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  • Writer's pictureJulia Markovich, LCSW(A)

What is OCD?

OCD or Obsessive-compulsive disorder is often stereotyped as someone who is “super clean”,

“organized”, and/or “rigid”. You may hear someone describe themselves as “so OCD” if they

have these traits, which could be the case, but there are many other obsessions/compulsions

that could also be considered.

According to the ICD-10-CM Diagnosis for Obsessive-compulsive disorder, unspecified, is (in

summary) defined as a neurological anxiety disorder where an individual experiences intrusive

and often disturbing thoughts, images, and/or ideas (obsessions), as well as urges to engage in

behaviors in an effort to relieve their obsessions (compulsions).

The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsion Scale (Y-BOCS) studies 12 categories of obsessions

and compulsions in patients:

1. Aggressive Obsessions

2. Contamination Obsessions

3. Sexual Obsessions

4. Hoarding/Saving Obsessions

5. Religious Obsessions

6. Obsession with Need for Symmetry or Exactness

7. Somatic Obsessions

8. Cleaning/Washing Compulsions

9. Checking Compulsions

10. Repeating Rituals

11. Counting Compulsions

12. Ordering/Arranging Compulsions

These categories could be seen in varying degrees depending on the person and their

circumstances. There are also other variants of OCD such as: Relationship OCD, Pure O,

Hoarding Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Perfectionism, and various Phobias

(Emetaphobia, Social Phobia, etc).

Regardless, if you have been diagnosed with OCD or wondering if you reach criteria for the

disorder, it is super important to reach out to someone who is familiar with OCD. This

professional can help you develop skills that would be helpful and offer support for the

symptoms you are experiencing. For example, mindfulness, exposure tolerance, and shame

resilience are great skills to learn to develop with a skilled therapist.

It can be pretty scary to experience some of these thoughts and/or urges- shame, anger,

sadness, confusion, and any other emotions you may or may not be feeling are completely

normal and make so much sense. You are not your thoughts and you can do this!

Here is a poem that could be helpful as you're navigating through all of this:

love when it rains

and when it pours

it cleanses the earth

and nourishes it's core

it's hardest at its heart

but when it's over

we can relax in it’s glory

because all things have meaning

even when there is endless rain, wind, and storm.


Other helpful resources:

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