1. Having intrusive thoughts that are disturbing or not based in reality:
Many people with OCD experience intrusive thoughts, which are thoughts that pop into their head unexpectedly and that they can’t get rid of no matter how hard they try. The thoughts can be very disturbing and often don’t make any sense.
2. Compulsively engaging in behaviors or mental rituals to try to reduce the anxiety caused by the thoughts:
People with OCD often feel a tremendous amount of anxiety and distress from their intrusive thoughts, and many will compulsively engage in behaviors or mental rituals as a way of trying to relieve that anxiety. Behavioral rituals can include things like washing your hands excessively or checking the locks on your doors over and over again, while mental rituals can include things like counting or repeating mantras in your head.
3. Experiencing significant levels of anxiety and distress as a result of OCD symptoms:
The anxiety and distress caused by OCD symptoms can be incredibly overwhelming and can interfere with everyday life activities. People with OCD often feel like they are trapped in a cycle of fear and worry, and they may find it difficult to focus on anything else.
4. Feeling like you’re out of control around your thoughts and behaviors:
One of the scariest things about OCD is the feeling that you are no longer in control of your own mind. People with OCD often feel like their thoughts and behaviors are completely out of their control, which can be extremely frightening.
5. Obsessing over things that are generally considered to be harmless or irrelevant:
One common symptom of OCD is obsessing over things that are generally considered to be harmless or irrelevant. People with OCD may fixate on phrases, numbers, images, or other objects for hours at a time, even when there is no logical reason to do so.
6. Struggling with guilt and shame about your OCD symptoms:
Many people with OCD feel a lot of guilt and shame about their symptoms, partly because they feel like they should be able to control them better than they do. This can lead to a lot of isolation and secrecy around OCD, which only makes the condition worse.
7. Avoiding situations or activities because they trigger your OCD symptoms:
Another common symptom of OCD is avoidance, which refers to deliberately avoiding situations or activities that trigger your OCD symptoms. This can be anything from staying away from crowded places to not eating foods that you’re afraid of contaminating.
8. Feeling like your OCD is a constant burden that you can’t shake off:
Living with OCD can be incredibly exhausting, both mentally and emotionally. Many people with OCD feel like they are carrying a constant burden that they can never escape from.
9. Experiencing sudden and dramatic changes in mood as a result of your OCD symptoms:
The stress and anxiety caused by OCD can often lead to sudden and dramatic changes in mood, which can be very confusing and upsetting. People with OCD may find themselves feeling happy one minute and then feeling completely overwhelmed with anxiety the next.
10. Having difficulty carrying out day-to-day tasks due to the impact of OCD symptoms:
The symptoms of OCD can often make it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks, such as going to work or school, taking care of household chores, or even just leaving the house. This can lead to a lot of disruptions in daily life and can make it hard to function normally.