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My OCD doesn't seem to fit the stereotypes. Are there different types of OCD?

104 Answers
Last Updated: 01/20/2022 at 11:10am
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May 7th, 2017 4:23am
The most well known type of ocd is the person who cleans all the time and organizes all the time. this is known as Contamination OCD – the need to clean and wash is the compulsion, the obsessive fear is that something is contaminated and/or may cause illness, and ultimately death, to a loved one or oneself. Mental Contamination In addition to the more familiar type of contamination, that is commonly perceived to be the stereo-typical image of OCD, involving someone that washes their hands repeatedly after coming into contact with potentially dirty objects or environments, there is also a less obvious form called 'mental contamination'. Another well know one is someone who checks to make sure the doors locked fifty million times (like me) this is called "checking" ocd. The need to check is the compulsion, the obsessive fear might be to prevent damage, fire, leaks or harm other types that arent so well known include Hoarding - Another obsession long considered to be part of ‘OCD’ is the inability to discard useless or worn out possessions, commonly referred to as ‘hoarding’. Ruminations 'Rumination' is a term often used to describe all obsessional intrusive thoughts, but this is misleading. In the context of OCD a rumination is actually a train of prolonged thinking about a question or theme that is undirected and unproductive. Unlike obsessional thoughts, ruminations are not objectionable and are indulged rather than resisted. Many ruminations dwell on religious, philosophical, or metaphysical topics, such as the origins of the universe, life after death, the nature of morality, and so on. and the last one might surprise you but Intrusive Thoughts - Intrusive thoughts, in the spectrum of OCD, are where a person generally suffers with obsessional thoughts that are repetitive, disturbing and often horrific and repugnant in nature. For example, thoughts of causing violent or sexual harm to loved ones. (i actually suffer from this as well and we didnt know i had OCD until i told my therapist about the strong "urges" i had to self harm even though im not suicidal) you can read more about these OCDs and a few others here:
June 27th, 2018 8:29am
Yes there are different types of OCD or rather "brands of OCD" as I have heard it referred to as. The other thing I have heard OCD described as is "the doubting disease." Many people think that in order to have OCD you have to be contasntly washing your hands or checking the stove top burners. That is not true. Those two activities are what is known as compulsions. It is in fact possible to have OCD without any much if any noticeable compulsions. I have heard this refered to as "Pure O" which is to say the person has the obsession part of the disease, but not the actual compulsions. As wise as different "brands" of OCD some are more common than others and some more obscure. Some people may be obsessed with the fact that their clothes might be dirty and deep down they know it isn't, but the doubt is to hard to manage so they will go change and they will do this mulitple times a day or hour or what have you. Sometimes you have people who doubt if the wall near them is stable and will have to keep touching it. There is also a "brand" where people doubt their sexual orientation. The person KNOWS their sexual orientation they just keep doubting it. Also, not all compulsions and obsessions match up in logical ways. Still not sure why a person might wash their hands when they doubt if the wall might not stand up, but stranger things have been known to occur. The one common thing that all of them have in common is the doubting and the double guessing. As one man explained, the thing about O.C.D. is that the person keeps doubting something, but if a gun was pointed at their head and asked if the stove was on, the wall was going to fall, if they are or aren't straight..Ever single person with O.C.D. would answer the question correctly. They know the answer they just can't keep from doubting it.
