Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
Health & Fitness

Symptoms of Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is more than just being neat and organized and can cause a lot of other distressing symptoms. If you feel like you have OCD, you may be comforted by knowing that it is highly treatable. Therapy, medication, or a combination of the two can be used to reduce the frequency or severity of the symptoms. To learn more about therapy, check out this article.

What is Obsessive-compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is usually referred to as OCD and is a mental health condition. Someone who suffers from OCD has obsessions that can lead to compulsive behaviors.

For example, someone may check that they turned a light off more than once or may choose to perform a specific ritual that makes them feel safe. However, OCD is also more than these types of behaviors. Someone who has OCD may feel like they have to do things repeatedly. OCD causes distressing or unwanted thoughts called obsessions and irrational urges to behave in a certain way which are called compulsions.

Someone who suffers with OCD may feel like they cannot stop their thinking patterns or actions even if they realize that their behavior is illogical. Symptoms are usually categorized into obsessions and compulsions.


Obsessions are distressing thoughts or impulses that happen over and over. Someone with OCD may try to eliminate or ignore these thoughts, but they may also feel that the thoughts could possibly be true. Attempting to suppress these thoughts can cause anxiety that compels them to behave compulsively to help their anxious thoughts and feelings.

Obsessions commonly have a recurring theme. One common theme behind the obsessions is a fear of germs or dirt. Someone suffering from OCD may be afraid to touch things that may have germs. They may avoid touching things that people have touched before them like doorknobs or handrails. They may dislike shaking hands or hugging other people as well.

Someone with OCD may also have an overwhelming need to organize and put things in order. They may feel stress and anxiety when things look or feel out of place. This can make it hard to function.

OCD may also cause unwanted or unrelated thoughts relating to a fear of danger or pain. It can cause intrusive thoughts and fears about hurting someone or yourself.

It may also cause a fear about acceptance or a doubt in oneself. They may need reassurance that they are doing what is right. OCD can also cause someone to be afraid of embarrassment or to doubt their own abilities.


Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that will help with stress and anxiety temporarily. The compulsions are brought on by obsessions. It is also common for people who suffer from OCD to believe that behaving in a specific way will help to prevent something bad from occurring.

One common compulsion revolves around cleaning or washing. OCD can cause someone to wash clothes over and over, take multiple showers or baths every day, or cause someone to wash their hands repetitively.

Some compulsions revolve around the idea of checking. Someone with OCD may check that a door is locked or that the oven if off repeatedly. They may also count numbers to themselves or out loud as they perform certain rituals or actions. They may feel that they have to do or say things in a certain order or a certain number of times before they can move on to do something else.

Some people with OCD feel a strong compulsion to keep things in a specific order. It may cause someone to eat certain foods in a specific order or to arrange items in a certain way. They may begin to collect or hoard things that they do not need or feel an overwhelming desire to buy more of things that are not necessary.


A lot of people perform ritualistic actions or have some obsessive thoughts or compulsive behavior. However, someone who suffers with OCD may not be able to control their thinking or behavior. In addition, they may not be able to think logically about their actions or thoughts. OCD can make it difficult to function normal can be distressing.

Therapy is an effective treatment for OCD. Cognitive behavior therapy, CBT, can help someone change their unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors and take control. Exposure and response prevention, ERP, is another effective method because it helps someone manage their anxieties instead of giving in and engaging in compulsive actions. If you or someone you know may have OCD, it is a good idea to locate and speak with a therapist.

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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