Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults include unwanted, persistent and repeated images or urges that cause anxiety or stress or feeling the need to perform repetitive behaviors, according to Mayo Clinic. Roughly one-third of OCD sufferers develop a tic, which involves making a sudden, intermittent sound or movement.
Those with OCD may have only obsessive or compulsive symptoms or may experience both, explains Mayo Clinic. Obsessive symptoms involve repeated unwanted urges the sufferer tries to get rid of by performing a ritual or compulsion, and may interfere with thinking or activity. Common obsessive themes include fears of contamination or feeling obsessed with having things in an orderly or symmetrical fashion. The person may fear shaking hands with someone or touching objects that might be contaminated by germs or may feel overly stressed when objects are not facing a specific direction.
Compulsive symptoms may manifest as obsessions with cleaning or washing, counting items or following a strict routine, advises Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of compulsion may include skin that is raw from unnecessary repeated hand washing, counting in patterns, silently saying a phrase or prayer repeatedly or arranging items like canned goods to face the same way. The person may check doors over and over again to ensure they are locked or may check the stove repeatedly to ensure it is off.