Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms

Obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms include both obsessions and compulsions.

OCD obsession symptoms
OCD obsessions are repeated, persistent and unwanted ideas, thoughts, images or impulses that you have involuntarily and that seem to make no sense. These obsessions typically intrude when you’re trying to think of or do other things.

Obsessions often have themes to them, such as:
Fear of contamination or dirt
Having things orderly and symmetrical
Aggressive or horrific impulses
Sexual images or thoughts

OCD symptoms involving obsessions may include:
Fear of being contaminated by shaking hands or by touching objects others have touched
Doubts that you’ve locked the door or turned off the stove
Thoughts that you’ve hurt someone in a traffic accident
Intense distress when objects aren’t orderly or facing the right way
Images of hurting your child
Impulses to shout obscenities in inappropriate situations
Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands
Replaying pornographic images in your mind
Dermatitis because of frequent hand washing
Skin lesions because of picking at your skin
Hair loss or bald spots because of hair pulling

OCD compulsion symptoms
OCD compulsions are repetitive behaviors that you feel driven to perform. These repetitive behaviors are meant to prevent or reduce anxiety or distress related to your obsessions. For instance, if you believe you ran over someone in your car, you may return to the apparent scene over and over because you just can’t shake your doubts. You may also make up rules or rituals to follow that help control the anxiety you feel when having obsessive thoughts.

As with OCD obsessions, compulsions typically have themes, such as:
Washing and cleaning
Demanding reassurances
Performing the same action repeatedly

OCD symptoms involving compulsions may include:
Hand washing until your skin becomes raw
Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they’re locked
Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it’s off
Counting in certain patterns
Making sure all your canned goods face the same way

When to see a doctor
There’s a difference between being a perfectionist and having obsessive-compulsive disorder. Perhaps you keep the floors in your house so clean that you could eat off them. Or you like your knickknacks arranged just so. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be so severe and time-consuming that it literally becomes disabling. You may be able to do little else but spend time on your obsessions and compulsions — washing your hands for hours each day, for instance. With OCD, you may have a low quality of life because the condition rules most of your days. You may be very distressed but feel powerless to stop your urges. Most adults can recognize that their obsessions and compulsions don’t make sense. Children, however, may not understand what’s wrong.

If your obsessions and compulsions are affecting your life, see your doctor or mental health provider. It’s common for people with OCD to be ashamed and embarrassed about the condition. But even if your rituals are deeply ingrained, treatment can help.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/ds00189/dsection=symptoms

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