OCD Symptoms

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a pattern of unwelcome thoughts and worries (obsessions) that lead to repetitive actions (compulsions).

Having both obsession symptoms and compulsion symptoms is common in obsessive-compulsive disorder. But, it is possible for people to have only obsessive symptoms or simply compulsion symptoms. Firstly, this article will go through about symptoms related to obsessions. Secondly, symptoms related to compulsions.

Obsession symptoms

Obsessions are recurring and undesirable thoughts, images, or urges that overwhelm the mind. Moreover, those are usually horrific to the individual and are difficult to let go of or control.

Obsessions that are frequent include:

  • A person has contamination phobias and anxieties of being ill, transmitting germs or poisonous substances. In addition, might transmit it to other people by touching items that others have touched. Consequently, avoid circumstances like shaking hands that might cause obsessions.
  • A person has doubts about locking the door or turning off the burner.
  • When things aren’t in order or facing the right way, it causes anxiety.
  • A person has fears of hurting others by acting irrationally. Therefore, driving your vehicle into a crowd of people comes to mind.
  • Thoughts of yelling obscenities or behaving unacceptably in public.
  • Sexual images that are not pleasant.
  • Thoughts that are sinful or criminal come to mind.

Compulsion symptoms

Compulsions are recurrent behaviours that can only avoid with extreme difficulty. Certainly, these rituals have the intention to decrease anxiety caused by your obsessions or prevent anything awful from occurring. However, these compulsions are extreme and frequently unrelated to obtaining factual safety.

Compulsions that are frequent include:

  • A person that hand-washing till the skin is red and irritated. 
  • Checking doors over and over again to see if they’re locked.
  • You keep checking, again and again, to see if the stove is turned off or not.
  • Counting is done in specific patterns.
  • Repetition of a prayer, speech, or phrase in silence.
  • Arrange your canned products so that they all face the same direction.
  • Seeking an overwhelming amount of reassurance from others.
  • Changing fearful thoughts into less irritating ones.

Risk factors of OCD

Factors that enhance the chance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) developing or being triggered. In other words, you may have a higher likelihood of developing OCD with many risk factors. In addition, OCD symptoms might become severe due to the following risk factors.

The following are some possible risk factors:

  • Having a relative who has OCD raises your chances of developing the disorder.
  • People with various mental health issues are more likely to develop OCD. For example, Anxiety disorders, Depression, or Substance abuse.
  • OCD symptoms may occur due to stress. Further, it’s frequently associated with severe life crises like the death of a loved one, divorce, close relationship challenges, or abuse.

Another Phrens Blog Post Related to This Topic- What is OCD


Photo by Liz Sanchez-Vegas, Muhammad Daudy, Possessed Photography, and Markus Winkler on Unsplash

  • Passer, M & Smith, R. (2015). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour. (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Winchester Hospital. (2020). Risk Factors for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). And, more information here.
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