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What are the symptoms of OCD?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder include both obsessive behaviors, such as fear of contamination, needing things to be symmetrical and in order, aggressive and harmful behavior toward the self or someone else or unwanted thoughts, and compulsive behaviors, which include cleaning, counting, checking, demanding reassurances and following a strict personal routine, according to Mayo Clinic. Some diagnosed with OCD exhibit only obsessive or only compulsive disorders, but many can exhibit both. About one-third of those diagnosed with OCD experience ticks or spastic movement.

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What are the symptoms of OCD?
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Full Answer

Obsessive behavior can include a wide variety of examples, depending on each individual's personal OCD causes and symptoms. Some examples include a fear of shaking hands due to the possibility of "contamination" or germs, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Other OCD sufferers deal with doubts regarding whether the stove was turned off or the door was properly locked. They are often plagued by horrific images depicting them hurting themselves or others. Aside from requiring things to be in a certain order, they can also exhibit other inappropriate behaviors, such as shouting obscenities.

Compulsive behavior can be seen with sufferers who wash their hands so often their skin becomes irritated and raw. Other behaviors include checking door locks repeatedly, even if it is evident that the door is properly locked, or checking other appliances to ensure they are turned off.

OCD differs from perfectionism or an organized mindset in that the disorder negatively affects the daily life of the sufferer, making it difficult to carry out simple tasks or maintain a good quality of life.

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