The Most Common Types of OCD

Understanding OCD Last week we posted a blog about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), what it is and what the symptoms are. As OCD can affect people in so many different ways, below we have covered some of the most common types of the disorder.


Sufferers frequently have a compulsive need to check things in order to prevent bad things from happening. Checking is often carried out multiple times, sometimes even hundreds of times. This can take up hours of their day which often makes them late so it can have a serious impact on a person’s ability to hold down jobs and relationships.

Common examples include:

* Gas or electric stove hobs, appliances, candles and lights (fear of causing explosion or for the house to burn down)
* Taps (fear of flooding the property)
* Door locks, windows and alarms (fear of allowing a burglar to break in and steal or cause harm)
* Car doors (fear of car being stolen)
* Re-reading cards/letters/emails before sending (fear of writing something inappropriate or offensive)
* Illnesses and symptoms online (fear of developing an illness)


A lot of people with OCD have the constant need to clean and wash because they have an obsessive fear that something is contaminated and/or may cause illness and ultimately death to themselves or a loved one.

Common examples include:

* Using public toilets, shaking hands, touching door knobs/handles, using public telephones, waiting in a GP’s surgery, eating in a restaurant, being in a crowd and visiting hospitals (fear of contracting germs from other people)
* Coming into contact with chemicals (fear of contamination)
* Excessive tooth brushing (fear of mouth disease)
* Constantly cleaning the house (fear of germs being spread to family)

Mental Contamination

Feelings of mental contamination can be evoked when a person feels that they have been treated badly either physically or mentally, through critical or verbally abusive remarks. They feel like they have been treated like dirt which creates a feeling of internal uncleanliness even if they haven’t physically come into contact with a dangerous or dirty object.

As a result, sufferers will engage in compulsive attempts to wash the dirt away by showering and washing repeatedly.

If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with OCD, please feel free to visit our Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Knowledge Centre for more information about the condition, symptoms and treatments available. You can also contact us for help.

The Most Common Types of OCD Part Two
Quick Ways To Practice Mindfulness Daily

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