“OCD” or “obsessive-compulsive disorder” is a form of anxiety disorder that causes the sufferer to have obsessive thoughts that are unreasonable and unwanted that lead to ritualistic or repetitive behaviors that the individual must perform in order to relate the anxiety that occurs with their obsessive thoughts.
Individuals who suffer from OCD recognize the fact that their unwanted thoughts or obsessions are unreasonable but can not control them and trying to suppress them only increases their anxiety, therefore in order to relieve their distress they must follow through with their compulsions which vary from one OCD patient to another but are typically ritualistic or repetitive in nature.
Common OCD Obsession Symptoms
Individuals with OCD will experience uncontrollable obsessive thoughts or ideas that are undesirable and unreasonable and also tend to occur in stressful situations as well as while trying to think about or accomplish other tasks. While the obsessive thoughts that occur with OCD can be different for each individual, they are typically theme based.
For instance, one of the more common obsessive thoughts associated with OCD are the fear of dirt and germs that cause the individual to have unreasonable or unrealistic thoughts of being contaminated such as when shaking someone's hand. Another common obsession that occurs among patients with OCD is the need to have everything in order or symmetrical such as the obsession to have things organized in a specific place and a certain way at all times.
Other common obsessive thoughts that occur with OCD are the fear of having left doors unlocked or appliances left on with the need to check them over and over again. Obsessive thoughts patterns also associated with OCD include the fear of harming oneself or others such as accidently running someone over while driving, or jumping from a high location such as a bridge.
Some individuals experience aggressive or impulsive thoughts such as visualizing or imagining appropriate sexual behavior with others or the impulse to act in a socially unacceptable manner at a social event or function or some other public setting.
Common OCD Compulsion Symptoms
In order to relive their anxiety caused by the obsessive thoughts, an individual with OCD will perform repetitive or ritualistic behaviors in order to treat their mind of these thoughts, however, this is typically only temporary as these thoughts will reoccur and they will have to perform these compulsive rituals again.
A common compulsion that many individuals with OCD experience is the need to clean the areas of their home frequently including areas that they may have cleaned just hours before or wash their hands or shower excessively which causes their skin to become irritated or raw.
Another common compulsion with OCD is the need to count in a specific pattern over and over again or perform their compulsive rituals a specific number of times. Individuals with OCD may also have the compulsion to count things such as panes of glass in a window or steps. Unfortunately, these compulsions take up many hours in the day for some individuals and clearly interfer with the quality of their life; however, there are forms of treatment that can help control the symptoms of OCD that typically include a combination of psychotherapy and medications.