From Hoarding to Ruminations: 5 Ways OCD Can Manifest Itself

OCD, also known as obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a psychiatric condition that leads people to have distressing and repetitive thoughts that often induce the need to perform some action. The performance of these actions leads them to feel more at ease. These obsessions and compulsions are different between individuals, but they are often characterised into specific groups. The most common ones are found in five different categories. 

1. Intrusive Thoughts 

One of the signs of ocd when it comes to intrusive thoughts is distressing and abhorrent ideas that appear in someone’s head at random. These thoughts can center on hurting a loved one, causing harm to a stranger, or the thought that simply thinking about something will make it more likely to occur. The person may try to quiet these obsessions by performing an action or repeating something (mentally or out loud). People become distressed by these thoughts because they are contrary to how they actually feel about that person. 

2. Checking 

Checking is an obsession where a person is concerned about their being damaged or harmed through some inaction or carelessness on their part. For that reason, they have the compulsion to check doors to make sure that they’re locked or that the burners on the stove are turned off. They might have to check something multiple times or stare at the object for a period of time before they can feel at ease. 

3. Contamination 

Contamination OCD focuses on two general ideas: the thought that people can spread non-viral illnesses through proximity or touch; secondly, that everyday things, thoughts, and words can “contaminate” a person, leading them to feel “unclean.” This is the type of OCD that leads a person to obsessively wash their hands or clean items because of perceived contamination. They can also feel fear or disgust when in the presence of certain “unclean” objects, leading them to avoid certain people or places. 

4. Organization 

This is the most recognizable form of OCD. This obsession revolves around things being precisely in the right place or having symmetry. People may feel that all of their wall hangings have to be at the same level or all the labels on their produce have to be facing forward. If these compulsions aren’t performed, then they can experience distress or some unrelated harm may befall their loved one because of their lack of organization. 

5. Ruminations 

This is similar to intrusive thought-based OCD but there are a few important differences that separate the two. Rumination-based OCD involves ideas that could be religious, philosophical, or metaphysical conundrums that the person is fixated on to the point that they ignore other responsibilities. They are trying to arrive at the answer and will continue to feel unsatisfied until they do. 

If any of these obsessions or compulsions sound similar to your behavior, then you should definitely schedule an appointment with your primary care provider as soon as possible. They can refer you to the proper specialist so that you can get the diagnosis and treatment options to live a more fulfilling life.

Leave a Comment