1. What OCD is and how it manifests
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental health condition that involves intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). OCD can take many different forms, but some of the most common include obsessive doubts (e.g., “Did I lock the door?”), excessive cleanliness and hygiene rituals, counting and checking rituals, and intrusive thoughts about harming oneself or others.
OCD usually manifests in childhood or adolescence, but it can also start in adulthood. It affects men and women equally, and while it’s not technically considered a “disease”, it can be quite disabling if left untreated.
2. The different types of OCD
There are many different types of OCD, but some of the most common include:
This type of OCD involves intrusive thoughts about something bad happening (e.g., “Did I lock the door?”). These thoughts can be extremely distressing and can lead to compulsions such as checking and rechecking locks, appliances, etc.
Excessive cleanliness and hygiene rituals:
This form of OCD often involves excessive cleaning or hand-washing rituals in an attempt to ward off germs or contamination. People with this type of OCD may also avoid certain objects or places that they believe are unclean.
Counting and checking rituals:
This type of OCD often involves counting or checking things over and over again to make sure they’re done correctly or that nothing has been missed. People with this type of OCD may also have trouble starting tasks or finishing them due to the need for constant checking.
Intrusive thoughts about harming oneself or others:
This type of OCD often includes disturbing thoughts about harming oneself or others. People with this type of OCD may feel like they’re going crazy or that they’re evil for having these thoughts. They may also engage in compulsions such as praying or confessing their thoughts to others in order to try to get rid of them.
OCD is typically treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Although most patients with OCD respond to treatment, some patients continue to experience symptoms.
Sometimes people with OCD also have other mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphic disorder, a disorder in which someone mistakenly believes that a part of their body is abnormal. It is important to consider these other disorders when making decisions about treatment.