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What Do You Need To Know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Updated on May 5, 2012

You have just finished locking your house and as you are about to start your car you feel the urge to check the lock on the house once again. You go back once again and check whether the locks are secure one more time. You could repeat this scenario a couple of more times before you are satisfied and only then leave the place. If this is a common occurrence and you tend to do it every time you step out of the house then you can be said to be suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder.

Is this disorder curable and what are the symptoms and signs that indicate that you suffer from it? Obsessive compulsive disorders could be a form of anxiety attacks where the individual has certain repetitive patterns of behavior which he or she is compelled to follow.

Here is a list of symptoms that are normally associated with this disorder:

  • Double checking everything like locks, kitchen appliances and this obsession of checking includes your loved ones,
  • Wasting a lot of time washing and cleaning the same thing,
  • Accumulating old things that are of no use like newspapers and empty bottles and
  • Other obsessive rituals.

One of the most common traits of obsessive compulsive personality disorder is washing your hands again and again. While cleanliness is to be appreciated the obsession with it might lead the individual to wash his/her hands at least fifty times in a day,

People with this disorder can be categorized into

  • Washers - Washers tend to keep washing their hands and fear that they might get infected if they do not do so.
  • Checkers and doubters - Checkers and doubters keeping checking things in a repeated manner.
  • Counters and arrangers – They are usually obsessed with a certain arrangement or number.
  • Hoarders – They accumulate lots of things like old newspapers dating back a couple of decades and other things that are broken and obsolete.

Obsessive compulsive disorder affected people do not think of their quirks as odd but it is mostly their loved ones who have to bear the brunt of their behavior.

Overcoming the disorder is very important as otherwise you become obsessed with a certain routine and this could cause a lot of problems for you as an individual and to your loved ones who might get irritated with this aspect of your personality.

The treatment could vary from taking medicines to counseling sessions both individually and with family. Obsessive compulsive disorder affects not just the individual but also their loved ones and they will need to control it in order to lead a happy life.


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    • rahulshariff profile image

      Rahul Shariff 5 years ago from India

      Thanks Eric for reading my Hub and you are right in saying that it can be a very debilitating disorder. All of us do have our minor obsessions but when it starts affecting our daily life we need to take notice and correct the situation.

    • Eric Calderwood profile image

      Eric Calderwood 5 years ago from USA

      This can become a very debilitating disorder for some people. I have heard about one person who could not leave a bathroom if there was no paper towels to open the door with. This person had to stand and wait for someone else to enter the door so that they could exit without touching it. I personally know someone who would have to count the sips they took from their drink and could not stop until they reached the correct number. This person also could not walk down a sidewalk without clearing any rocks or sticks that may have been lying on it. My psychology professor, back in college, told us that we all have some minor obsessions, but that it was normal unless it got to the point where it upset your normal ability to function. Certainly not being able to skip a habit without it making you feel so uncomfortable that you have to go back and correct the situation would qualify.