Wednesday, October 12, 2011

OCD Awareness: {Obsessions & Compulsions}

Welcome back to another post as part of OCD Awareness Week. If you haven't read the previous posts, check them out:

OCD Awareness: {Introduction}
OCD Awareness: {Statistics & Barriers to Treatment}

Today I thought I would go into categories for obsessions & compulsions. Sometimes it's easy just to think of the "clean issue" with OCD, but there's much more involved in this as well. It's when we know and understand that we can begin to support. The information that follows is from this source.


  • Contamination (body fluids, germs, or other contaminants)
  • Losing Control (fear of acting impulsively to harm self or others, yelling, stealing, etc)
  • Perfectionism (fear of losing information or things, exactness)
  • Harm (fear of harming others or being responsible for something happening)
  • Unwanted sexual thoughts (forbidden sexual thoughts or images, obsessions of homosexuality)
  • Religious Obsessions (concern of offending God, excessive concern of morality)
  • Other Obsessions (concern with getting illness or superstitious ideas)
  • Washing & Cleaning (Excessive washing/cleaning in the right way or for far too long)
  • Checking (making sure you didn't hurt self/others, making sure you didn't make a mistake)
  • Repeating (re-reading/writing, routine activities (walking in/out of door), repeating in multiples)
  • Mental Compulsions (Reviewing events, praying to prevent harm, "canceling out" thoughts)
  • Other Compulsions (collecting items (hoarding), putting things in order, asking to get reassurance)
Of course under each of these categories the way the individual lives them out is different. An individual may struggle primarily with only one type of obsessions, or may struggle with pieces of many types of obsessions or compulsions. Each individual is different and unique in their own struggle and expression of these aspects. I would like to mention one thing in regards to the obsessions list. Most of these may seem familiar to you. I think the ones from this list that people don't hear about as much is the "harm" and "unwanted sexual thoughts" categories. I want to stress that just because an individual struggles with obsessive thinking in these areas DOES NOT MEAN they will act on them. In fact, people who struggle with these types of thinking don't act on them. For more information on these Violent & Sexual obsessions, click here

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