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What Is OCD?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 2 Sep 2018 | comments*Discuss
Ocd Symptoms Obsessive Compulsive

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) has several symptoms which usually relate to either or both of the obsession or compulsion sides of the disorder.

To the outside world, these may seem like weird and bizarre rituals, but they are actually coping mechanisms for most sufferers.

These rituals include frequently washing hands and clothes, obsessive checking and counting, and refusing to throw anything away.


Obsessive behaviour is a key part of obsessive compulsive disorder. Obsessive behaviour can take several forms, including:
  • Recurrent negative thoughts, impulses and images that invade the mind, and persistently cause anxiety and discomfort
  • The attempted suppression of these thoughts, impulses and images

Unlike general anxiety disorder, these negative thoughts are more than simply an exaggerated form of everyday worries. Sufferers will invariably spend a considerable amount of time trying to quash them (to no avail), which causes significant distress and anxiety.


OCD sufferers are prone to compulsive behaviour. This can occur in conjunction with obsessive behaviour, or it may exist alone. As with obsessions, compulsive behaviour is intended to counteract the fear of a specific event happening.

For example, many OCD sufferers believe that if they do not go through their compulsive rituals, something bad will undoubtedly happen as a direct result. Because of this, compulsive behaviour can cause much distress, and it is very uncommon for it to cause any degree of pleasure to the sufferer. Compulsive behaviour can include:
  • Repeatedly checking behaviour, such as frequently washing your hands and clothes (for fear of contamination), checking the lights are switched off, electrical appliances are turned off and that the doors are locked. In many cases, this can involve several trips back to make sure that the switch was definitely flipped or that the door was definitely locked, just to make doubly sure
  • Repetitive mental activities, such as silently chanting specific words and phrases, and constantly checking or counting things
  • The desire to maintain a tight control over the arrangement of items. For example, celebrity OCD sufferer David Beckham has admitted that he will only allow there to be three cans in the fridge, and any additional cans must be put in a cupboard instead. Any alteration to this preferred arrangement can cause a considerable amount of distress and anxiety

Obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers tend to perform what are seen as bizarre rituals such as frequently washing hands and clothes. These symptoms can be both obsessive and compulsive. OCD sufferers often feel that they need to perform these rituals to be able to get through their daily lives, despite the fact that they cause a good deal of distress to both themselves and the people around them.

They also take up a significant amount of time, as OCD sufferers repeatedly feel the need to go through their specific rituals for fear of “inviting” something bad to happen if they do not do so. Because of this, OCD and its symptoms can have a very debilitating effect on sufferers with regards to their health, mind-set and social relationships.

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If this happened because of his ROCD, it's basically like his greatest fear would be that he had never loved you. That would totally devastate him. And since that's what he doesn't want to be true, his OCD tried to convince him that it was. (OCD can be freakishly convincing). And he was probably fighting the thought in his head forever and finally blurted it out because he couldn't fight it anymore. It definitely doesn't mean that he actually doesn't love you. I hope that made some sense; I have OCD too, and it's kindof hard to explain.
Adda - 29-Jun-15 @ 3:02 AM
My husband is suffering from ROCD and told me in jan 2015 he didn't love me after 28 yr of marriage he said he hadn't ever loved me. We have been so happy for all them years. No one can BELIVE it. I am so hurt and upset I really don't know what to do. I really don't know how we can ever go back from this. Please help me understand. ??
Nad - 17-May-15 @ 9:01 PM
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