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About OCD

About OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) features a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that
lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily
activities and cause significant distress. You may try to ignore or stop your obsessions, but that only
increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts to try to ease
your stress. Despite efforts to ignore or get rid of bothersome thoughts or urges, they keep coming back.
This leads to more ritualistic behavior -the vicious cycle of OCD.

Obsession symptoms
OCD obsessions are repeated, persistent and unwanted thoughts, urges or images that are intrusive and
cause distress or anxiety. You might try to ignore them or get rid of them by performing a compulsive
behavior or ritual. These obsessions typically intrude when you are trying to think of or do other things.
Obsessions often have themes to them:

  • Fear of contamination or dirt
  • Doubting and having difficulty tolerating uncertainty
  • Needing things orderly and symmetrical
  • Aggressive or horrific thoughts about losing control and harming yourself or others
  • Unwanted thoughts, including aggression, or sexual or religious subjects

Examples of obsession signs and symptoms include:

  • Fear of being contaminated by touching objects others have touched
  • Doubts that you have locked the door or turned off the stove
  • Intense stress when objects are not orderly or facing a certain way
  • Images of driving your car into a crowd of people

Compulsion symptoms
OCD compulsions are repetitive behaviors that you feel driven to perform. These repetitive behaviors or
mental acts are meant to reduce anxiety related to your obsessions or prevent something bad from
happening. However, engaging in the compulsions brings no pleasure and may offer only a temporary
relief from anxiety. You may make up rules or rituals to follow that help control your anxiety when you
are having obsessive thoughts. These compulsions are excessive and often are not realistically related to
the problem the are intended to fix.
As with obsessions, compulsions typically have themes:

  • Washing and cleaning
  • Checking
  • Counting
  • Orderliness
  • Following a strict routine
  • Demanding reassurance

Examples of compulsion signs and symptoms include:

  • Handwashing until your skin becomes raw
  • Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they are locked
  • Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it is off
  • Counting in certain patterns
  • Silently repeating a prayer, word or phrase
  • Arranging your canned goods to face the same way

Dayton Behavioral Care | Phone: 937-281-0900 | 627 S. Edwin C. Moses Boulevard, Dayton, OH 45417 | Office Hours: 8:30am - 5pm

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