What Is Sensory OCD and How Can You Manage It

What Is Sensory OCD and How Can You Manage It

Sensory OCD, also known as Somatic OCD, is a type of OCD that involves intrusive thoughts about one’s body. These thoughts can be about any part of the body and can be extremely distressing. If you are struggling with Sensory OCD, you are not alone. In this blog post, we will discuss what Sensory OCD is, and how you can manage it effectively.

What Is Sensory OCD?

What Is Sensory OCD?Sensory OCD is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that involves compulsive behaviors focused on sensory input. It is characterized by overwhelming anxiety in response to certain stimuli, such as noises, smells, or sights.

It is important to note that sensory OCD is not the same as having a heightened sensitivity to stimuli. While people with heightened sensitivities may feel uncomfortable or have trouble concentrating due to certain inputs. Those with sensory OCD experience an intense anxiety response which is often accompanied by obsessive thoughts or compulsive behavior.

People with sensory OCD usually focus on one particular stimulus and feel an intense urge to control or avoid it. For example, someone with sensory OCD may be especially sensitive to loud noises and become agitated when exposed to them. As a result, they may compulsively cover their ears whenever they hear a loud sound in order to reduce the fear and anxiety associated with it.

Is Sensory Issues A Symptom Of OCD?

Sensory issues can be a symptom of OCD. Many people with OCD are more sensitive to their environment than other people and may have difficulties processing sensory input. This can manifest in a variety of ways, including:

  • Avoiding certain sounds or textures
  • Experiencing extreme discomfort due to bright lights or loud noises
  • Having an intense reaction to touch or smell

Usually, sensory issues are related to intrusive thoughts or fear of contamination. For example, someone with OCD may have an excessive fear of germs and thus become overly sensitive to touch, or they may have a hard time focusing in noisy environments because it triggers anxiety.

In fact, autism spectrum disorder, which is characterized by difficulty processing sensory input and impaired social interaction, can exist concurrently with OCD. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of potential sensory issues when seeking treatment.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sensory OCD?

There are numerous symptoms associated with sensory OCD. These can vary from person to person, but some of the most common include:

  • Hypersensitivity: People with Sensory OCD often have an intense sensitivity to sound, sight, smell, and touch. This can lead to extreme discomfort in certain situations or when exposed to certain stimuli.
  • Anxiety: People with Sensory OCD often experience heightened levels of anxiety and fear in response to sensory stimuli.
  • Compulsive behavior: People with Sensory OCD may display compulsive behaviors such as repeatedly checking things or avoiding certain activities or environments due to their sensory sensitivity.

In addition, people with sensory OCD may experience difficulties in concentrating, sleeping, or focusing on tasks due to their sensory sensitivity.

Therefore, if you feel that you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is important to reach out for help. A professional can help diagnose and treat Sensory OCD in order to help you manage your symptoms.

What Can Trigger Sensory Issues?

What Can Trigger Sensory Issues?Sensory OCD is a form of OCD that involves an intense preoccupation with sensory input. This can include physical sensations, auditory stimulation, taste, smell, and visual cues. People who struggle with this disorder may experience intrusive thoughts or compulsions related to their senses that interfere with daily functioning.

Common triggers for people with this type of OCD are things like:

  • Changes in temperature: It is not uncommon for people with this type of OCD to become overly sensitive to changes in temperature and feel uncomfortable when there is a sudden shift.
  • Noise: Loud noises can be particularly upsetting to someone with this type of OCD, who may have difficulty tuning it out.
  • Smells: People with this disorder can become overwhelmed by certain smells, even if they are pleasant or familiar.
  • Touch: For those with this type of OCD, even gentle touches can be too much to bear.

Other triggers can include feeling too hot or cold and being in crowded places. While it is important to identify your triggers and take steps to manage them, it is also important to remember that everyone’s experience with Sensory OCD is different.

Overall, the triggers for this condition OCD can vary greatly from person to person. It is important to be mindful of the triggers that cause you to be distressed and take steps to manage them in order to minimize their impact on your daily life.

How Does It Impact Life?

There could be possible impacts on one’s life due to this type of OCD. Some of these consequences include:

  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing: It is hard to focus and concentrate on tasks when one is constantly distracted by intrusive thoughts or sensations.
  • Anxiety: People living with this type of OCD may experience heightened levels of anxiety due to the constant bombardment of unwanted sensations and thoughts. Anxiety can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, sweating, shaking, increased heart rate, nausea, and difficulty sleeping.
  • Low self-esteem: This type of OCD can make it difficult to complete tasks or interact with others. This can lead to feelings of worthlessness or helplessness and further contribute to low self-esteem.
  • Fear: It is common for people with this type of OCD to have an exaggerated fear response when faced with certain sensations or triggers. This can lead to avoidance behaviors, which can further perpetuate the cycle of intrusive thoughts and sensations.
  • Interfering with relationships: In some cases, the intrusive thoughts and sensations associated with this type of OCD can interfere with relationships, both professional and personal. People may find it difficult to trust others or open up to them due to fear of their symptoms being discovered.
  • Difficulty managing emotions: Finally, Sensory OCD can make it difficult to manage emotions. People may struggle with strong, intense emotions that can be overwhelming and interfere with daily life.

Overall, these are some negative impacts that sensory OCD can have on one’s life. Fortunately, there are strategies to help manage these symptoms and improve quality of life. With the right help and support, it is possible to reduce the negative symptoms of Sensory OCD and learn techniques for managing them.

How Do You Manage Sensory OCD?

How Do You Manage Sensory OCD?There are several strategies that can be used to manage this type of OCD. Some tips for managing the condition include:

  • Acknowledge your feelings: Recognize intrusive thoughts without judgment and refrain from trying to ignore them or suppress them.
  • Create a safe space: Establish a safe place that is free from triggers, like an environment where you can relax, or engage in activities that help you manage stress.
  • Try mindfulness techniques: Mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing exercises and meditation, can help you focus on the present moment and reduce anxiety.
  • Seek professional help: If your symptoms significantly impact your daily life, it’s important to seek professional help from a mental health provider. They may recommend therapy or medication that can help manage your symptoms.
  • Connect with others: Connecting with a support system of family and friends can help provide valuable insight, understanding, and compassion. Additionally, joining a support group with others who are going through similar experiences can be beneficial.

By following these tips and managing this type of OCD, you can learn to cope with the condition and practice self-care in order to live your best life. It is important to remember that you are not alone and recovery is possible. With the right treatment and support, you can find relief from symptoms of this type of OCD.

In fact, this condition can be treated successfully with therapy and medication. Just be sure to consult a qualified healthcare provider to properly diagnose and treat your symptoms. With the right help, you can take back control of your life and manage Sensory OCD symptoms effectively.


To conclude, sensory OCD is often a debilitating disorder that can interfere with day-to-day life. This is simply described as an OCD subtype that triggers a fear response in individuals when they are exposed to certain sensory stimuli. It is important for those who have this disorder to find strategies and treatments that will help them manage it so that they can live their life as normally as possible.

Fortunately, there are many resources available such as therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and even specialized treatments for those with this type of OCD. It is important to work closely with a mental health professional in order to find the best course of treatment for your individual needs. With the right approach, you can take control of your disorder and live an enriching life free from its symptoms.

For more information and guidance, please contact OCDMantra. OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding OCD treatmentERP therapy experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session