Characteristics Of OCD Behavior

February 20, 2021   •  Posted in: 

Characteristics Of OCD Behavior

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder manifests itself in uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors that disrupt your life. Left untreated, it can cause serious issues with relationships, and even negatively affect your health.

Characteristics and behaviors of OCD include:

  • Obsession with dirt, contamination, or a need to constantly clean
    • Washing hands frequently until they are raw
    • Using anti-bacterial liquid frequently until your hands are chapped
    • A belief that kitchen utensils or plate and glassware must be constantly cleaned to avoid contamination
    • Unfounded fears of catching a life-threatening disease
    • Obsession with one’s body (can also be manifested as an eating disorder)
    • Abnormal concerns about sticky substances, residues, and powders
  • Obsessive need for order and symmetry
    • An overwhelming need to align objects precisely, and feeling instant anxiety when they are moved or not aligned correctly
    • Intense concern about one’s personal appearance, or the appearance of your personal environments like your home or car
  • Obsession with sexual content
    • Uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts that you deem inappropriate
    • Fear of an inappropriate relationship, despite no actual desire to have one
    • A need to consistently view or discuss sexual material
  • Obsession with repetitive rituals like:
    • Repeating phrases or activities
    • Repeating questions again and again
    • Rewording or rewriting phrases
    • Counting objects again and again
  • Constantly worrying that something will go wrong, even when logically it is not so
    • Worrying that the iron was left on even after checking it multiple times
    • Worrying the house is unlocked
    • Worrying that a payment was not made (even when it is on auto-pay)
  • Obsession with hoarding
    • Saving useless material like old newspapers or empty jars
    • An inability to discard any item because it “may be needed in the future” or something bad may happen if the item is discarded
  • Obsession with food or weight (may be manifested as an eating disorder as well)
    • Preoccupation with measuring food portions
    • Following food rituals like cutting each piece of food exactly the same, or not allowing different foods to touch each other
    • An irrational fear that certain types of foods are bad for you and should be avoided at all costs
  • Obsession or preoccupation with superstition
    • Focus and reliance on lucky numbers/dates/locations or other superstitions
    • Doing things consistently in an intricate order or hierarchy
  • Obsession with checking on things (similar to obsessive worrying)
    • Repeatedly checking appliances or electric devices to ensure they are turned off
    • Repeatedly checking that doors are locked
    • Repeatedly checking for mistakes in balancing a checkbook
    • Repeatedly checking one’s self for ailments or diseases
    • Excessive list creation for everything

While there are many other “signs” of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and not each of these alone automatically indicates OCD, these behaviors may be a strong indication that you suffer from OCD.

We run an award-winning OCD Treatment Program here at The Center.

Dr. Gregory Jantz

Pioneering Whole Person Care over thirty years ago, Dr. Gregory Jantz is an innovator in the treatment of mental health. He is a best-selling author of over 45 books, and a go-to media authority on behavioral health afflictions, appearing on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN. Dr. Jantz leads a team of world-class, licensed, and...

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