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You are here:DisordersObsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)What are the signs and symptoms of OCD?

What are the signs and symptoms of OCD?

Signs and symptoms

With OCD you will have obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours, which are where you may have a ritual/perform a certain ‘act’ repetitively where it will give you a short sense of relief. Signs and symptoms of OCD can be any of the following:

  • Having disturbing thoughts consistently (violent and unsettling thoughts)
  • Unable to control your thoughts
  • Your mind is somewhere else, and you can’t focus on anything else expect that thought, you are consumed by it
  • You may become very paranoid
  • You may repeat certain behaviours e.g. you may have a bad thought and your compulsion may be staying in the same place until you have counter-acted your bad thought
  • Unable to stop your rituals
  • You feel like you have wasted your day because you are consumed by your thought
  • You feel powerless like you can’t control your own mind
  • It affects your mood
  • Excessively double checking of things
  • Doubting yourself and your own actions
  • Feeling sick, anxious and unsettled
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As soon as I had an intrusive thought, I terrified myself into thinking it would happen.
— Katy M

Responsive symptoms

These symptoms are when you respond to your OCD thoughts, when you respond to these thoughts, you allow them to take over.

  • You may act out of the ordinary
  • You may pause for long periods of time throughout the day, because you are too busy focusing on that unwanted thought, your time seems to just pass you by
  • You may act on your thought; you may think it’s ‘silly’ but you can’t help it. It could be that you had a thought or image in your mind about harming a loved one, therefore you act on that thought, which may lead you to avoid that person in order to keep them safe (which will make sense to you, but not to that person)
  • You may isolate yourself because you think the outside world could trigger your thoughts even more
  • Act impulsively