Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by the presence of obsessions and/or compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced as intrusive and unwanted, whereas compulsions are repetitive behavior or mental acts that an individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules must be applied rigidly. Some other obsessive-compulsive and related disorders are also characterized by preoccupations and by repetitive behaviors or mental acts in response to the preoccupations. Other obsessive-compulsive and related disorders are characterized primarily by recurrent body-focused repetitive behaviors (e.g., hair pulling, skin picking) and repeated attempts to decrease or stop the behaviors.
Signs of OCD Include
Repeated unwanted thoughts, fear of contamination, aggressive impulses, persistent sexual thoughts that you might cause other harm, thoughts that you might be harmed.
Signs of compulsion include:
Constant checking, constant counting, the repeated cleaning of one or more items, repeatedly washing your hands, constantly checking door locks, arranging items to face a certain way, walk-in pursuance of certain patterns.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD) is associated with reduced quality of life as well as high levels of social and occupational impairment. Impairment occurs across many different domains of life and is associated with symptoms severity. Impairment can be caused by the time spent obsessing and doing compulsions. Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions or compulsions can also severely restrict functioning. In addition, specific symptoms can create specific obstacles.
For example, obsessions about harm can make relationships with family and friends feel hazardous; the result can be an avoidance of these relationships. Health consequences can also occur.
For example, individuals with contamination concerns may avoid doctor’s offices and hospitals (e.g., because of fears of exposure to germs) or develop demagogical problems (e.g., skin lesions due to excessive washing). Sometimes the symptoms of the disorder interfere with its own treatment (e.g., when medications are considered contaminated).
When the disorder starts in childhood or adolescence, individuals may experience developmental difficulties. For example, adolescents may avoid socializing with peers; young adults may struggle when they leave home to live independently.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder is characterized by a preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in physical appearances that are not observable or appear only slight to others, and by repetitive behaviors (e.g., mirror checking, excessive grooming, skin picking, or reassurance seeking) or mental acts(e.g., comparing one’s appearance with that of other people) in response to the appearance concerns. The appearance preoccupations are not better explained by concerns with the body fat or weight in an individual with an eating disorder that is characterized by the belief that one’s body is too small or is insufficiently muscular.
Hoarding disorder is characterized by persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value, as a result of a strong perceived need to save the items and to distress associated with discarding them. Hoarding disorder differs from normal collecting. For example, symptoms of hoarding disorder results in the accumulation of a large number of possessions that congest and clutter active living areas to the extent that their intended use is substantially compromised. The excessive acquisition form of hoarding disorder, which characterizes most but not all individuals with hoarding disorder, consists of excessive collecting, buying or stealing of items that are not needed or for which there is no available space.
Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder)
The essential feature of Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) is the recurrent pulling out of one’s own hair (Criterion A). Hair pulling may occur from any region of the body in which hair grows; the most common sites are the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelids, while less common sites are axillary, facial, pubic, and peri-rectal regions. Hair-pulling sites may over time.
Hair pulling may occur in brief episodes scattered throughout the day or during less frequent but more sustained periods that can continue for hours, and such hair pulling may endure for months or years. Criterion A requires that hair pulling lead to hair loss, although individuals with this disorder may pull hair in a widely distributed pattern (i.e., pulling single hairs from all over the site) such that hair loss may not be clearly visible.
Hair pulling may also be preceded or accompanied by various emotional states; it may be triggered by feelings of anxiety or boredom, which may lead to gratification, pleasure, or a sense of relief when the hair is pulled out.
Symptoms of OCD (Brief)
Compulsive behavior, compulsive hoarding, hypervigilance, impulsivity, agitation meaningless repetition of own words, repetitive movements, social isolation, or persistent repetition of words or actions, ritualistic behavior, anxiety, guilt, or panic attack, apprehension, repeatedly going over thoughts, nightmares.