Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Today I am adding another post regarding the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Why another one? Because I felt it was necessary for this blog and for my audience.

What are obsessions?

Obsessions are irrational thoughts, images, or urges that a person has frequently and that are experienced as intrusive, inappropriate, upsetting, distressing, or frightening.

What are compulsions?

Compulsions are behaviors that people use to reduce the anxiety caused by their compulsions. Those activities may follow a rigid, self-imposed set of rules that the person believes will prevent bad things from happening.

Whereas obsessions tend to make people more uncomfortable and anxious, compulsions reduce their anxiety and discomfort.

Although most people with OCD have both obsessions and compulsions, it is possible to have OCD with just obsessions or just compulsions.


Common Types of Obsessions

  • Aggressive Obsessions: Unrealistic fears of hurting a loved one.
  • Contamination obsessions: Fear of coming into contact with germs, toxins, detergents, chemicals, etc.
  • Symmetry and exactness obsessions: Need to have things just right.
  • Somatic obsessions: Obsessions related to the body.
  • Hoarding and saving-related obsessions: Urges to keep useless objects or to collect things excessively.
  • Religious obsessions: Intrusive thoughts or images of Satan or other “forbidden” religious symbols, repeated blasphemous thoughts
  • Sexual obsessions: Unrealistic sexual thoughts that the person finds disturbing
  • Miscellaneous obsessions: Other repetitive thoughts that an individual finds disturbing or frightening (for example being late, always keeping track of the time, like me)

Common Types of Compulsions

  • Checking: making sure that the stove is off, doors are locked, etc.
  • Washing and cleaning: excessive hand washing, house cleaning, etc.
  • Repeating: repeating actions, words, prayers, etc.
  • Ordering or arranging: Spending hours lining objects up on various surfaces according to particular rules; arranging items in the kitchen cabinets according to size, etc.
  • Counting: Counting tiles on the ceiling, blinks, words, etc.
  • Hoarding: Buying the same T-shirt in every color, buying  X watches because they are on sale, not throwing away the receipts, etc.
  • Miscellaneous compulsions: Other repeated behaviors like touching objects, adding a number on license plates, etc.

Post made possible thanks to Montse M. 

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