Signs and Symptoms

OCD TreatmentThere are a number of signs of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that can help you recognize when it’s time to get OCD treatment: anxiety, obsessing over certain thoughts or actions, an inability to control impulsive actions, nervous tics or habits, isolation and alienation and financial problems. Because there are so many different types of OCD (and different compulsive actions and obsessive behaviors as a result), almost no one will exhibit all the symptoms listed below. However, if you recognize yourself in some of these symptoms and have concerns, seek OCD Treatment help from a medical professional who can give you a diagnosis and the treatment you need.

If you’re looking for OCD treatment near you, contact our mental health help phone number above. We can help you get the medical help you need.


For those whose issue with OCD is obsession, obsessing is obviously a sign of the disorder. It may be something simple, like the inability to walk up a flight of stairs without counting each step or needing to check that the lights are off at night multiple times. Obsessive thoughts, too, are a sign of OCD. If you can’t stop thinking about something someone said to you or worrying about something you need to do or something that has already happened, OCD may be the reason.

Signs Someone Needs OCD Treatment for Obsession

For someone with OCD, the signs of the disorder will come in either the form of their obsessions or compulsions. Since obsessions are thoughts that will not be visible, but an individual may be more fixated or apprehensive about certain topics than the average person. Fears may develop around just about anything, but some typical OCD obsessions are:

  • Fear of germs
  • Fear of making mistakes
  • Fear of hurting self or others
  • Obsession with symmetry
  • Obsession with precision

Many people without OCD have thoughts or occasional fears involving the topics above, however, certain characteristics set obsessions apart from normal everyday worries. Obsessions are time-consuming, taking up at least one hour a day. OCD obsessions cause anxieties that are so intense they interfere with daily responsibilities and activities. Lastly, obsessions lead to related compulsive behaviors that attempt to resolve the fears produced by the obsessive thoughts.

Inability to Control Impulsive Actions+

The actions that signify OCD – counting stairs or electricity poles as you drive by, repeated hand washing, et cetera – are driven by compulsive behavior and the inability to control these compulsions is another symptom of OCD. Often this compulsivity can be addressed at OCD treatment with both medication and therapy. Learning the coping skills to fight the behaviors and retraining the brain are all part of getting the help you need.

Signs Someone Needs OCD Treatment for Compulsions

Some compulsions characteristic of OCD are as follows:

  • Excessive Washing or Cleaning. Usually due to worries over germs or contamination
  • Compulsively Double Checking. For example, constantly checking the door is locked or the stove is off.
  • Compulsive Organizing. For instance, all the clothes in the closet must be ordered by color or all the hangers need to face in the same direction.
  • Hoarding. The inability to get rid of items of no value or use.
  • Rituals of Thought. For example, the OCD sufferer must recite a certain prayer or proverb in response to negative occurrences.

Again, the average person may have behaviors similar to those above, so what distinguishes between a problem behavior and a full-blown compulsion? First, the behavior must be related to obsessive thoughts. Second, compulsions are repetitive and take an hour at minimum each day to perform. In addition, compulsions are deliberate. Unlike obsessions, which those with OCD feel are uncontrollable, the individual engages in compulsive behaviors on purpose at first. Over time, the compulsions become unmanageable as well and end up producing anxiety rather than reducing it.


Anxiety is one of the most common signs and symptoms of OCD. Stress over obsessive thoughts, fear that someone will see or judge you for your repeated compulsive actions, anxiety over the fact that you have these thoughts and impulses – all of these things contribute to a high-stress life that many experience while living with OCD.

Nervous Habits+

Nervous habits or tics are another sign of OCD. Some people with OCD feel that they can’t avoid touching certain things as they walk by or must continually adjust and readjust something on their clothing or in their home. They do these things without even noticing and only realize what they are doing when others point it out. After that, anxiety usually starts as they realize that their nervous habit is abnormal and brings them unwanted attention.


Isolation and alienation is another symptom of OCD. People living with all kinds of OCD behaviors – aggressive sexual impulses, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors – recognize that their tendencies are outside of the normal scope of experience and, as a result, they tend to isolate themselves from others when they are unable to hide their OCD symptoms. Unfortunately, this symptom of OCD only worsens the individual’s experience and makes it even harder to get the OCD treatment necessary to heal.

Tactics Used by People Who Need OCD Treatment

People with OCD spend a lot of time caught in the cycle of their obsessions and compulsions. However, they also go to great efforts in an attempt not to have any uncontrollable thoughts or behaviors. Those suffering from OCD may attempt the following to ease their anxieties:

  • Avoidance. Attempting to avoid any behavior that may cause unwanted fears leading to compulsions. These avoidance behaviors can be so extreme that some people end up virtual prisoners in their own home.
  • Distraction. Constantly attempting to move one’s attention away from unwanted thoughts
  • Making Rules. Those with OCD will sometimes develop irrational rules for family or friends to follow in an attempt to prevent undue stress or anxiety from their own obsessive thoughts.

Financial Problems+

For those whose OCD tends to focus on hoarding, shopping or aggressive and damaging behaviors, financial problems are always an issue and a sign that the problem has gotten out of control. Hoarders often shop at thrift stores, garage sales, and bargain stores a few times a week and drain their bank account as a result. Those who exhibit violent behaviors or behaviors that damage property, often find that their legal bills and fees pile up. Additionally, those who suffer from OCD often have a hard time fitting in in the work force due to their OCD signs and symptoms and have a difficult time maintaining a steady income as a result.

OCD symptomsWarning Signs that Require Treatment

If you can identify obsessive compulsive disorder, you can help yourself or a friend get help. Unfortunately, there is not one easy test or method to identify OCD, as it is a psychiatric disorder. You will want to watch closely and look for common signs and symptoms in order to tell if OCD is an issue. When looking for these symptoms, remember that all OCD sufferers act differently and OCD can exhibit itself in many ways according to the person:

Depression: Among other symptoms, many OCD sufferers also experience depression. The inability to control unwanted obsessions and compulsions causes many OCD sufferers to struggle with stress that eventually leads to depression. An estimated one third of all OCD sufferers experience depression.

Need for perfection: Although wanting perfection does not always mean a person has OCD, many OCD sufferers experience high levels of stress when their standard of how things should be put away, organized or cleaned are not met.

Checking for problems: OCD sufferers may obsessively look for mistakes they might have made. For example, they might return to their homes to check if a light has been turned off or a door locked. They might go over bank statements or work projects excessively to see if they made a mistake. Checking once is rarely enough to make the obsessive worry go away.

Fight OCD Signs and Symptoms with OCD Treatment

If you are ready to stop your OCD signs and symptoms and get the OCD treatment you need to change your life, call now. We can help you identify the different OCD treatment options in your area and assist you in determining which one is best for you.