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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

4 Categories of Symptoms

  • Contamination and Washing

  • Doubts About Accidental Harm and Checking

  • Symmetry, Arranging, Counting, "Just Right"

  • Taboo thoughts and Rituals

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Common Obsessions

  • Contamination

    • Fear of bodily fluids​ (feces, urine, vomit, blood)

    • Fear of germs and/or catching a illness or disease

    • Fear of environmental contaminations (mold, radiation, etc.)

    • Fear of household chemicals (bleach)

    • Fear of dirt, mud, and insects

  • Losing Control 

    • Fear of harming oneself

    • Fear of harming others

    • Fear of stealing others' items

    • Fear of having violent thoughts

  • Unwanted Sexual Thoughts

    • Fear of ​having perverse sexual thoughts

    • Fear of acting on said thoughts

    • Fear of being homosexual or fear of being heterosexual

    • Fear of having sexual thoughts about children and/or incest

  • Harm

    • Fear of being responsible for catastrophic events (fire, burglary)

    • Fear of being responsible for harm caused by oneself (dropping item on ground causing someone to later trip and fall)

  • Perfectionism

    • Fear of items not being straight or even numbered

    • Fear of discarding items in case they may be important 

    • Fear of losing items

  • Religious 

    • Fear of offending religious figure

    • Fear of doing the wrong thing 

    • Fear of the color red or number 666

    • Fear of shouting obscenities in worship

Common Compulsions

  • Cleaning and Washing

    • Washing hands excessively ​

    • Excessively repeating bathroom routines (brushing teeth, showering, etc.)

    • Cleaning bedrooms or other areas in home repeatedly and for long periods of time

    • Obsessively cleaning to remove 'toxins' or 'contaminations' from self

  • Checking

    • Checking to make sure oneself did not make a mistake​

    • Checking if others made a mistake

    • Checking that nothing bad has happened

    • Checking that oneself did not harm another

    • Checking that one did not harm self

    • "Canceling" (saying something bad and canceling it out by saying something good)

  • Repeating

    • Re-reading something thought to be missed​

    • Re-writing something thought to be incorrect

    • Repeating everyday activities (opening/closing doors, upstairs/downstairs, up/down from chairs)

    • Repeating body movements (tapping, touching, blinking, etc.)

    • Repeating activities in numbers (doing an activity a certain amount of times because it feels safe or right)

Additional Resources