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: