Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Types And Symptoms

If you have OCD, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts to try to ease your stress. Read ahead to know more.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaPublished at: Sep 21, 2022Updated at: Sep 21, 2022
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Types And Symptoms

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD often have a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears, typically obsessively, that can lead them to do repetitive behaviours or compulsions. These obsessions and compulsions  tend to interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress in a person's life.

Types Of OCD

In simpler terms, if you have OCD, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts to try to ease your stress. It is noted that despite efforts to ignore or get rid of these bothersome thoughts or urges, they keep bouncing back. This leads to more ritualistic behaviours, which is termed as the vicious cycle of OCD. There are four types of OCD:

  1. Contamination
  2. Doubt/harm
  3. Perfection
  4. Forbidden thoughts

Symptoms Of OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder usually includes a person not realising that their obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable, but they take up a great deal of time and interfere with the daily routine and functioning. These symptoms may include:

  • Cleaning needlessly
  • Ordering and arranging
  • Fear of dirt or any contamination in the near surroundings
  • Unwanted thoughts
  • Following a strict routine
  • Demanding reassurance
  • Feelings of anxiety, disgust, or unease
  • No tolerance of dealing with things that are not a certain way
Types And Symptoms Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A few examples signs and symptoms of obsessive and compulsive include:

  • Fear of being contaminated by touching objects others have touched
  • Intense stress when objects aren't orderly arranged or facing a certain way
  • Thoughts about shouting obscenities 
  • Acting inappropriately in public
  • Avoiding situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands or eating out of turn

Severity Of OCDs

There's a difference between being a perfectionist and having OCD. Obsessive compulsive thoughts aren't simply excessive worries about real problems in your life, or liking things clean or organised. 

It usually begins in the teen or young adult years of a person. Symptoms usually begin gradually and tend to vary in severity throughout the life. The types of obsessions and compulsions people experience can also change over time or become nil. Symptoms generally worsen when a person is experiencing greater and prolonged stress. OCD is usually considered a lifelong disorder, can have mild to moderate symptoms or be so severe and time-consuming that it becomes disabling for some.

If your obsessions and compulsions are affecting the quality of life, it's time for you to visit a doctor or mental health professional for proper diagnosis and medical assistance.