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Common OCD Symptoms

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can start occurring during adolescence or young adulthood. There are many OCD symptoms that can help identify if you or someone you know may be suffering from this disorder. While the symptoms may start gradually, often they can reach various levels that can at times be debilitating.

Symptoms in Depth

There are both Obsessive Symptoms and Compulsive Symptoms. The Mayo Clinic defines OCD obsessions as having “repeated, persistent and unwanted urges or images that cause distress or anxiety.” This would mean having the urge to make sure everything is in order in the house before you leave, such as double checking that the doors are locked, windows are closed and the stove is turned off. These are done out of anxiety that someone may rob your or the house may burn down. You may also experience aggressive impulses, persistent sexual thoughts or possible thoughts that you might be harmed in some way. These are all thoughts that you cannot control and constantly reoccur.

According to the Mayo Clinic, compulsion symptoms on the other hand are defined as having, “repetitive behaviors that you feel driven to perform.” These are behaviours that you do not enjoy doing, but have the need to in order to relieve some of the anxiety you may have. Compulsion Symptoms may be feeling the need to washing your hands until they are raw or perhaps it is house cleaning. Both of these are extremely common as OCD Symptoms and stems from having a fear of germs.

Counting is another common compulsion symptom. People may do this out of superstition, believing that some number has a special significance therefore repeat an action that many times. Or perhaps it is just an urge to count anything you encounter such as stairs, tiles on floors, cars or any other object or action that may be taking place.

It is important to remember that OCD is different than being a perfectionist. Those that suffer from OCD Symptoms do not want to do these behaviours and find no enjoyment out of them, only temporary anxiety relief. Whereas someone who likes a clean house and finds pleasure out of keeping things in order does not have OCD.

When to Visit a Doctor

It may be difficult to identify OCD Symptoms in younger children as they are similar to ADHD, Autism and Tourett's Syndrome. If you are concerned about your child, talk to their GP and ask for advice from them.

If the OCD symptoms are starting to afffect your quality of life and becomes disabling, it may be time to visit a mental health provider or your GP.

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