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      (Obsessive compulsive disorder) OCD Symptoms

      Common Health Problems

      (Obsessive compulsive disorder) OCD Symptoms

      Updated on 3 November 2023

      Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by a series of unwanted thoughts and fears that push a person to do things in a repetitive pattern. This obsessive and compulsive behaviour pattern signifies distress and interferes with day-to-day activities. You may try to stop your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour, but that will only lead to further distress. Ultimately, you will be driven to perform an obsessive-compulsive act in search of some respite from the distress. This process becomes a ritual and leads to the unbreakable OCD cycle.

      In this article, we will discuss some peculiar OCD symptoms that a person suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder experiences on a day-to-day basis.

      Obsessive Thoughts

      OCD usually includes both obsessions and compulsions too. But it is possible that the condition only has obsessive thoughts at its root. The types of obsessive thoughts that you might have are as follows:

      1. Fear of contamination or dirt

      The fear of contamination or dirt can be an obsession for many. People who clean too much and get rid of even a speck of dirt usually have obsessive thoughts. When they obsess about cleanliness, they cause such OCD symptoms.

      2. Doubting yourself and difficulty handling uncertainty

      Doubting and having difficulty with uncertainty are also obsessive thoughts. People who keep doubting others and also dislike uncertainty might be under OCD behaviour. For example, to reduce uncertainty, they might try to find answers and stay obsessed with them until they find the answer.

      3. Extra focus on symmetry

      Many people are also obsessed with keeping things orderly and symmetrical in their living space. While the organization is significant, the obsession is not good.

      4. Aggressive thoughts that include harming yourself

      Having aggressive thoughts about harming yourself or others because of some triggers are also unusual behaviour and lead to many issues in your daily life.

      5. Sexual or religious thoughts

      Thoughts that are inappropriate, weird or unwanted, and extreme behaviour in religious or sexual aspects is also a kind of obsessive thought cycle.

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      Compulsion symptoms

      Compulsive behaviour is the behaviour pattern that you want to perform again and again. These physical or mental acts are performed to seek respite in stress or difficult times. However, these compulsions are not behaviour patterns you might follow for pleasure. These actions give you only temporary relief, not complete relief from the stress factor.

      Types of compulsion behaviour are as follows:

      • Washing and cleaning
      • Checking
      • Orderliness
      • Counting
      • Demanding reassurance
      • Following a strict routine

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      You might also see OCD symptoms such as:

      1. Excessive Hand-washing

      Hand washing is normal behaviour, but when this action becomes excessive, your hands become raw and red.

      2. Checking doors repeatedly

      We might experience anxiety linked with locking doors and windows when we leave a place. This can be a compulsive behaviour pattern. Checking once is okay, but the compulsive pattern is prominent if you keep worrying about it.

      3. Checking stove repeatedly

      Checking the stove to confirm whether it is off can again be a sign of fear and anxiety. The stove should be properly shut off. However, if you keep worrying about it, you face an issue with the fear and anxiety of an explosion.

      4. Certain patterns computation

      The compulsive counting behaviour is also a major sign of OCD. The orderly counting pattern is a major compulsive behaviour issue.

      5. Repeating a prayer or phrase

      When you are hooked onto a certain word, prayer or phrase, that is also a compulsive behaviour pattern. The prayer or phrase might offer you some respite as reassurance, but it is also a part of the obsessive-compulsive pattern.

      6. Arrangement of canned goods in a certain way

      Organisation and arrangement of the entire canned goods in your house in a certain way is also a very compulsive behaviour pattern.

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      When to see a doctor

      You must consult a doctor when OCD symptoms become severe and create major disruptions in your life. The symptoms fluctuate in severity and can also change in pattern and behaviour. If you have been experiencing a lot of stress lately and the symptoms worsen with time, it is vital to go to a psychologist. If your quality and pace of life are affected by the behaviour patterns, you should go to a doctor. Many clinics offer you therapy and medication to keep your OCD behaviour under control. With different approaches, a person can cure their OCD cycle and become normal.


      1. Janardhan Reddy YC, Sundar AS, Narayanaswamy JC, Math SB. (2017). Clinical practice guidelines for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Indian J Psychiatry. NCBI

      2. Richter PMA, Ramos RT. (2018). Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Continuum (Minneap Minn). NCBI


      (Obsessive compulsive disorder) OCD Symptoms in Hindi, (Obsessive compulsive disorder) OCD Symptoms in Bengali, (Obsessive compulsive disorder) OCD Symptoms in Tamil, (Obsessive compulsive disorder) OCD Symptoms in Telugu

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      Written by

      Charu Pratap

      Charu has been a seasoned corporate professional with over a decade of experience in Human Resource Management. She has managed the HR function for start-ups as well as established companies. But aside from her corporate career she was always fond of doing things with a creative streak. She enjoys gardening and writing and is an experienced content expert and linguist. Her own experiences with motherhood and raising a baby made her realize the importance of reliable and fact-based parenting information. She was engaged in creating content for publishing houses, research scholars, corporates as well as for her own blog.

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