Do I Have OCD? Tips for Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms

Almost everyone has experienced worries, fears, or doubts at one time or another. In fact, it’s normal to worry about things like the wellbeing of your family, school, work, or what the future may bring. It’s not even abnormal to have an intrusive thought from time to time, such as being intentionally rude to someone who’s upset you. That’s not obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

OCD is diagnosed when these obsessions and compulsions like double-checking that the door is locked or brushing your teeth become so consuming that they interfere with your daily life. Like getting a needle stuck on an old record, OCD causes your brain to get stuck on a particular thought or urge. For example, you may check the stove anywhere from 20 to 200 times before leaving the house to make sure it’s really turned off because you’re afraid of burning the house down. Other people may wash their hands until they’re scrubbed completely raw for fear of germs. 

And although OCD can range from mild to completely debilitating, recognizing these signs and symptoms is the first step in getting the treatment you need. Below, we go over just a few of the most major signs that commonly appear when an individual is battling OCD. If you’re interested in OCD treatment in Brandon> and don’t know where to start, please reach out to Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders like PTSD and OCD.

Related: 4 Types of OCD & How to Recognize Them

Obsession Symptoms

Obsessions are repeated, persistent, and unwanted thoughts, urges, or images that cause great distress and anxiety. People with OCD may try to oppress or ignore them; however, most will resort to performing a compulsive behavior or ritual when the anxiety associated with suppression becomes too great to endure. Obsessions often have specific themes to them, such as:

  • Fear of contamination, dirt, or germs
  • Fear of harm or danger; injury, illness, or death to oneself or others
  • Fear relating to discarding something
  • Fear of violating religious or moral rules
  • Fear related to symmetry or order
  • Fear related to sexual content

Examples of obsession signs and symptoms  typically include:

  • Doubts that you have performed a task, like locking the door
  • Intense stress when objects aren’t orderly or facing a particular way
  • Images of violence, like driving your car into a group of people
  • Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, like shaking hands

Compulsion Symptoms

  • Washing and cleaning
  • Counting
  • Checking
  • Orderliness
  • Following a strict routine
  • Demanding constant reassurance
  • Some examples of compulsions related to these themes include:

    • Compulsive hand washing, showering, or cleaning
    • Compulsive checking that doors are locked, devices are turned off, and windows are locked
    • Saving useless items like food wrappers or containers or being unable to part with things
    • Compulsive praying or seeking reassurance that they have not sinned

    Related: Can I Overcome OCD Without Medication?

    When to See a Doctor

    If you are struggling with any of these symptoms or your obsessions and compulsions are affecting your quality of life, it’s time to reach out to a mental health professional like Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., for OCD treatment in Brandon. Dr. Trivedi specializes in the MindBody approach to Behavioral Health and will integrate a combination of physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions into your treatment plan in order to yield the best outcome in the shortest period of time. Medication is seldom the first or only option, and you may be able to be guided back to your healthy self via the natural healing process.

    To schedule a consultation with Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., for depression treatment in Brandon, please request an appointment today.

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    Behavioral Health

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