THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF OCD
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OCD takes hundreds of different forms, as unique as each individual. It is not limited to contamination, washing, checking, cleaning, counting, symmetry, or setting things in order that you see on TV or read about in books and magazines. It can also take the form of hypochondriasis (health or medical worries), hoarding, unwanted sexual doubts (doubts you're straight, gay, lesbian), relationship doubts (whether you or your mate love each other, or might cheat), guilt, over-responsibility, scrupulosity, or religious worries, disturbing harming thoughts, body dysmorphic, reviewing, fear of being a sexual predator or pedophile (or of being a victim, or other sexual taboos), checking one's own bodily functions (blinking, swallowing, breathing, pulse, etc.), and many more. Below are descriptions of just some of the types of OCD:
An exaggerated obsessive worry about one's health (in the absence of supporting medical evidence), endless internet researching medical information, visits to doctors, odd diets, or reassurance seeking from others. Ordinary physiological sensations can be misinterpreted as cancer, heart disease, HIV, etc. (more...)
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Collecting, buying, or failure to discard possessions. Sometimes hoarding OCD can also take the form of never using items for fear of "damaging" them. Frequently, hoarders won't allow people into their home out of embarrassment, or will prevent others from moving or tampering with their belongings for fear they won't be able to find important things in case they need them. (more...)
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HOCD (Orientation Doubts):
Unwanted gay or lesbian thoughts or abrupt doubts about one's sexual identity. With HOCD, sufferers often check whether they get aroused by a variety of same-sex situations, in effect testing their sexual orientation. (more...)
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POCD & Taboo Sexual Thoughts:
Sexual OCD sufferers experience upsetting obsessions about inappropriate sexual relationships, such as family members, children, married people, animals, or rape. They fear they'll become a pedophile, rapist, molester, adulterer, promiscuous, pornographer, paraphiliac, fetishistic, or deviant. Sexual OCD sufferers constantly test their arousal level to these targets hoping to reassure themselves that they're normal. (more...)
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Relationship OCD (ROCD):
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Scrupulosity (Guilt OCD):
Exaggerated sense of guilt or dread of punishment, harsh disapproval, or retaliation. Sufferers fear they've either offended someone, question if they did something illegal, immoral, or sinful. They might engage in compulsive apologizing, confessing minor infractions, seeking amends and reassurance, over-justifying their actions and opinions, review past events for violations, or engage in excessively long or repetitive religious rituals beyond what is normative in their faith community. (more...)
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Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD):
Distorted negative body image, compulsively checking, covering up, or over-grooming a particular part of their body or appearance (hair, fat, stomach, chest, skin, teeth, birth marks, face shape, eyebrows, nose, etc.). BDD can sometimes also be an imaginary body odor. BDD is often misdiagnosed as an eating disorder like anorexia. They might look the same, but their causes and treatments are very different.
Violent Obsessions (Harm-OCD):
You worry you'll harm others, often loved ones, or that you or they will be harmed by crime or accident.
Pure O (Pure Obsessional OCD):
"Pure O" (purely obsessional) OCD is really a misnomer and an often used but obsolete term. With Pure O, the OCD sufferer thinks they have only obsessions and not compulsions. In reality, so called Pure O sufferers have internal mental compulsions, usually self-reassurance, rather than behavioral compulsions. Pure O sufferers try to talk themselves out of their worry, answer an unanswerable question, or ask others to reassure them.
Fear that something has become contaminated (by germs, dirt, asbestos, chemicals, or contaminiated just by an evil superstitious thought) and that either the person or loved ones will be contaiminated in turn. Sometimes contamination OCD can also take the form of feeling disgusted by contact, without any fear or danger associated. Often people feel compelled to clean, wash, launder, throw out, or isolate "contaminated" objects.