It is great to see one of our apps out there, but it was a bit anxiety provoking. We've put a lot of work into this project and---whilst its exciting to launch---we are also a bit nervous about how it will be received. I have to admit I have been checking the app store every thirty minutes to see if it had launched and then to see the app's ranking or if anyone had reviewed it. Then Richard pointed App Annie to me and it got even worse.
This is a bit sad and is definitely beginning to annoy my family, but it is probably understandable given the time and effort that's gone into the project. Also once the novelty has gone down I will check less... I hope! Like many 'normal' behaviours there is a spectrum which shades into 'abnormal' and illness.
Too much checking
For some people checking behaviour can become a major problem and have a catastrophic impact on their lives. In obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) people develop obsessions (intrusive, repetitive, unpleasant irrational thoughts) these can range from worrying that the door isn't locked to worrying that you accidentally knocked a pedestrian over with your car and failed to notice. One common obsession is that you have contaminated yourself with dangerous bugs from touching 'unclean' surfaces.
The compulsions are behaviours that either are a direct response to the obsession such as washing hands due to fear of contamination or more ritualistic such as having to do things a certain number of times. In general these behaviours temporarily reduce the anxiety caused by the obsessional thoughts but also reinforce that the person is right to be worried about it and hence perpetuate the problem.
OCD is a relatively common mental disorder occurring in 16 people in a 1000 in the USA according to the National Institute of Mental Health data. People who have this condition are often embarrassed by it and often delay seeking help. This may play a part in the fact that around half the people with the condition have severe symptoms.
But wait, there is help
There are treatments available either with psychological therapies such as behavioural and cognitive behavioural therapy or medication; primarily SSRI antidepressants. There are also charities (Anxiety UK & Triumph Over Phobia) who provide information and support for OCD and other anxiety disorders.
It generally gets harder to treat the condition the longer it has been present so people should seek help and go to their doctors.
As for me, don't worry, Andres is already checking that I'm not checking too much!