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Facts About OCD

What are Common Obsessions and Compulsions in OCD?

Common Obsessions Include:

  • Contamination – body fluids, germs/disease, environmental contaminants, chemicals, dirt

  • Fear of being responsible for something terrible happening because of not being careful enough
    - For example, the fear of dropping something on the ground that someone might slip on

  • Religious Obsessions (also called scrupulosity) – concern with offending God or blasphemy

  • Perfectionism – concern about evenness or exactness

  • Hoarding – unable to decide whether to keep or to discard things

  • Losing Control – fear of acting on impulse to harm others

  • Unwanted Sexual Thoughts – fear of acting on forbidden or sexual thoughts or images

  • Concern with getting a physical illness or disease

  • Superstitious ideas about lucky/unlucky numbers, colors, words, etc.

Common Compulsions Include:

  • Excessive hand washing or bathing

  • Excessive cleaning

  • Counting

  • Mental rituals, such as excessive repetition of thoughts or prayers

  • Excessive repetition of activities or words

  • Touching or checking items repeatedly, such as door locks or appliances

  • Arranging or ordering items or belongings

  • Hoarding unneeded items

At what Age Does OCD Begin?

OCD can start at any time from preschool to adulthood. Although OCD does occur at earlier ages, there are generally two age ranges when OCD first appears. The first range is between ages 10 and 12, and the second is between the late teens and early adulthood.

Back to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Clinic

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