November 08, 2019

Common Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Close up of woman's hands cleaning a countertop

Do You Have Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition in which you have recurring unreasonable thoughts and fears that may cause you to perform repetitive actions. These obsessions and compulsions cause you stress and difficulty in your daily activities. The term OCD is often misused to describe a person who is particularly clean or organized, but who doesn’t actually have the disorder. OCD often begins with small symptoms but grows into a more serious condition.

Early Signs and Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Things you’re intensely interested in aren’t necessarily signs of OCD. However, if you have or are developing the condition, being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of OCD can help you get treatment and minimize the problems the condition can cause in your life.

What are some signs of OCD? People with the condition may experience a number of symptoms.

Intrusive Thoughts

● Fear of losing important items like your car keys or the TV remote
● Fear of not having items you need like matches or enough drinking water as you prepare for a camping trip
● Excessive focus on something you feel is a good or bad omen
● Fear of hurting yourself or others
● Frequent or intense focus on religion or morality
● Fear of being contaminated by germs from doorknobs or grocery cart handles
● Sexual or violent thoughts or images that frequently intrude on your thinking
● Fixation on ensuring that items are lined up and orderly

Security-Related Behavior

● Repeatedly checking that doors and windows are locked
● Frequently contacting loved ones to ensure they’re safe
● Repeatedly reviewing fire hazards such as ensuring the stove is off or candles have been extinguished

Excessive Cleanliness

● Excessive hand washing
● Frequent cleaning of kitchen counters and appliances
● Frequent dusting or vacuuming
● Washing or rewashing clothes that have had little or no use

Continual Arranging

● Struggling to find the “right” position for furniture in a room
● Aligning food items in a pantry so that all have their labels facing outward
● Excessive tidying

Repetitive Actions and Hoarding

● Attempting to relieve stress by doing things like repeating certain words, counting items or tapping on the table
● Excessive praying or performing other religious rituals
● Gathering and refusing to discard items that others might consider junk or waste, like empty food containers

If you or a loved one exhibits signs and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, you should talk with a doctor or therapist. They can tell you about ways to address the condition.

Learn More About OCD Signs and Symptoms with Baptist Health

Keep learning about different aspects of mental and behavioral health with Baptist Health’s blog. If you’re looking for treatment or more information about your behavioral health, please contact a behavioral health provider with Baptist Health today.

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