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Understanding The Types Of OCD

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Living with untreated OCD can be challenging for the person coping and for their loved ones. Getting professional help, especially if substance abuse is also present, is a great choice. Contact Northpoint Seattle if you’d like to learn more about OCD treatment and could use help understanding the types of OCD. Call 888.483.6031 to connect with one of our knowledgeable staff members about programming at our Washington State facility.

What Is OCD and How Do I Know If I Have It?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a form of anxiety disorder in which the person struggling repeatedly experiences intrusive thoughts called obsessions. These thoughts can take many forms, often having violent, moral, or sexual themes. Regardless of the specifics, obsessions are disruptive in that they come unbidden into the person’s mind and can be hard to divest of significance.

Along with obsessions, people with OCD display compulsions or ritualized behaviors that temporarily relieve the stress of obsessions. Again, the behaviors can take many forms. They include everything from repeatedly organizing objects or checking that appliances are turned off to seeking endless reassurance from a partner that they do not intend to cheat on you. Compulsions, by definition, take away energy from the healthy activities of daily life.

Generally, in an official diagnosis, OCD thoughts and behaviors impact individuals for at least one hour per day. Notably, however, OCD also modulates significantly in severity within a single individual over time. Factors like stress, sleep deprivation, and cognitive tasks can all impact OCD’s hold on a person from one day to the next.

Many people first experience OCD symptoms in childhood or adolescence. However, regardless of when a person gets a diagnosis, treatment is always possible. The disorder responds well to many forms of intervention. These include exposure and response prevention, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and even antidepressant medication.

What Are the Major Types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

OCD comes in many forms, which are characterized by the subject matter that prevails for the person struggling. Here are a few of the most common subtypes of OCD:

Relational OCD

In this subtype, obsessions tend to center on fears that your loved ones do not really care for you or that you are committed to the wrong person. Compulsions may include behaviors like repeatedly asking for reassurance, “verbally downloading” the events from your day out of fear you’ve misstepped and the like.

Contamination OCD

People with this subtype often have intense fear related to germs, dirt, decayed food, bodily fluids, or broken glass. Their compulsions often involve significant avoidance of people or situations that pose any “risk,” as well as excessive hand or body washing or sanitizing.

“Just Right” OCD

This subtype is characterized by extreme doubt in one’s perceptions and actions. For example, a person with this subtype may experience obsessions characterized by a nagging sense of incompleteness. Their compulsions may thus involve checking or repeating an action, such as locking a door or turning off a light until it feels “just right.”

Harm OCD

Often related to sexuality or violence, the taboo thoughts those with OCD experience are just that: thoughts. These people do not have any more likelihood than the average person of engaging in behaviors like pedophilia, violent behavior, or incest. The thoughts, however, are so persistent as to be very troubling. Compulsions often involve avoiding circumstances or people the person fears they might harm.

Ordering OCD

Perhaps the most famous form of OCD, ordering OCD often involves a preoccupation with symmetry or other vectors of aesthetic organization. A person may feel significant distress when objects are “disorganized” and compulsively reorder them as a result.

Learn More About the Types of OCD and Begin Effective Treatment By Contacting Northpoint Seattle Today

Remember that if you’re coping with OCD, you’re in good company. The disease is fairly common and it exists at various levels of severity and manifests in many different ways. Effective care is available to you and your loved ones and you can enjoy many advantages from seeking treatment. From greater ease of mind and more freedom in your personal and professional life to better-quality sleep, treatment benefits are game-changers. Call 888.483.6031 or reach out using our online contact form for assistance with OCD management today.