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What are the most common signs of OCD in adults?

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Common obsessive thoughts include a fear of being contaminated by germs, unwelcome sexual or violent thoughts and images, and a fear of causing harm to oneself or others, notes HelpGuide.org. Frequent compulsions include repeatedly checking on things, counting or tapping, and accumulating things, such as newspapers or old food containers. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is usually characterized by both obsessions and compulsions, but a person with the disorder may exhibit only one or the other.

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Approximately one-third of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder also have a disorder that involves abrupt, intermittent movements or sounds, explains Mayo Clinic. Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder fall into one of several categories, says HelpGuide.org. These include hoarders, counters and arrangers, doubters and sinners, checkers and washers.

Hoarders are afraid that something bad happens if they get rid of anything. They keep things in excess that they don't need or use, notes HelpGuide.org. Counters or arrangers fixate on symmetry and order. They may hold superstitious beliefs about certain numbers, arrangements or colors. Doubters and sinners believe something terrible happens or they are going to be punished if everything isn't completed perfectly.

Checkers excessively check things, such as door locks, light switches or the oven, that they connect with harm, states HelpGuide.org. Washers fear contamination, and commonly have compulsions to clean and wash themselves or other objects.

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