What is OCD? – Symptoms, Causes, Types, And Treatment

What Is OCD?

Do you have a tendency to wash your hands excessively or check the locks on your doors multiple times? If so, you may be suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is a mental illness that causes people to experience unwanted thoughts and sensations. Such happenings leads them to engage in compulsive behaviors to relieve their anxiety. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of OCD and discuss the symptoms and treatment options available.

Symptoms Of OCD

Symptoms Of OCD

The symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder vary from person to person. Generally, they include both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. All of this can interfere with everyday life. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Recurrent, intrusive thoughts or obsessions.
  • Persistent fears or worries that cause distress.
  • Compulsions such as counting or repeating certain words.
  • Excessive cleaning or organizing.
  • Over-indulgence in rituals, such as checking locks multiple times.
  • Avoiding certain places or situations.
  • Feeling trapped and helpless.

Types Of Obsession And Compulsion

Know more about the types of obsession through these points:

  • Contamination OCD: Fear of germs, contamination, and dirt: Excessive handwashing, showering, and cleaning.
  • Inflated Responsibility: The Fear of losing something important and hoarding unnecessary items.
  • Sexual OCD: It includes some intrusive and unwanted sexual thoughts or images. In this case just avoid people or situations that trigger these thoughts.
  • Repeating OCD: Compulsive repeating of body movements, such as tapping or touching objects: Compulsively counting, saying phrases, performing rituals, checking locks and appliances, counting objects to reach a certain number, or arranging items in a certain way.
  • Order/Symmetry OCD: Fear of disorder or mess: Structuring everyday activities around symmetry and organization.
  • Harm And Religious OCD: This covers the Unwanted thoughts about harming oneself or others: Excessive checking to make. Excessive religious or superstitious thinking and Performing rituals or prayers to ease anxiety.

OCD Facts

Here are some of the myths and reality of obsessive-compulsive disorder that spread among people:

  • Myth: People with OCD are just quirky and organized.

Reality: It is a mental health condition that causes significant distress and difficulty in day-to-day functioning.

  • Myth: People with OCD can stop their compulsions if they really wanted to.

Reality: Most people with OCD cannot simply “stop” their compulsions. They often need assistance to manage and reduce their intrusive thoughts, as well as the associated compulsions.

  • Myth: OCD is just a normal part of life. It is one of the most negligible OCD facts is people consider this just another ordinary part of life.

Reality: While it is common to double-check things or feel anxious at times, these behaviors should not interfere with daily functioning or cause significant distress. It is a mental health disorder that a professional treats.

Apart from it, another OCD fact is that some people with this condition also have depression and some genetic causes in the family are also responsible for it. Generally, children with family members affected by OCD are more likely to develop the condition. So, it is important to recognize the symptoms of OCD and seek treatment from a mental health professional as soon as possible.

Causes Of OCD

We are still not aware of the exact cause of this disorder. However, it’s believed to be related to a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. For example, people with a family history of OCD may be more likely to develop the disorder. Additionally, certain experiences or life events can trigger symptoms of the disorder.

  • Genetic Factors:

Researchers have found that OCD can sometimes run in families, suggesting that there may be a genetic component to the disorder. Other studies have identified certain gene mutations or other genetic abnormalities that may lead to an increased risk of developing OCD.

  • Environmental Factors:

Certain environmental stressors, such as trauma, abuse, or neglect, can trigger symptoms of OCD. The exposure to certain substances, such as drugs or alcohol, may increase the risk of developing OCD.

  • Cognitive Factors:

Research has suggested that certain cognitive biases, such as an overactive threat-detection system or heightened memory recall of traumatic events, may be associated with OCD. Additionally, certain cognitive distortions, such as negative beliefs about oneself or exaggerated expectations of perfectionism and control, have also been linked to the disorder.

  • Behavioral Factors:

Obsessive-compulsive behavior can be learned from family members or other people in the environment. If an individual is  indulging in compulsive behavior and rewarded for it, they may start to engage in that type of behavior as a way of coping with their distress. Additionally, certain behavioral strategies, such as reinforcement and avoidance, may also be associated with the development of OCD.

How To Diagnose OCD?

The diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder is usually made by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. The doctor will ask about the person’s symptoms and may use psychological tests to help determine whether the individual has OCD. Additionally, they can also order laboratory tests or scans to rule out other possible causes for the symptoms. To be diagnosed with, this condition, a person must have obsessions and compulsions that cause significant distress or interfere with their day-to-day functioning. A professional performs some specific criteria to diagnose obsessive-compulsive disorder:

  • The person experiences recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are unwanted and cause anxiety.
  • Such person performs repetitive behaviors (compulsions) to reduce the distress caused by obsessions.
  • An individual recognizes that their obsessions or compulsions are excessive or irrational but cannot stop them without assistance.

What Are The Treatments?

Treatment And Therapy

Now, check the types of therapy and treatments that are effective to heal obsessive-compulsive disorder:


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This type of therapy focuses on changing the thoughts and behaviors that lead to OCD symptoms. With CBT, people can learn how to identify their triggers and better manage their compulsions and obsessions.
  • Exposure And Response Prevention (ERP): ERP is a form of CBT in which people are exposed to the triggers of their obsessions and taught how to manage their reactions. This type of therapy helps people learn how to confront and cope with their fears without engaging in compulsive behaviors.

Meditation, Message, And Yoga

These alternative therapies can help reduce levels of stress and anxiety, which may in turn reduce OCD symptoms. Specific Yoga and meditation tactics can also help shift the focus away from obsessions and compulsions. Deep breathing and other relaxation techniques can help to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Physical Exercises

Physical exercise have an overall positive effect on mental health and can help reduce obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms. Regular physical activity can also be used to distract from obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Exercises just as running, biking, or swimming can help to reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being.


Certain medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or clomipramine, may be used to treat OCD. These medications can help reduce the symptoms of Obsessive compulsive Disorder, allowing people to better manage their compulsions and obsessions.

People with this disorder can also learn self-help techniques, such as relaxation strategies, mindfulness practices, or journaling. self-help techniques are beneficial to treat OCD. Examples of these techniques include relaxation methods such as guided imagery, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.


This is a relatively new treatment for OCD that involves using electrical stimulation to alter brain activity. It is an approach that has been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of OCD, although it is recommend after a deep research of the patient.


We hope, the detailed concept of Obsessive-compulsive disorder would be informative for you. There, are also the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and therapy. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a serious mental illness, but it can be managed with the right therapy and medications. If you think you or someone you know may have OCD, speak to the doctor or mental health professional for more information and treatment options.

Take care, and don’t forget that you are not alone! OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding OCD treatment, ERP therapy experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session