment.

Facts About Outline Tracing Disorder

  • Actually, this isn’t as uncommon as you might be suspecting. You may find individuals experiencing this condition even around you.
  • This is a chronic state with numerous individuals experiencing it from youth through to old age, and for certain guardians noticing it in very small kids.
  • Numerous individuals keep it covered up, even their guardians do not know about it.
  • Most people say that they do this activity in a subconscious mind, and also cannot control it naturally which disappoints them to a great extent.
  • In spite of it being very irritating, nobody has said this state has essentially hampered their life. Even some exceptionally successful individuals have adapted to it completely well.
  • Various individuals do this in many distinct ways: utilizing teeth, toes, tongue, and habitually including the movement of the head, or some people even move the entire body with a wide scope of individual inclination in regards to objects or shapes that they prefer to trace. You may also find yourself tracing shapes in your mind.
  • The connection with other mental conditions, for example, other OCDs (particularly tallying),
  • nervousness, and depression would appear to be huge. A lot of individuals likewise revealed having incessant encephalon pains.
  • Outlining is generally done while they are in relaxed conditions, for example, enjoying television programs.
  • They find it vague that why they do it and remain disappointed by their total incapability to stop.
  • A few individuals (most likely the serious cases) complain that it meddles with their capacity to focus. Others consider it very innocuous – even considers this is as a recreation.
  • A couple of individuals have discovered that they do it more frequently after their age increased.

What Causes Outline Tracing Disorder?

Specialists don’t have the foggiest idea of what brings about OCD, yet there are different hypotheses. And since outline tracing disorder is included in the list of OCD, the causes might also be the same. Hereditary, neurological, psychological, environmental, and behavioral factors may have contributions.

Genetic Causes

These sorts of mental conditions seem to continue from generation to generation. This recommends a potential hereditary connection, which specialists are examining.

‘Imaging studies’ have proposed that the encephalon of individuals with these medical conditions work differently in comparison to normal people. Genes affecting the brain’s response to certain neurotransmitters called serotonin and dopamine may have a role in developing this disorder.

Immune-System Related Causes

Some of the time, manifestations of such kind of mental conditions show up in youngsters after contamination, for example,

  • A Streptococcal infection which includes strep throat
  • Lyme disease
  • the H1N1 virus

Doctors in some cases call this event of OCD manifestations as ‘Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS)’

In a baby with PANS, the manifestations begin abruptly and arrive at full intensity within a time span of 24–72 hours. They may then vanish yet come back sometime later.

Behavioral Causes

One hypothesis recommends that an individual with altered mental condition figures out how to dodge dread. Especially that related to specific circumstances or items by performing certain acts to decrease the apparent danger.

The primary dread may start around a time of serious pressure, for example, a horrible accident or huge loss.

When the individual connects a situation or objects with this sensation of dread, they start to maintain a strategic distance from that item or circumstance in some way that tends to portray their condition.

This might be more normal among individuals with a hereditary predisposition for the problem.

Environmental Causes

Distressing life occasions may stimulate these conditions in individuals with a hereditary, predisposition, or something else.

Numerous individuals have announced that the manifestations arose within 6 months of certain phenomenons. For example:

  • A serious conflict
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Pregnancy or delivery-related complications
  • Childbirth
  • Severe illness
  • Additionally, OCD may happen close to ‘post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)’.

Psychological Causes

Another hypothesis is that outline tracing disorder or other types of such behavior begins while individuals misjudge their own contemplations.

The vast majority have unwanted or nosy thoughts now and again. Yet for individuals with such conditions, the significance of these contemplations can be outrageous.

Take the case of an individual really caring for a newborn child while under excessive tension and having obtrusive contemplations of unintentionally hurting the infant.

An individual may for the most part dismiss these considerations. But in the event that the thoughts do not go away, they might prove harmful.

An individual with OCD may become persuaded that the activity in the thinking is probably going to occur. Accordingly, they take unreasonable, consistent activity to forestall the danger or threat.

Outline Tracing Disorder Treatment

In case you are suffering from outline tracing disorder, then it is probable that your doctor will suggest treatments similar to that of OCD.

You can try to boost up your brain function and keep yourself busy with certain other things. Brain function boosting supplements like Synapse XT can help you in this case.

What is Synapse XT?

Sharing your problem with a doctor or psychotherapist is also useful. Go through the OCD test and treatment if needed. This will help to improve a lot.

Take a look at some of them below:

Behavioral Therapy

This is a kind of psychotherapy largely known as ‘Cognitive behavioral therapy. This can help in improving the way a person feels, behaves, or thinks. It includes two types of treatments namely ‘Exposure and response prevention (ERP) and cognitive therapy.


There are certain drugs that help with OCD. This includes antidepressants commonly known as ‘Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)’. Following are some examples:

  • Seratraline (Zoloft)
  • Paroxetin (Paxil)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluvoxamine (Prozac)

Half of all the individuals suffering from OCD heal from consuming SSRI alone. And that’s why physicians prescribe antipsychotic drugs with it.

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

This is a kind of brain stimulation therapy. It is advisable for those who do not respond to regular therapies.


The concept of OCD is still unclear to many people around the world. Even now many people wonder about – what is OCD thought, what is OCD behavior, and how are they different from normal acts and contemplations? I hope this article regarding outline tracing disorder will help you to understand this concept well and will also provide you with basic knowledge about OCD in case you were wondering What is OCD disorder!

The FAQs About Outline Tracing Disorder

  1. What is a Finger Tracing Disorder?

This is a kind of OCD where you may find yourself tracing your finger in the air and writing the spelling of any word. It’s done in the subconscious mind yet it’s an unstoppable habit.

In some cases, you may also outline the shapes of objects in front of you by pointing your finger in the air. You may seek help from a doctor if you feel frustrated due to this behavior of yours.

  1. Why do I trace things with my eyes?

If you find yourself tracing things with your eyes, then this might be a symptom of outline tracing disorder. People with this kind of OCD do not necessarily do this while they are busy with work and have a tendency to trace the shapes while sitting idle without any work. Some may even do it while they lay down on the bed prior to sleeping.

  1. What are the common OCD cognitive distortions?

OCD can be characterized by certain errors in your thinking process which are called cognitive distortions. In the case of giving treatment, the identification of the exact cognitive distortion is very important. Some regular cognitive distortions may include:

  • Overestimation of danger
  • Over-importance of thoughts
  • Overestimation of consequences
  • Inflation of responsibility
  • Emotional discomfort intolerance
  • Need for certainty

Thanks for Reading!

Zahin Ibnat

I'm a medical student from Bangladesh. Along the path of my life, medical science has always entranced and enticed me through it's continuous advancement. I believe being health conscious and having a wholesome lifestyle should be our utmost priority. Being a medical student, I like to share my opinions and views on different aspects of medical science in order to enlighten people with knowledge and to motivate them to become aware of their own health condition. We all need to remember that health comes first! So, I hope that my work will help out and benefit people and assist them to remain hale and hearty in their daily life. Zahin Ibnat MBBS (3rd year) Armed Forces Medical College, Bangladesh

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