5 Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Jan 19, 2023
5 Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Do you find yourself washing your hands so much they're raw or checking to ensure you've turned the stove off day after day? You could be suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Keep reading to discover other signs of OCD.

Mental health is a vital part of your overall well-being. When conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder strike, they profoundly affect your health.

You must understand the symptoms of OCD early on, so you can seek treatment before it takes over your entire life.

Dr. Elia R. Gonzalez-Rodriguez at Pacific Phoenix TMS can help if you're noticing irrational thought patterns or daily compulsions. Dr. Gonzalez-Rodriguez is an experienced psychiatrist, offering multiple successful treatments for OCD.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental health condition marked by recurring, unwanted thoughts often followed by actions to alleviate those thoughts.

The intrusive thoughts are known as obsessions, while the behaviors are known as compulsions. Both obsessions and compulsions have a profound impact on your relationships and your normal activities.

If you have OCD, the thoughts that arise are highly intrusive in your life, even though you know they're unrealistic. The compulsions that follow are often a rigid routine, and you feel extreme distress if you don't perform them.

OCD often follows specific patterns, including cleanliness, fear of contamination, or fear of harm to yourself or others. The compulsions match the obsession, meaning if you fear contamination, your compulsion may be excessively cleaning or washing your hands.

Five significant signs of OCD

The major signs of OCD are the compulsions that follow your obsessions. Acting out on your fears or thoughts is the hallmark sign of OCD. Some of the most recognizable symptoms of this disorder include:

1. Checking appliances frequently, even though you know they're off

This compulsion often causes extreme anxiety and follows a fear of fire or extreme doubt and uncertainty. Even though you've watched yourself turn off the oven or unplug the curling iron, you still need to check them repeatedly to avoid extreme anxiety.

2. Washing your hands so much they're sore and raw

If you find yourself washing your hands even though you know they're clean, you may suffer from OCD. It's normal to wash your hands after they're visibly soiled or before exiting the bathroom.

But if you find yourself washing so much that your skin is raw, you may have an obsession with dirt or germs.

3. Repeatedly checking the doors to make sure they're locked

Checking doors to make sure they're locked is something we all do, but only once. Find yourself turning the car around to recheck your door multiple times. You may have OCD and obsessions about doubt and uncertainty.

4. Arranging things in patterns or facing all your cans the same way

Symmetry is another sign of OCD, especially when you get distressed when things are out of order or not arranged in specific patterns. For example, you may have your cabinets color-coded with all the boxes and cans facing forward.

When something is out of place, you feel extreme anxiety and the need to rectify the situation by reorganizing or rearranging things.

5. Repeating a word or phrase silently over and over

Following a rigid and strict routine is another significant sign of OCD. For example, you may silently repeat a phrase, number, or repeatedly thought to ease anxiety and overwhelming stress.

When to seek treatment for OCD

If the obsessions and compulsions you're experiencing are taking over your life, you must seek treatment from the Pacific Phoenix TMS team. Untreated OCD leads to extreme distress and affects your daily activities.

At your appointment, Dr. Rodriguez-Gonzalez evaluates your symptoms and listens to your fears and concerns. When she has a good picture of your condition, she formulates a customized treatment plan to help you cope with OCD.

Many treatments are available for OCD symptoms, including psychotherapy and medications. Sometimes, you may benefit from one or the other. Still, treatment often includes therapy and medications together for the best results.

If you think you're suffering from OCD, call the Pacific Phoenix TMS team today at one of our convenient offices in Salmon Creek or East Vancouver, Washington. You may also request an appointment on the website.