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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD is experienced via obsessional thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours. Thoughts are recurrent and persistent, and are perceived as feeling intrusive and unwanted. Compulsive behaviours are repetitive and done in response to obsessional thoughts or in response to rigid rules one has. It is common for these thoughts and behaviours to trigger anxiety. Obsessional thoughts and compulsions are often time-consuming. Having to contend with these thoughts and behaviours can also cause impairment in one’s ability to function socially, at work, or academically. 

Take inventory of your symptoms. The following are common symptoms of OCD

Common obsessions:

  • Contamination (i.e. fear you are contaminated, fear you are contaminating others, fear others are contaminating you, fear of food contamination, fear of chemical/toxic product contamination) 

  • Harm (i.e. fear you will unintentionally harm yourself or someone else) 

  • Need for symmetry or exactness 

  • Uncomfortable sexual thoughts (i.e. fear of attraction to a family member, fear of attraction to a child, worrying you are gay when you don’t actually feel that attraction, fear of attraction to animals)

  • Religious thoughts (i.e. intrusive religious blasphemous thoughts, compulsive prayer, hypermorality, unwarranted concern about committing a sin, cleaning/washing rituals)

Common compulsions:

  • Cleaning (i.e. spending excessive amount of time cleaning yourself or your surroundings, excessive time wiping oneself on the toilet, excessive time brushing teeth, excessive and ritualized showering, excessive rules for cleaning kitchen/bathroom) 
  • Repeating (i.e. saying phrases repetitively, touching things in a repetitive/patterned way, counting, tapping) 
  • Checking (i.e. checking locks, stove top, oven, faucets, toilet lid, garage door) 
  • Ordering and arranging (i.e. feeling the need to arrange things in a very precise way) 
  • Mental compulsions (i.e. feeling the need to repeat certain phrases in your mind)