OCD is a debilitating disorder when clients are suffering from unwanted, intrusive thoughts, and/or engaging in compulsive behaviors such as cleaning, checking, or counting.
Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) treatment is extremely effective and is the best evidence-based treatment we have for the treatment of OCD. We strongly recommend working with one of our psychologists trained in ERP if you have OCD.
Common obsessions and compulsion symptoms are listed below.
Cleaning/Washing: excessive or ritualized handwashing, bathing, or grooming, excessive cleaning household items, excessive measures to remove contaminants
Checking: excessive checking of the stove, lacks, appliances, checking that there was not harm done to another person, making sure nothing terrible has happened or will happen, excessive checking to make sure mistakes were not made
Repeating: re-reading or re-writing, repeating daily activities (i.e. going up and down the stairs 4 times before leaving the house).
Counting: needing to count steps, number of times a behavior was performed, doing a checking compulsion a certain number of times
Ordering/Arranging: excessive need for order or special arrangement of items
Mental Compulsions: feeling the need to neutralize obsessions by compulsively bringing to the mind a specific number, image, or word
Miscellaneous: Excessive list-making, asking for reassurance to ensure something was or wasn’t done, needing to touch, tap, or blink a certain number of times
- Violent images
- Fear of saying inappropriate or obscenities
- Fear of acting on harmful impulses (i.e. knocking someone over on the metro platform, stabbing someone).
- Fear of hurting others because of carelessness
- Fear of being responsible for terrible things happening (fire, burglary)
- Concern with dirt and germs
- Fear of contaminating others
- Concerns about getting ill because of being contaminated
- Forbidden or unacceptable sexual thoughts/images/impulses
- Sexual worries about children or incest
- Worry of acting in sexually inappropriate ways towards others
- Obsessive thoughts about the need for things to be symmetrical