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OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder is a health disorder of the mind that affects those in all walks of life and at all ages. It occurs when someone is caught up with a cycle of compulsions and obsessions. Obsessions are intrusive, unwanted images and thoughts that cause us to have fretful thoughts. A compulsion is a behavior that a person uses to lower their distress over the obsession. The symptoms of OCD vary greatly from person to person. Researchers and clinicians suggest OCD be divided among different types based on symptoms.
What Are the Different Types of OCD?
1. Washing and Cleaning
Those suffering with this type of OCD have a contamination fear that is irrational. They live in a constant fear of diseases spread by filth, viruses, bacteria and foreign substances. They are incessantly washing their hands, floors and counters throughout the day. This may be why the person won’t shake your hand, or has to wash right after or you see the person constantly wiping down surfaces.
People with this type of OCD have symptoms that include constantly checking appliances, doors and lights. People with this OCD are afraid of not checking something and suffering a terrible consequence.
This is someone who can’t leave the office without double checking all the doors and windows or someone who can’t go to sleep without going over all their windows and doors. People with this OCD will repeatedly check and recheck locks and such.
This is one of the most common types of OCD. With this classification, a person is constantly organizing, arranging or symmetrically placing things, until they are perceived as correct. Those with this disorder can’t fully concentrate or start a task until their surroundings are organized to their satisfaction. If someone else rearranges the environment, they will be greatly distressed until they put it back how they prefer.
These pack rats have a form of OCD that makes them compulsively save and collect items that are mostly useless. This form has people stockpiling things in their home, which often ends up with a cluttered car, home and chaotic living conditions that most people wouldn’t endure.
5. Violent Intrusive Thoughts
There are some with OCD who are living with violent intrusive thoughts or fears that they will commit violence against their loved ones. These thoughts could include:
- Violently harming loved ones or children
- Killing people that are innocent
- Using sharp objects or kitchen knives – they may feel a compulsion to lock these up.
- Jumping in front of a fast-moving bus or train
- Fear of poisoning loved ones – they may feel a compulsion to avoid cooking.
- Acting on impulses that are unwanted, such as stabbing someone or running them over
- Thoughts about touching people wrong with the goal to hurt them
Most who suffer from these fears end up thinking of themselves as a bad person because of the thoughts. They believe having these thoughts means they are capable of acting on it. They are forever analyzing, questioning or going over the OCD aspects that are so disturbing. This becomes increasingly upsetting because the sufferers are afraid to open up to doctors for fear of how they will be looked at.
6. Sexual Intrusive Thoughts
Having sexual intrusive thoughts is another one of the types of OCD. These thoughts can cause sexually inappropriate harm to people, especially children. They may also question their sexuality repeatedly. Some obsessive thoughts include:
- Fear of being attracted to children sexually or pedophilia
- Fear of being attracted to members of your own family
- Fear of being attracted to same sex individuals and fear of being attracted to someone of the opposite sex
- Fear or thoughts of inappropriately touching children
- Intrusive sexual thoughts about religious figures, saints or God
7. Intrusive Relationship Thoughts
This is when obsessive thoughts about a relationship, a partner or sexuality become the focus. Thoughts can include:
- Doubts about faithfulness of partner
- Always analyzing depth of partner’s feelings, and scrutinizing the relationship until fault is found
- Constant need for approval and reassurance from partner
- Worry that they may cheat on partner
8. Body Focused Obsessions
Sensorimotor OCD is a hyperawareness of body sensations. These symptoms can include:
- Fixation on blinking
- Obsession with how they are breathing
- Fixation on eye floaters and other visual distractions
- Focusing on how much you are swallowing or salivating
- Over-awareness of body parts such as your nose when reading
Are there any more types of OCD? Yes. This is a term used to describe thoughts that are intrusive. With OCD, this means you will have prolonged thinking about a theme or question which is unproductive. Ruminations differ from obsessive thoughts because people don’t resist them. These can often dwell on philosophical, religious or metaphysical topics, such as life after death, origins of the universe, morality and more.
Some symptoms of this form of OCD can include:
- Seeing sin in everything
- Sacrilegious thoughts that are unwanted about the devil
- Constant doubt about whether you committed a sin or not
- Taking religion to extreme, such as visiting confession too often
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