High Functioning OCD: What It Is and How to Cope?

High Functioning OCD

Do you constantly worry about making a mistake, or fear that something bad will happen if you don’t do things a certain way? Do you spend hours upon hours each day checking and rechecking things to make sure they are perfect? If so, you may be struggling with high functioning OCD. This type of OCD can be difficult to deal with because it doesn’t always look like traditional OCD. In this blog post, we will discuss what high-functioning OCD is, as well as some tips for coping with it.

What Is High Functioning OCD?

High Functioning OCD (HFCD) is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder and difficult to spot. It’s characterized by repetitive behaviors and extreme perfectionism, but not the more traditional signs associated with OCD. People who have this type of condition may go to great lengths to avoid making errors or being judged negatively, often at the expense of their own mental health. While they might appear successful and organized on the outside, they struggle internally with feelings of anxiety and doubt.

What Are The Symptoms Of Functioning OCD?

Symptoms Of Functioning OCD

Here are the common obsessions and compulsions associated with high functioning OCD:

  • Excessive worrying that something terrible will happen if they make a mistake.
  • Ruminating thoughts about the past and obsessively trying to control future outcomes. Being obsessed with perfectionism can lead to procrastination.
  • Perfectionism in all areas, from work to social life.
  • Intense fear of embarrassment or making physical mistakes.
  • An obsession with details and schedules.
  • Avoidance of certain activities or situations due to fear of failure.
  • A strong feeling of differentiating oneself from others. Compulsive checking, rechecking, and over-analyzing situations. Taking on excessive responsibility to prevent any mistakes.
  • Compulsive checking and rechecking behaviors. Usually, compulsions are not severe as in this disorder, people can control them.

What Triggers High Functioning OCD?

High functioning OCD can be triggered by a variety of factors including:

  • Inherited From Family: It’s possible that high-functioning OCD can run in families.
  • Abnormal brain Functioning: Some research suggests that OCD can be caused by abnormal brain activity.
  • Environment: Stressful life events such as the death of a loved one or divorce can trigger this condition.
  • Depression, Stress, And Anxiety: Many people who struggle with high-functioning OCD also have underlying depression, stress, and/or anxiety.

Link Between High-Functioning OCD And OCD

Link Between High-Functioning OCD And OCD

Here are the important link between high-functioning OCD and traditional OCD. It includes some similarities and differences:


  • Both forms of the disorder involve obsessions and compulsions.
  • High functioning OCD is a type of OCD where the person may not display the more obvious signs associated with traditional OCD.
  • They are associated with depression and anxiety.
  • People with high functioning OCD often have underlying depression, stress, and/or anxiety.


  • In high-functioning OCD, the compulsions and obsessions may not be as severe or time-consuming.
  • High functioning OCD is characterized by excessive worrying and perfectionism rather than the more traditional signs associated with OCD.
  • The person with HFOCD might appear to be successful or organized on the outside while struggling internally.
  • People with traditional OCD often have difficulty functioning in their day-to-day lives, whereas people with high-functioning OCD can maintain a facade of normalcy.

Diagnosis Of High-Functioning OCD

Diagnosis Of High-Functioning OCD

Since high functioning OCD isn’t as obvious as traditional OCD, it can be difficult to diagnose. If you think you or someone you know may have HFOCD, it’s important to talk to a mental health professional who can help determine if an official diagnosis is necessary. The doctor will ask questions about the person’s history, present symptoms, and life experiences. They may also recommend therapy or medications to help manage the condition.

Living With High Functioning OCD

Individuals with HFCD need to understand that their feelings are valid and that it is ok to ask for help. Finding ways to cope with triggers and manage feelings of anxiety or stress can also be beneficial in managing symptoms. Additionally, getting regular exercise, eating healthy foods, practicing relaxation techniques, and engaging in enjoyable activities can all help reduce stress levels. Finally, reaching out to friends and family members for support is important in managing the condition. It is also important to have a supportive network of mental health professionals who can provide guidance and advice. With the right help, it is possible to manage high functioning OCD and live a healthy life.

Treatment For Functioning OCD

Treatment For Functioning OCD

There are several treatment options available for those with high functioning OCD.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a type of talk therapy that can help people with OCD to recognize, manage and reduce their symptoms. It helps a person to examine the thinking patterns and behaviors that may be causing their OCD. This type of therapy can help the person learn healthier ways to cope with their obsessions and compulsions.

The mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is another type of treatment. This focuses on accepting and learning to live with one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Exposure and Response Prevention

Exposure and Response prevention (ERP) therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. This focuses on exposing a person to their triggers and learning how to manage their reactions. This type of therapy can help the person learn more effective ways to respond to their fears and reduce their compulsions. It can also help them to recognize when their thoughts are inaccurate and come up with more realistic ones.

The Imaginal exposure technique is another type of ERP. It involves imagining a situation and then writing or talking about it. This can help the person to confront their fear in a less intense way and slowly build up their tolerance. Another type of it is Vivo exposure which involves actually facing one’s fears in a safe environment.

Acceptance And Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. It focuses on helping the person to accept their feelings and thoughts, instead of trying to fight them. This can help the person become more flexible and comfortable with uncertainty. The goal is not to get rid of their OCD, but rather to learn how to manage it better.


Medication can also be used to treat high functioning OCD. Common medications used to treat the disorder include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants. These medications can help reduce symptoms of OCD by blocking serotonin receptors in the brain, thus improving mood and decreasing anxiety.

It is important to remember that no two people are the same and everyone responds differently to a treatment. It is important for individuals with High Functioning OCD to find an appropriate form of treatment that works for them.

Natural Treatments

Apart from conventional treatments, there are also some natural methods to help manage HFCD. These include relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, Yoga, and meditation. Eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise can also be beneficial for managing symptoms of OCD.

Mindfulness meditation, herbal supplements, and vitamin supplements also can be helpful in managing the symptoms of High Functioning OCD. Keeping a journal and tracking your thoughts and feelings can also be very helpful in managing the symptoms of OCD.

Hypnotherapy And Hypnosis

Hypnotherapy and hypnosis are also helpful options to manage symptoms of HFCD. These techniques can help the person relax and focus on positive thoughts while allowing them to explore their own inner mind. This can help them gain insight into their triggers and increase their capacity to cope with anxiety.

OCD Support Group

OCD Support Group

Joining a support group can be beneficial for those with high functioning OCD. It provides an opportunity to share experiences and learn strategies to manage the condition. Support groups can also provide emotional and social support, which can help people feel less alone in their struggles. OCD help books are also available to offer further guidance.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is another form of treatment. It is useful to manage symptoms of High Functioning OCD. TMS uses magnetic pulses to target specific areas of the brain, which can help reduce OCD symptoms and improve mood. It is a safe, non-invasive procedure for treating individuals with high functioning OCD.

Deep Brain Stimulation

DBS is a more invasive treatment option for high functioning OCD, but it has been found to be effective in treating the disorder. This form of treatment involves implanting electrodes into areas of the brain that have abnormal electrical activity. These electrodes send electrical signals which help reduce symptoms and improve overall functioning.


High Functioning OCD is a manageable condition with the right treatment plan. Several different options are available that address the disorder from both physical and psychological perspectives. Medications, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, natural treatments, and even more invasive treatments such as DBS and TMS can all be used to help manage symptoms of HFCD. Working closely with a mental health professional is essential in order to design an appropriate treatment plan that works best for the individual.

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 treatmentERP therapy experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session