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OCD Symptoms and Signs to Watch for

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“An individual looking as normal as person can be, has an ordinary simple job and lives an ordinary life. But when it comes to having meals this individual has rules; the fork has to be on the right and spoon on the left straight, salt always on the right side of the plate, food has to be chewed 45 times.” The person is suffering from Obsessive compulsive disorder. Read on and get to know more about what is OCD and what OCD Symptoms and Signs to Watch for in your loved one?

OCD symptoms and signs in elderly

Obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD is one of the most common anxiety disorders that are seen among general population. In OCD an individual has obsession and compulsions. Obsessions are a kind of images, thoughts and ideas that come to one’s mind, these thoughts are extremely distressing and the individual finds themselves unable to control it. OCD symptoms and signs include obsessions and compulsions.


A few symptoms of obsessions include:

  • Thoughts, ideas and images that keeping coming to one’s mind.
  • These thoughts, ideas and images are unwanted.
  • Whenever they occur they cause extreme distress to the individual.
  • The individual has made failed attempts to avoid them.
  • These thoughts, ideas and images are time consuming.


These are the mental acts or behaviours an individual is driven to perform ritualistically as a result of the obsessions, these compulsions provide temporary relief. A few symptoms of compulsion include:

  • The acts are directed to reduce the distress caused by the obsessions.
  • If the ritualistic act is not performed, the individual feels guilty or thinks that something awful is going to happen.
  • The individual has to complete it if started, they cannot leave it incomplete.
  • These ritualistic acts are time consuming.
  • The relief experienced after performing the act is temporary.

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Some more OCD symptoms in adults

OCD symptoms and signs may differ from individual to individual and depends on the type of obsessions or compulsions the individual is experiencing. Here are the symptoms of OCD with regards to the different types of OCD:

  1. Obsessions of harm: Here the individual constantly feels that something bad is going to happen. For example, they may think that if they do not perform a ritualistic behaviour their family would die. And in order to counter this thought they have the compulsion of checking. This may include the following:
  • Constantly checking if the doors are locked before sleeping.
  • Checking multiple times if the stove is turned off.
  • Not able to leave the house as the person comes back to check if the doors are locked.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to check things around the house.

2.Obsessions of contamination: Here the individual has the fear of getting contamination which might lead to sickness and eventually death. This usually comes with the compulsion of cleaning or washing. The compulsions may include:

  • Washing hands or taking bath multiple times or whenever they touch someone/something new.
  • Washing cloths and cleaning the house multiple times.
  • In extreme cases the individual would scrub themselves to the extent that they start bleeding or the individual may use extremely hot water to bathe.
  • At times they may also avoid eating as they would believe that the food might be contaminated or if they open their mouth germs might get in.
  1. Hoarding: Here the individual tends to collect everything possible and does not discard them. They feel that it might be of value later and hence keep storing it. This may include:
  • They may collect books, cloths, plastic bag and anything.
  • When they are separated from the items they store, they experience extreme distress.
  • They store things to the extent that it starts cluttering and make the living space smaller, which becomes difficult to live in.

Obsessions of symmetry: Here the individual wants all their surroundings to be in order. This usually comes with the compulsion of arranging and counting. This may include:

  • Arranging everything around the house or workplace in a particular manner or in a particular direction.
  • Buying clothes only of a particular colour.
  • Counting anything such as they may count number of steps to places.
  • Counting minutes to complete a task

Lastly, there can be cases wherein the individual only has obsessions without any compulsive behaviour. Such as the individual may have aggressive obsessions like images of stabbing a person but they might not have ritualistic act to counter it.

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OCD Treatment in India

If you think you may be or know anyone who may be suffering from OCD, it can be very distressing. OCD treatment options are very hopeful and helps manage the illness well. They can seek treatment with a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist for medication and for psychotherapy and counseling. To meet our professional, call us for an appointment on +919611194949 or visit Cadabam’s.

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