The Different Types Of OCD

Types of OCDObsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) presents itself as a variety of symptom subsets. Although some of these are familiar, others aren’t as common. Here are a few of the better-known types.

Washing

This is the most common form of this disorder. Here the person is fearful of becoming contaminated or dirty from things like bodily fluids or chemicals. Sometimes the person with the disorder will perceive someone else as being contaminated simply because that person is who they are. When this happens, the person who has OCD may believe that something bad will happen when they come into contact with the person. They may even fear that they’ll take on that person’s characteristics.

Checking

This is another well-known presentation of this disorder. It includes things like making sure that the faucet isn’t dripping, the gas range is off, and that locks are locked. There are also other, more subtle forms of checking. Typically this is in the form of repeated questions (e.g., “Do you love me?” “Is it safe?”). At the heart of these questions is an attempt to seek reassurance.

Repeating

Although repeating isn’t one of the most common types of OCD, it’s a common alternative. Typically, it occurs in regards to a specific obsession. For instance, someone may think about the word “death” while walking through a doorway, so now they must go back through the doorway while thinking about the word “life” so that they can “undo” or “erase” the previous activity.

This type of obsessive-compulsive disorder may also be an attempt to ward off a bad feeling. An example of this is someone who needs to repeatedly stand up and sit down until it feels “right” for them to remain seated.

“Hit and Run OCD” (a.k.a., Motor Vehicle Accident or “MVA”)

Although this is another type of checking behavior, it’s so common that it needs to be mentioned separately. Here a driver may obsess that they’ll hit a person without realizing it while they’re driving. This causes them to repeatedly return to the area to look for bodies, police, or ambulance activity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. When they get home, they’ll look for stories about hit-and-run accidents in that area.

It’s interesting to note here that people with this type of OCD aren’t focusing on whether they killed someone. Instead, they’re more focused on whether or not they’ll get in trouble and be publicly humiliated.

Fear of Loss of Impulse Control

This type of obsessive-compulsive disorder is a bit lesser-known because the behavior isn’t always available. It involves the obsession that you may temporarily act out, go insane, or snap out of it, then be stuck with your actions’ consequences. Therefore you avoid these potentially embarrassing or dangerous situations (e.g., stabbing someone, blurting out curse words, saying inappropriate things in public, jumping in front of a moving car, stealing from a store). When you must engage in these activities, you’ll find yourself engaging in some kind of safety behavior (e.g., locking up knives, going somewhere with a person who makes you feel safe) first. Typically, this is a person whom you feel will prevent you from doing these things.

Other Types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCD can also exist in other ways. Sometimes you may have more than one type or a combination of a few different types. At the root of them is still the incompleteness or a sense of uncertainty that needs to be corrected. This results in avoidant or compulsive behavior to avert this “danger” or allow you to function normally. For help with this disorder, contact us at TMS Advantage Clearwater in Tampa Bay, FL, today.

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