What are the Main Signs of OCD? | Understanding OCD Symptoms

What Are The Signs of OCD?

Published:  October 12, 2023

The journey through Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be a challenging path, whether you’re directly affected or supporting a loved one. In this article, we’ll navigate OCD signs and symptoms to understand more about the common obsessions and compulsions. Whether you’re seeking answers, guidance, or simply a better understanding of OCD, this article serves as your gateway to knowledge, healing, and recovery.

What Does OCD mean?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by the presence of obsessions and compulsions that affect daily life. OCD can be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors. Stressful life events or trauma can trigger OCD symptoms in those with a genetic predisposition and also, neurobiological factors contribute to imbalances in neurotransmitters which partially regulate mood and anxiety.

It’s important to note that OCD is a treatable condition, and early intervention can improve quality of life. If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of OCD, seeking professional help is the first step toward effective management and recovery.

Signs of OCD in Adults

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a condition that knows no boundaries and can affect individuals of all ages, including adults. The signs of OCD in adults go around the presence of obsessions and compulsions and something to keep in mind is that these intrusive and distressing symptoms can change daily life’s basic actions. While the specific obsessions and compulsions can vary from person to person, common signs include:

  • Experiencing persistent, intrusive thoughts or images that cause distress.
  • Feeling forced to engage in repetitive behaviors or mental acts.
  • Attempting to reduce the distress caused by obsessions through compulsive actions.
  • Spending a significant amount of time on obsessions and compulsions.

Seeking professional help is a crucial step in managing these symptoms effectively and regaining control over daily life basis. Do not hesitate to contact our specialized professional to get OCD treatment at MindRx.

What are Common OCD Obsessions?

OCD obsessions can take various forms, and individuals may experience different types of intrusive thoughts. Some common OCD obsessions include:

  • Contamination Obsessions: Fear of germs, dirt, or contamination, leading to excessive cleaning or handwashing.
  • Harm Obsessions: Intrusive thoughts about causing harm to oneself or others, often leading to checking behaviors.
  • Symmetry and Order Obsessions: A strong need for objects or items to be arranged in a specific, symmetrical manner.
  • Religious or Moral Obsessions: Intrusive thoughts related to religious or moral concerns, leading to compulsive prayers or rituals.
  • Sexual Obsessions: Distressing sexual thoughts or fears that may lead to avoidance or compulsive behaviors.

According to Matthew Kristofor, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner:

“Everyone at times has unwanted or unpleasant thoughts, but when that unpleasant thought is persistent enough to interrupt other thoughts, you may have an obsession.  Some common obsessions for those who suffer with OCD include fear of infection, a need for orderliness, and fear of harming yourself or others by mistake.  

Compulsive behaviors begin as a way to alleviate or prevent anxiety caused by excessive thoughts.  For example, some people who fear germs might wash their hands repeatedly.  Most people with OCD realize that the compulsive behaviors are irrational but they feel that they must complete these behaviors. “

Book with Matthew

What Are Examples of OCD Compulsions?

OCD compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that individuals with OCD engage in to reduce the distress caused by obsessions. Common examples of compulsions include:

  • Excessive Cleaning: Repeatedly washing hands or cleaning items due to contamination fears.
  • Checking: Constantly verifying locks or safety measures to alleviate fears of harm.
  • Counting and Repeating: Counting objects or repeating words to reduce anxiety.
  • Arranging and Organizing: Rearranging items until they feel “just right” or perfectly symmetrical.
  • Reassurance-Seeking: Repeatedly asking for reassurance from others to alleviate obsessions.

How to Treat OCD Symptoms?

Effective treatment for OCD typically involves cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with a specific focus on exposure and response prevention (ERP).

ERP involves a systematic and gradual process where individuals intentionally confront their obsessions, which are distressing and intrusive thoughts or images. This “exposure” to obsessions without engaging in compulsions allows adults with OCD to desensitize themselves to the distress associated with their obsessions and over repeated exposures, also learn that the anticipated harm or discomfort doesn’t occur.

OCD Treatment at MindRx

At MindRx, we offer comprehensive OCD treatment that combines evidence-based therapies and personalized care plans. Our experienced mental health professionals work closely with individuals to develop effective strategies for managing and alleviating OCD symptoms. If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support and guidance. We are dedicated to helping you regain control of your life and achieve lasting relief from OCD symptoms.