Signs and symptoms of OCD
OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is a mental disorder that affects millions of people every year. The condition is characterized by reoccurring obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.
Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts that cause anxiety and discomfort and are normally about dirt, disease, disasters, accidents or the fear of harming someone else. Obsessions often start with the words “what if”; “What if I hurt my baby while sleep?”, “What if I forgot to turn off the water at home?”, “What if I get an infectious disease?” etc. The obsession can also be about an abnormal need to control or perform everyday routines in the “perfect” and “right” way.
These obsessions trigger anxiety, which is then managed by performing compulsions that are repetitive concrete or mental behaviors. Compulsions may be that you wash your hands often and thoroughly, you get dressed in a certain way in the morning, you mumble a chant, collects things and so on.
The way OCD is manifested differs from person to person, but common categories of compulsions are:
Washing: The obsessive need to wash yourself or things around you often and thoroughly to avoid dirt and diseases.
Checking: The obsessive need to continually check things (that the oven is turned off, that the door is locked and so on) to avoid danger.
Doubting: The obsessive need to perform things “in the right way” to avoid something bad from happening.
Arranging: The obsessive need to have things in order and in symmetry to avoid disaster. This includes being superstitious when it comes to numbers, colors and symmetry.
Collecting: The obsessive need to collect unnecessary things to avoid the risk that something bad will happen if thrown away.
People suffering from OCD often realize that their thoughts are unreasonable and that their compulsions are unnecessary, but still feel that they need to perform them to have control of their lives. Many are often too ashamed to ask for help and instead try to hide their disorder, believing that they are the only one in the world with these abnormal thoughts and behaviors.
It is very important to understand that having obsessions or compulsions does not mean that you are suffering from OCD. When suffering from OCD, the compulsions are often very time-consuming and significantly disturb your daily routines and cause distress in your life.
These are a few specific compulsions that illustrate how irrational the obsessive thoughts are, yet the compulsions NEED to be executed to avoid or ease the anxiety:
Further reading: Overcome your ocd with online therapy.
This OCD test is not to be seen as a final diagnosis. If you are uncertain about your result, we suggest that you get professional help as soon as possible.
If you are feeling suicidal
If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in immediate crisis, please contact your national emergency number or go to Befrienders Worldwide that offers crisis resources worldwide.