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A Look at the Different Types of OCD

written by: Kristina Dems • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 8/29/2010

There are different types of OCD, and all of them involve obsessions and compulsions that are usually not harmful but have the potential to be very dangerous. In this article, we discuss the most common types of OCD and how you can tell if someone has it.

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    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a disorder that involves anxiety that stems from intrusive thoughts, causing repetitive behaviors that are executed to reduce said anxiety. Obsessions and compulsions are the main symptoms of this disorder. There are several different types of OCD, and in this article, we will take a look at them.

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    I Must Be Clean All the Time!

    Photo by FreeDigitalPhotos.net This type of OCD involves people who are always afraid of being contaminated with different kinds of germs, pathogens, dirt and anything that is considered unclean. Because of this fear, people with this type of OCD always feel the need to wash different parts of their bodies, especially their arms and hands. They will always feel the need to stay away from people because in their minds, other people may carry contaminants that will transfer to them if they make any physical contact. They often wash clothes and can't stand areas with a lot of people.

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    Everything Should be In Order!

    People with this type of OCD can't stand seeing something that is not aligned or in order. Anything that looks chaotic will bother them, forcing them to fix or put in order the things around them. They will become agitated when other people ruin the order of things they have already fixed, making them prone to agitation and stress all the time. Forcing their eyes to look away from something that they think is chaotic will not satisfy them. It will nag their thoughts and eventually, they will give in and take care of the perceived mess in their vicinity.

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    I Must have Everything!

    People with this different type of OCD present hoarding behavior. These people like to preserve everything for future use. They cannot afford to throw away even the most useless objects like napkins, pieces of paper and sugar packets. Even though they collect all kinds of items and trinkets, they usually have no plans of using them in the future. In their mind, the items they have will be of use to them in the future. Those items will more than likely just stay in their containers for a very long time.

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    Did I Lock the Door?

    People who suffer from this type of OCD will more than likely check if they have locked the door or switched off an electronic device several times before they are convinced that they are, indeed, turned off or locked. This comes from the fear that unlocked doors or switched on electronic devices will somehow result in disaster or tragedy, so they are not satisfied just by locking a door or turning off a device once. They have to repeatedly check that that is what they did.

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    Stay Away from My Baby!

    Among the different types of OCD, this is considered one of the most harmful if not taken care of immediately. Mothers who have just given birth are naturally protective of their newborn babies, but there are mothers who take it to a whole new level. Mothers with Postpartum OCD will often be overprotective of their baby, thinking that there are a lot of contaminants in their environment and people around them that may harm the baby. This is also a sign that a more severe type of OCD could be waiting for the mother, so it is wise for family members and friends to observe any radical change in her behavior after giving birth.

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    References

    Phobias Help - The Different Types of OCD

    OCD Free - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Manifests Differently

    Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net / Hands by Graur Razvan Ionut

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