Do you know these 3 common OCD symptoms?

Do you know these 3 common OCD symptoms?

Two percent of the U.S. population has obsessive compulsion disorder (OCD), according to TIME Health. While two percent may not seem large, this is equivalent to 6.5 million people.

Many people declare they have OCD despite never being diagnosed (For example: Someone saying, “I swear I have OCD!” or “I’m so OCD!”  because they decided to color-code their closet or had to wash their hands before a meal.) Just because you have an organized desk doesn’t necessarily mean you have OCD.

Just like understanding a migraine isn’t the same as a headache, understanding OCD versus anxiety or certain habits is equally as important.

Dr. Rian Rowles, a psychiatrist with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., offers a few key behaviors that experts identify as being symptoms of OCD.

  1. Compulsions

These are repetitive behaviors someone may feel driven to perform to help reduce anxiety or prevent something bad from happening. Usually, these behaviors are similar to rituals, are excessive and would not seem like realistic fixes to a problem to someone who does not have OCD. For example, checking the stove a certain number of times to make sure it is turned off or repeating a word or phrase a certain number of times to assure a specific outcome.

  1. Tough to Reassure

OCD patients tend to feel constant anxiety, where absolute certainty seems impossible. No matter how many times you try to assure them that yes, they are safe, or yes, they remembered to lock the door, they may seem to be unconvinced and will continue with their compulsions or rituals.

  1. Constant Anxiety or Fear

While OCD affects patients at various levels, there are usually real-world dangers which trigger most compulsions and lead to anxiety. For example, people do get locked out of their houses and get sick from germs. But while most people temporarily worry about these dangers or take necessary precautions, those with OCD will consistently think about those dangers and have a more challenging time coping with the uncertainty of those dangers happening.

While these are common symptoms of OCD, they are meant to only serve as a point of reference. Dr. Rowles wants to remind you that like with any mental illness, if you suspect you need treatment, you should seek out a licensed professional.

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About the Author

Jamie Bonnema
Jamie Bonnema

Jamie Bonnema, health enews contributor, is a specialist of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. She earned her BA in communications from DePaul University in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and cheering on the Chicago Cubs.

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