Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is something that many people think they might have, but it is actually rarer than it might appear. It is a hugely disruptive mental condition that can completely ruin lives and cause severe anxiety and depression on top of the OCD. Here are some of the symptoms of OCD to look out for, and if you think you have it, you should seek specialist help right away.
Many people with OCD clean compulsively. It can take them all day to clean just the smallest space, but it will never seem clean enough. This is due to a feeling of germaphobia (literally a fear of germs) and feelings of being impure. Cleaning helps to remove these feelings temporarily, but the big problem is that this relief never lasts long and the urge to clean will soon return, usually much stronger than ever before.
If you are finding that you are spending more and more time cleaning, then it is very likely to be related to OCD. The real test is how you feel when you stop cleaning. If you feel anxious when you stop, OCD is even more likely.
Compulsive Hand Washing
One of the most noticeable signs of OCD is constant hand washing. Again, it comes from the fear of germs and could also be rooted in the fear of making others unwell, or of psychological feelings of being impure. It’s not just washing your hands a lot; there will tend to be a definite routine such as having to wash each hand the exact same number of times and using a specific soap. If this doesn’t happen, anxious, paralyzing fear and doubt can ruin the entire day, and it can last for much longer than that.
If you are always thinking of germs and are afraid to touch things because you might get sick, even if that is an irrational fear, calling an expert can help you.
Can’t Break Habits
Everyone has habits that they find it difficult to break, but for many, there is a way around it. If they smoke, for example, they might check out vape shop to buy an alternative so that they can cut down. For someone with OCD, an alternative just won’t do due to the rituals involved. If they do manage to break a habit, they will quickly replace it with something else.
If you have to return to a locked door three, four, even more times to ensure that it is locked even though you know it is, or if you have to keep going back to the oven before going to bed because you need to check that it is totally off even though you haven’t used it that day, you may well be suffering from OCD. This kind of checking behavior affects around one-third of OCD sufferers, and the severity levels can go from mild to debilitating. It can even interfere with everyday life by making you late for work or because you keep having to get up in the night to check things.