Learn about the symptoms of OCD

Imagine that your mind got stuck...

Types of OCD

  • Checking

The door is locked. I know it's locked. I must check it again. The door is locked. I know it's locked. I must check it again. This ritual is repeated over and over again. It can last 5 minutes or it could last 5 hours. It will stop, but...the anxiety will remain until time passes and it 'feels right'. But...when will this happen?

  • Fear of Hurting Self or Loved One

I am so scared that I am going to hurt my wife or my child or my partner,. I think of this possiblity all day and night. What if I do hurt them? What will happen? At times, I'm so afraid that I can't leave my house for hours, days, or weeks becasuse I'm afraid I will get hurt. I can't walk into a room if there is anything sharp. I might lunge for the object and hurt my mom with it. I better not look over at that knife again. If I do look that's admitting I think it's a good idea to take the knife and cut my throat with it. I can't look at the knife.

  • Counting

I touch the table 3 times. It must be 3 times. Not 2 times. Not 4 times. 3 times! If I touch the table again, I must touch it 2 more times to make it 3 times. I must walk a certain number of steps. If I don't walk the exact number then I have to start over. I must swallow a certain number of times. Since we're always swallowing, this process never stops and I'm always counting.

  • Contamination

I can't touch anything. I am so afraid of getting contaminated. If I ride a street car or bus, all I can think of are the poles and seats that have been touched by others thousands of times - as well as the hundreds of people on transit with me. All money and tokens are dirty. How do I pay for my trip? I have to go to the washroom but I am not at home. I can't touch the doors so I wait until someone opens the door and I can follow them in. I can't touch anything in the washroom. How will I wash my hands when I'm done? I have scrubbed my home for hours but it's still not clean. My hands are not clean and now they are bleeding and I must clean them more. What if my clothes have semen on them. I will give everyone HIV that comes into contact with me. I can't wash the clothes or they will contaminate everything else. I will throw the clothes away -- but how? I will seal the clothes in plastic bags. But the sanitation crew will breathe in the HIV particles if I don't do a good enough job taping the plastic. I can burn the clothes, but then HIV fumes will go airborne and hurt many others. I will put all the clothes in one pile in my room that is off limits to anyone who visits my home. Just to be safe, I won't let anyone ever come visit me at my home.

  • Rumination

I can't get that damn song out of my head. It doesn't stop. I can't think or read or sleep. Stop that song! My mind is blank and I must fill it with something. Anything. But...I want quite but my mind will not allow itself to go blank. I can't even watch a movie because I won't be able to pay attention. I can't read a book because my mind goes so fast and is so full I don't even know what I just read so I read it again. Stop the noise! Please! Stop the noise!

  • Feeling “Just Right”

Every time I get up from a chair the chair must be left in a certain way or the opposite....Every time I sit in a chair it must first be in a certain position. When something has to feel 'just right', it may never be - but this will pass since if you are in a group of people you have to sit farily quickly as others do in your group.

  • Hoarding

There is a big difference between collecting and hoarding. Hoarding is OCD. This distinction is often misdiagnosed. If you collect something then it is possible to sell it or let it go. If you are a hoarder, it is virtually impossible to let it go. For example - you hoard newspapers and have piles of hundreds of newspapers or even thousadnds dating back 20 years. You can't let even 1 be taken from you because there might be something in it that is important to you. Hoarding can often be so bad that there is nowhere in one living space to move or sleep or cook. At times in severe cases it can become dangerous - a fire hazard or health issue. Sometimes the fire departement or health department become involved which can be devastating.

  • Sexual

I can't walk behind anyone because if I do I know I will throw them down and sodomize them. It's a small price to pay to not walk behind someone so that I don't rape them but how am I going to get to work on time if I can't walk behind anyone. I can always walk on the road away from everyone. I will walk sideways when following coworkers into a meeting, and if someone says something about me walking weird, I'll play it off -- just so I don't sodomize anyone.

  • Cleanliness
  • Skin Picking
  • Inflicting Pain
  • Trichotillomania
  • Religious

And Many More

Actions and Fears:

  • Fear of breaking by accident or on purpose something
  • Fear of doing something embarrassing in groups of people
  • Walking in front / behind / to the right/ to the left of someone
  • Aligning pens to be exactly as needed on desk – never just right
  • Brushing teeth so many times – actually takes hours