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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

10 Types of OCD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a type of brain disorder comprising of two parts:

Obsession – Where certain things which are unwanted can hamper your life adversely and make you lose focus on other things

Compulsions – it is a result of obsession where you feel you have to work in a specific way to fulfil your obsession

There are numerous types of OCD and certainly goes far beyond normal understanding. It is a type of disorder that causes considerable suffering and impairment.

Some of these OCD types are listed below:

#1 Investigating/Checking

Individuals suffering from this type of OCD usually experience images that are intrusive, fears, and impulses related to the chance of harming themselves or someone else unintentionally by means of carelessness or negligence. Here the obsession is fear of damage, fire, leaks or harm, whereas, the compulsion is the need to check.

Common checking obsessive worries and compulsions include:

  1. Checking door locks and/or windows multiple times due to a ‘feeling’ of certainty that they’re secure.

  2. Checking gas knobs or stoves physically to ensure it is in zero/off position or constantly staring at the knobs until there is a ‘feeling’ of certainty that it is safely off.

#2 Contamination

This type of OCD involves obsession as the fear of being dirty and contaminated which might cause harm to one’s self or a loved one. The common compulsions might be to wash or clean or avoid. Some examples include:

  1. Not using or avoiding public toilets due to fear of getting contaminated with germs

  2. Avoiding going into crowded places due to a fear of catching an infection.

#3 Mental Contamination

Feelings of mental contamination can become an obsession at times. This develops when a person is badly treated or made them feel physically or mentally disgusted about themselves through critical or verbally abusive remarks.

This can create a feeling of internal uncleanliness. Symptoms include:

  1. Individuals may end up in repetitive and compulsive attempts to clean off the dirt away by showering and washing.

#4 Hoarding

Hoarding type of OCD is a type in which a person keeps useless or worn out possessions, and is unable to discard them.

Examples include:

  1. Holding on things like school books, or clothes, and maybe a gift which is broken and not useful.

  2. Holding onto specific obsessive worries/fears.

  3. Buying things at the store often in unique numbers like 3 apples, 2 bananas and considering them as magic numbers.

#5 Rumination

In this type of OCD the individual develops intrusive thoughts or a deep consideration about something.

Example include:

  1. A person may ruminate about things which would happen to them after death. They go deep into thinking and also visualise scenes of death, heaven, or hell.

#6 Intrusive Thoughts

In this type of OCD, a person may undergo thoughts that are horrifying, repulsive, and disgusting and often repetitive in nature.

Examples include:

  1. Thinking about causing harm to their loved ones which can be sexual harm or violence.

  2. Repetitive thoughts about the suitability of a relationship, one’s partner, or one’s own sexuality.

  3. Fearing being sexually attracted to children or one’s own family member

#7  Symmetry And Orderliness

People with this of OCD are extremely obsessive on keeping things arranged in a particular manner, excessive arranging, or organizing.

  1. Obsessed with buying things, or throwing away things to make it look just right

  2. A habit of symmetrically arranging things like shoes in a closet, utensils on a rack, or repeatedly rearranging clothes by colour or alphabetical order.

#8 Pre-natal or Postnatal OCD

This type of OCD develops during pregnancy and after delivery where mums find themselves so distressed, worried and develop a fear that they may hurt their baby. The obsession reaches a level where the mother will take measures to manage their anxiety or prevent their fears coming true. Examples include:

She may start reading various content on google or book an appointment with a doctor or even spend large amounts of time cleaning and washing in a fear that the baby may get affected.

#9 Homosexual OCD

The term may not be right but it’s meant to refer to a person who is not gay but develops a fear of being gay. Similarly, the exact same type of OCD may also impact gay people where they suffer from obsessional fears of not being gay.

#10 Ritual

It is a specific type of compulsive behaviour where an individual follows a set of patterns of behaviours with clearly defined starting and end points. Example include:

  1. Washing your face from the left side and then right side, followed by cleaning your forehead, and if interrupted then the sufferer starts the whole process as a ritual from the very beginning.

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