• 7 Signs to Pay Attention to If You Suspect You Have OCD

    by Caroline Ryther
    on Jun 18th, 2018

We all have our quirks that largely depend on our personalities and preferences—some of us like to organize our closets to the T, while others like to check twice if every appliance is turned off before they leave their house. In most cases, this behavior is harmless, but in other situations, these quirks can point towards a more serious issue: OCD.

As you probably know, OCD is a condition marked by uncontrollable behaviors and thoughts, and it actually strikes about 2% of the general population in the US. That’s nearly 6.5 million people. The symptoms usually develop in young adulthood, and they can range from familiar obsessions, such as washing your hands or checking the stove, to hoarding, being scared of harming somebody, and hypochondria.

So, how can you tell if your quirks are actually OCD symptoms that require professional help? Unfortunately, there’s no test that can give you the answers, but there are certain patterns that can point to this particular disorder.

1. You compulsively wash your hands. Probably the most common symptom out of all of them when it comes to OCD. The urge usually comes from a person’s fear of germs, but it also can be rooted in fears of being impure, immoral, or making others sick. If you have an irrational fear of diseases or if you’ve developed an elaborate hand-washing routine, it may be a sign for you to seek help.

2. You need to check everything more than once. Double-checking something every once in a while is completely normal. However, if you get into the habit of checking that the oven is off or the door locked three, four, or even 20 times before you leave your house, it might mean that you suffer from the obsessive-compulsive disorder.

3. You have an excessive need to clean. Those who tend to wash their hands compulsively also tend to clean whenever they can. Cleaning can sometimes help keep obsessive-compulsive thoughts at bay, but this relief is almost always fleeting, and the urge to clean only gets stronger the next time it strikes. If you spend hours every day cleaning, then it’s best that you seek help.

4. You need to be organized at all times. People with OCD usually strive towards perfectionism and take organizing to the next level. This often stems from their obsessions about order and symmetry, but it’s when organization becomes a “must”, and not something that can ease your day, that you should consider the possibility that you might suffer from OCD.

5. You need to count to feel at peace. Some people with OCD perform their everyday tasks (e.g. climbing stairs or cleaning) while counting to themselves or they do things in a certain numeric pattern. As long as this behavior doesn’t bother you or anyone else, you are fine. If it starts interfering with your everyday life, then you need to look for some assistance.

6. You dwell too much on all your relationships. Those suffering from OCD often obsessively dissect their relationships with romantic partners, friends, coworkers, and family members. They overthink everything and can dwell on anything from an offhand remark made by a coworker, to a small misunderstanding in a romantic relationship. If these thoughts persist and begin making you believe that you are a bad person, it might mean you have OCD.

7. You hate the way you look. People with OCD are also prone to having body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which makes them fixate on a certain part of their body they find unattractive and spend hours in front of the mirror analyzing the way they look. In addition to this, people with BDD and OCD worry about the cleanliness of their bodies, too.

If you believe that you might be suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, or know anyone with some of the symptoms found above, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Best and his Neuroscience Center team.


Schedule your consultation today:

Phone: 847-306-8938

Email: pm@mind.md

Author Caroline Ryther

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