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[re-upload] what is OCD, and what are its different subtypes? by areen

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder, also known as OCD, is a common, chronic, and incurable but treatable mental disorder. OCD is described by its name: a cycle of uncontrollable, unwanted, and “obsessive” thoughts or ideas that lead to repetitive behaviors or “compulsions.” These “obsessions” are not to be mistaken with normal obsessions, such as playing a catchy song over and over again. Though everyone has intrusive thoughts, research shows that the difference is that people with OCD cannot get rid of, and are constantly tormented by these intrusive thoughts. OCD is a type of anxiety, and these extreme obsessive thoughts often stem from fear, stress, or disgust, and they cause more fear/stress. This leads to the compulsions part of OCD. compulsions are behaviors or routines that a person with OCD engages in to “satisfy” or “get rid of” these consuming thoughts, in hopes of reducing the negativity caused by them. these compulsions can be related to the obsession, or not related. an example of when a compulsion relates to the obsession is when you excessively check locks or doors because you fear your safety. this is actually a type of OCD called “checking OCD.” an example of a non-related compulsion can be knocking on wood 7 times so your loved ones don’t die. this is a subtype of OCD called “magical-thinking OCD.”

OCD has many many subtypes, but this article will only explore the most common ones.

starting with checking OCD, since it was mentioned first, this subtype is the obsessive fear or worry that something is going wrong. as a result, a person suffering from this type of OCD is inclined to seek reassurance via repetitive compulsions. next is contamination OCD, which is the obsessive fear or worry that you or a loved one have been infected with or are going to be infected with germs, a virus, etc. the compulsions aspect of this subtype may include over-cleaning, or over-using chemicals, etc. a lesser known/lesser talked about subtype that is similar to contamination is mental contamination. researchers believe that mental contamination is evoked when a person feels badly treated through abusive remarks. it is almost as if they are made to feel like “dirt,” which creates a feeling of “internal uncleanliness.” when people think of OCD, they usually think of contamination OCD or the subtype ordering OCD; ordering OCD is the obsessive thought that everything needs to be symmetrical or perfect. these thoughts are followed by uncontrollably ordering or arranging things in a certain way. the aforementioned rumination OCD is obsessing and over-analyzing a topic, question, or theme. this obsession is toxic and keeps you from doing things you need to do, which causes even more anxiety/stress. intrusive thoughts OCD may sound similar to the overall definition of OCD, but this type of OCD is more intense, constant, terrifying, unwanted, and uncontrollable thoughts. these thoughts usually fit into these categories: relationship or sexual thoughts, religious thoughts, violent thoughts, body-related thoughts (sensorimotor OCD), or “magical thoughts,” previously given an example of. another type of OCD is hoarding OCD, which is the obsession of keeping/not letting go of useless possessions, due to some related worry or fear. for example, someone with this type of OCD might shop for multiple sets of things because they genuinely might believe that the apocalypse may happen. a very special type of OCD, that may also intersect with tic disorder, is called PANDAS. though it has a cute name, it really stands for "Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections." occurring in children, this type of OCD is abruptly caused or worsened by a strep throat infection or scarlet fever.

OCD is a complex illness that many, both OCD warriors and people without OCD, cannot grasp; many professionals stuggle with understanding the causes, treatment methods, etc. of OCD. unfortunately, this causes a lot of misconceptions, which can often be harmful. by reading this article, you are educating yourself and helping the OCD community more than you know! thank you :)

thank you to these sources for providing information used in this article:

nothing in our articles are medical or professional advice. the writers at NTC are not professionals and should not be treated as ones. our blog was created only for educational purposes and raising awareness.

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