The 5 most important types of OCD

There are three main characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD. These characteristics are compulsions, obsessions and anxiety caused by both.

Obsessions involve the occurrence of repetitive thoughts or ideas that disrupt the patient’s life and prevent him from concentrating beyond these. Compulsions are the consequence of obsessions and are used as a method to relieve the anxiety they cause. That is, people do things in a specific way in response to obsessions

Within Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), several main categories can be distinguished in which different groups of symptoms are included. In this article we will see the most common types of OCD.

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is one of the 5 most common psychopathologies, and it is characterized by the creation of a vicious cycle of obsessions and compulsionsthe two elements that are embodied in the number of this alteration.

Obsessions are intrusive thoughts that generate intense discomfort and cause the person to desperately seek a way to distract their attention from that mental content or, at least, relieve it by performing an action that maintains the intensity; and compulsion is precisely what ends up doing to achieve this, an action based on a sequence of behaviors that over time grows stronger until we perceive it as the only solution to obsessions.

Thus, obsession gives way to compulsion and vice versa, since both encourage us to attach great importance to the other, to predispose us to live them in an intertwined way. In addition, as OCD consolidates, obsessions tend to increase in complexity and level of difficultyso that if the person makes a mistake while performing it, they feel they have to start over.

What are the different types of OCD?

OCD can present in different ways, research suggests that people experience OCD symptoms in five main categories: cleanliness and contamination, compulsive hoarding, symmetry and order, checking or checking, and forbidden thoughts and impulses.

Although there is no official classification, the different groups of symptoms are described in the recent edition of the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Thus, mental health professionals prefer to refer to the different subtypes of obsessive-compulsive disorder as symptom dimensions.

1. TOC Pollution

Obsessive-compulsive contamination disorder is a type of OCD that refers to the obsession with cleanliness and personal hygiene.

People with this type of OCD have the fear that they or their environment will become contaminated and the fear that they will get serious illnesses, that someone in their environment will die for a germ-related reason, and the fear that they themselves come into contact with bacteria, viruses and even bodily fluids.

OCD compulsions for contamination can be: avoiding touching objects or people, avoiding frequenting places, as these can threaten your health; use protection such as gloves, paper towels, and wash often (shower, wash your hands several times or with hydroalcoholic gel each time you touch something that may be contaminated). And, having the fear of contracting serious illnesses, performing health tests repeatedlyas analyzes for sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STIs/STDs).

2. Repeat OCD

People who suffer from this type of OCD they think that if they don’t do a certain number of things, bad things will happen to them or their people. The obsession of OCD repetition is the belief that if they don’t say, say, the word “sky” 3 times, something catastrophic is going to happen to them. The constraint, in this example, is the repetition of the word “sky” so that nothing bad happens.

3. OCD of compulsive hoarding

People with compulsive hoarding disorder have great difficulty getting rid of their possessions. They have a lingering perception that the things they wear need to be kept. This causes them to store many useless items even though they have no real value. People with this disorder also they are prone to distress at the idea of ​​getting rid of their possessionswhich often leads to excessive clutter.

The obsession in obsessive-compulsive hoarding disorder is the fear of unwittingly throwing away something important. And, for its part, the compulsion is to keep all the objects and not throw anything away so as not to lose this relevant object. For example, if a person with compulsive hoarding OCD buys the diary every day and keeps it, he would never want to throw the diaries away for fear of throwing away the special ones for some reason.

Compulsive hoarding disorder must be differentiated from Diogenes syndrome. In the case of Diogenes syndrome, what accumulates is trash, whereas in hoarding disorder, the person keeps things that they consider necessary or valuable to them, they do not have to be disposable things. .

4. Verification TOC or Verification

People with obsessive-compulsive checking or checking disorder need to check out anything that could put them at risk in some way. For example, check that they have turned off the gas valve several times after cooking, lest there be an explosion. Or check that they have locked the house door with a key when leaving, lest they break in and steal, go back to make sure.

In this case, the obsession is the fear that something bad will happen through negligence: a theft or an explosion, for example. And, the constraint is the constant checking that they have locked the house or the car, or the gas valve in the kitchen.

5. Order TOC

People with obsessive-compulsive order need everything to be ordered in a certain way because otherwise, again, they think something bad is going to happen. People who suffer from OCD they often create guidelines and rules to generate this order. For example, pens to the left of the notebook placed in a specific color order and parallel to the notebook.

The obsession with this type of OCD is the need to place certain things a certain way (like pens) for fear that if they are not placed that way, something bad will happen. The constraint, on the other hand, is the need to order them to reduce this fear.

Sometimes the obsessive-compulsive disorder of order is accompanied by the obsessive-compulsive disorder of contamination, which we discussed earlier.

Consequences of suffering from OCD

Some people may think they suffer from a certain type of OCD because they are too orderly, or because they are afraid to leave the car unlocked or the house keys in place, or because they are obsessed with their personal hygiene or their home. Well, these manifestations are natural, we all have certain little obsessions in relation to specific subjects, and they do not in themselves constitute the suffering of any type of obsessive disorder.

However, a person can be said to have OCD when the way they tidy up, clean (or wash) results in a performance of rituals and steps that cannot be stopped and are not performed sensibly.

In addition, a person with OCD may constantly try to avoid situations that they are exposed to or that cause them fear. This means that on some occasions, people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder have their daily life disrupted because of it and, as a result, develop other conditions such as depression or anxiety. OCD can also be a cause of social isolation or work problems.

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