What Is Symmetrical OCD and How Can You Manage It?

What Is Symmetrical OCD and How Can You Manage It?

Do you constantly worry about making sure everything is symmetrical? Do you feel like you can’t relax until all of your objects are aligned in a certain way? If so, you may be struggling with symmetrical OCD. This type of OCD can be extremely frustrating and difficult to manage. In this blog post, we will discuss what symmetrical OCD is, the symptoms associated with it, and how you can manage it.

What Is Symmetrical OCD?

What Is Symmetrical OCD?Symmetrical OCD is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in which an individual has an intense preoccupation with symmetry, orderliness, and balance. This type of OCD focuses on balancing elements such as the arrangement of furniture, objects, or even body positions.

People with symmetrical OCD may become fixated on ensuring that everything is even or perfectly balanced. This can lead to excessive counting, arranging, and rearranging of objects in order to try and achieve the desired balance.

As with other forms of OCD, people with symmetrical OCD may feel a sense of panic when faced with an imbalance. If you feel that you are struggling with symmetrical OCD, it is important to know that there is help available.

How Common Is Symmetry OCD?

While OCD is not a rare disorder, it is estimated that symmetry OCD affects up to 3.3% of the population. Though this may seem like a low number, it means that millions of people are living with this condition around the world.

Though there are numerous types of OCD, symmetry OCD is a particularly difficult form of the disorder to manage. This is because it often involves compulsions that involve meticulous actions and time-consuming rituals. More often than not, individuals with symmetry OCD will have other forms of OCD as well.

Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms in order to get the right help. Then, you will be able to work with a mental health professional to develop an effective treatment plan.

How Can You Identify It?

There are certain signs to look for when trying to determine if someone has symmetrical OCD. Some common symptoms include:

  • Excessive need for order: It is common for individuals with symmetrical OCD to feel a heightened need or desire to have everything in order and arranged in a certain way.
  • Compulsions: Individuals with symmetrical OCD may develop certain rituals, such as repeatedly checking or arranging things until they are perfectly symmetrical.
  • Spending an inordinate amount of time: This is often a result of the individual’s need to achieve perfection and symmetry in their environment.
  • Negative feelings: Having symmetrical OCD can lead to feelings of distress, anxiety, and even depression due to the time-consuming nature of their rituals.
  • Becoming easily upset or frustrated: Many individuals with symmetrical OCD can become easily frustrated or upset when their environment is not in perfect symmetry.
  • Difficulty focusing on the task: Finally, it is common for individuals with this condition to have difficulty focusing on any task until their environment is perfectly symmetrical.

All in all, these symptoms may help you identify if someone has symmetrical OCD. Only a doctor or mental health professional can diagnose the condition, so it is important to seek their help if you are concerned that a loved one may have the disorder.

Why Do I Want Everything To Be Symmetrical?

Why Do I Want Everything To Be Symmetrical?Many people with symmetrical OCD experience feelings of discomfort and anxiety when things are not perfectly balanced or orderly. This can cause people to try to arrange items in a certain way, pay extra attention to detail, or become preoccupied with making sure that everything is in its place.

The causes why someone wants everything to be symmetrical can vary. It can be a result of environmental factors, genetics, or even trauma. In some cases, there could be some possible triggers that can set off the urge to arrange items in a certain way.


Some of the most common triggers that can set off symmetrical OCD include:

  • Overwhelming feelings of disorganization or chaos
  • Anxiety about potential dangers
  • Feeling the need to maintain control over the environment
  • Fear of the unknown

For example, if someone is in an unfamiliar environment, they may feel the need to arrange items in a particular way to create some sense of order and familiarity. On the other hand, anxiety about potential dangers can drive someone to create a “safe” environment by ensuring that the surroundings are symmetrical and orderly.

How Does It Impacts Everyday Life?

The consequences of symmetrical OCD can be quite severe, often resulting in social and occupational maladjustment. Some of the common negative impacts of symmetrical OCD on everyday life include:

  • Restricted or restricted routines: The condition becomes stuck in rigid routines, such as having to check things multiple times, walk-in certain patterns, and frequently arrange objects in a particular way. This can severely limit the ability to engage socially or live normally.
  • Avoidance behavior: People with symmetrical OCD may also try to actively avoid situations that involve symmetry. This could include avoiding large crowds, certain types of stores, or activities that involve the use of the hands (like drawing).
  • Anxiety and insecurity: Individuals living with symmetrical OCD often feel anxious and insecure in social settings or performing everyday tasks due to their fear of symmetry. This can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and low self-esteem.

In addition, there are physical symptoms of symmetrical OCD such as:

  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Muscle tension

Overall, these are some negative impacts that the condition could possibly have on one’s life. Therefore, you should become aware of these effects and be prepared to manage them.

What Are The Treatment Options?

Living with symmetrical OCD can be a challenge, but there are ways to help cope with the condition and make it more manageable. Here are some tips:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CB is a form of talk therapy that helps to identify irrational thoughts and behaviors and change them. CBT can help you learn to challenge your perfectionist thinking and beliefs about symmetry so that you can make more realistic goals for yourself. It works to reduce the anxiety associated with OCD-related intrusive thoughts and break unhealthy patterns.

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)

ERP is a type of CBT that involves exposing yourself to small doses of what you are afraid of and learning to resist compulsive behaviors. This can help you become more comfortable with your environment, which can in turn help to reduce your anxiety.


Certain medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can be used to reduce symptoms of OCD, including symmetrical OCD. These medications work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain, which helps to regulate mood and behavior. It’s important to discuss medication options with your doctor and follow their instructions carefully.

Self-Help Strategies

Self-Help StrategiesThere are also certain self-help strategies that can be used to manage symmetrical OCD symptoms. For example, practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, can help to reduce the stress associated with the condition.

Additionally, engaging in regular exercise, creating a healthy sleep routine, and eating well can all help to promote better overall mental health. It may also be helpful to practice mindfulness or grounding exercises in order to stay present in the moment.

Overall, symmetrical OCD can be a difficult condition to cope with, but it is possible to find ways to manage your symptoms. By implementing treatment options and self-help strategies, you can learn to better control your thoughts and behaviors. With the right help and support, it is possible to live a more balanced life.


In conclusion, symmetrical OCD can be a confusing and difficult condition to live with. However, it is important to remember that there are treatment options available, and with the right combination of therapy and medication, people can gain control over their symptoms. Though it may take some trial and error to find the best combination, it is possible to live a happy and healthy life.

No one should have to suffer in silence, there is hope for those who struggle with this condition. If you or someone you know is affected by this condition, please reach out to a mental health professional today!

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