Common Symptoms of OCD

Fact I know; and Law I know; but what is this Necessity, save an empty shadow of my own mind's throwing?
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825- 95), English biologist.

Doubt and Other Disorders Logo

1 a : uncertainty of belief or opinion that often interferes with decision-making
b : a deliberate suspension of judgment
2 : a state of affairs giving rise to uncertainty, hesitation, or suspense
3 a : a lack of confidence : DISTRUST
b : an inclination not to believe or accept

1 : to disturb the order of
2 : to disturb the regular or normal functions of

Definitions from
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Common obsessions

Incessant worries about;






Recurrent thoughts that something has not been done properly even when the individual knows it has

Setting fire to the house

Flooding the house

Losing something valuable or of little or no importance

Bankrupting the company

Hurting someone

Repeated impulses to kill loved ones

Poisoning others food or drink etc.

Spreading illness

Running over a pedestrian

Behaving in a socially unacceptable manner


Making sexual advances

Saying the wrong thing

Blasphemous thoughts in a religious person

Feelings that certain things must always be in a certain place, position, or order

Worries about the shape or functioning of body parts

Intrusive nonsensical sounds, words, numbers, or images

Compulsions are strong urges to do something to reduce anxiety from the obsessions.

Repeatedly checking to see if;

Light switches appliances and faucets are off

Doors are locked

Numbers are correct

Forms filled out correctly


Counting to a certain number

Counting objects over and over

Repeatedly performing a behavior before being able to move on


Collecting mail or trash to the point of filling up one's home

Inability to throw away anything

Picking up trash on the streets and taking it home


Hand washing

Showering or cleaning oneself repeatedly

Decontaminating objects


Arranging items in perfect symmetry in a certain order (for example, cans or books on shelves, items on desk top)

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Always consult a trained mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment choice or changes in your treatment. Never discontinue treatment or medication without first consulting your physician, clinician or therapist.

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APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2009, January 11). Common Symptoms of OCD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 24 from

Last Updated: May 26, 2013

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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