March 19th, 2017 3:20pm
Absolutely! There are 2 main forms of OCD (remember the "O" and "C" in OCD - Obsession and Compulsion). The first type of OCD is generally called 'bad thought' OCD; this is where the person has more intrusive thoughts, rumination (where they keep thinking of a certain thought over and over again), obsession with a certain thought, etc. Even though the thoughts may not be 'bad' per se, the thoughts are intrusive and are always interrupting the person's life. An example may be that a person constantly has thoughts of throwing things, even though they have never done this before. They may have repeating thoughts where they throw things, break things, or damage objects, despite never having been violent in their life at any point. Even though these thoughts are intrusive and distressing, and very real, the person never acts on the thoughts, they are merely 'there'. The second type of OCD is compulsive; this is where the person tries to do anything they can to reduce their anxiety related to a particular situation. This is the compulsive part of OCD. For example, a person who has persistent thoughts about breaking things may divert their attention to cleaning. They may clean everything they own from top to bottom, underneath, and disinfect everything. This is not necessarily because they are afraid of germs, but rather because cleaning allows them to stop the negative thoughts about breaking things. Although there are 2 main forms of OCD, there are countless ways that OCD can present itself. Every person is unique, and every person is a living story. You may not fit the mold of someone with OCD, and that's okay. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because you have OCD doesn't mean you are any different than anyone else; OCD is still distressing, regardless of how it manifests. A third type of mental disorder, not specific to OCD, is when a disorder is classified as NOS (Not Otherwise Specified). What this means is that a person shows many of the symptoms of having a particular disorder, but does not show 'enough' of the symptoms to meet full criteria for a clinical diagnosis. This is not a bad thing, and mental health professionals recognize that the symptoms are just as distressing as anyone else who meets criteria for a disorder. The difference may be that someone who meets criteria for a diagnosis of OCD may have 5 out of 9 symptoms, whereas someone who has OCD-NOS (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified) may only have 4 out 9 symptoms. Often times people who have a -NOS diagnosis notice that their symptoms changes over time; the 4 symptoms they originally showed may not be the same symptoms they have in 6 months. To answer your question briefly: Yes, there are different types and forms of OCD. If you have any doubt, talk to a mental health professional or one of the licensed therapists here on 7 Cups. What is most important it not a diagnosis, but rather how you can manage your symptoms and lead a healthy lifestyle!
April 14th, 2017 1:00pm
No condition is the same for each person, especially when it comes to mental health. Everyone thinks differently and just because you don't match the typical symptoms doesn't mean you're not suffering.
December 9th, 2016 1:31am
Absolutely. I have OCD, but I'm disorganized and I don't worry about germs. OCD can take many different forms, which can change in type and severity over the course of a lifetime.
June 27th, 2018 8:40pm
There aren’t different ‘types’ of OCD as much as there are different manifestations of OCD. One person may have an obsession that has to do with relationships, whereas another person’s obsessions could be related to contamination. The underlying illness is the same and manifestations of OCD can change over time. Something that a person has obsessed about for a long time can suddenly cease to be an issue for them. And on the same hand, something that has never been an issue can suddenly be an issue.
January 5th, 2018 4:45pm
Yes there are many very different types of OCD. Few types you can't even tell the person has it. Intrusive thoughts or images that greatly stress one out and interiors their day to day life is also a form. As well as unhealthy obsessions with anything.
June 28th, 2018 9:51am
There are so many different types each compulsion is specific to the person and that persons fears don’t worry it’s nothing to be scared about a lot of people feel the same way as you
September 5th, 2018 1:30pm
There are many different types of OCD. The obsessions/ compulsions one may experience differ from person to person. Order, checking and fear of germs are common symptoms of OCD, but they do not apply to every individual. A diagnosis does not need one to meet stereotypes, only a set criteria (experiencing obsessive thoughts and compulsions over a set amount of time). For example, one may experience instructive thoughts concerning their relationships, and may constantly check in with their partner for reassurance. Other people may experience OCD with 'hidden' or less observable compulsions. Instead of handwashing, for example, you may internally develop guilt over your thoughts or deliberately avoid experiences which are related to your thoughts. Remember, having intrusive thoughts is in no way representative of your 'true' self!
September 9th, 2018 1:49pm
Yes there are multiple versions of OCD. It's just something you do over and over again sometimes. Here are some examples Counting, checking things over and over again, haveing to knock three times. It is just something you do over and over again or your brain will start to panic. Like a couple months ago for me I have OCD with counting and checking everything. I was with my friends and I start to count and one of my friends not knowing away better stop me and I shut down and had a panic attack. That can really happen with any version of OCD
November 9th, 2018 9:42pm
Yes, there are different types of OCD. The 5 types are as follows: Checking, Contamination, Hoarding, Intrusive Thoughts/Ruminations, and Symmetry and Ordering. Most healthcare professionals feel that a persons OCD behaviors will fall into one of these five categories; however, there may also be instances where a person's behaviors overlap into more than one category. Checking is the compulsion to examine or check on items due to fear or worry...locks, possessions, water, etc. Feeling the need to check is usually repetitious and can last hours. Checking can cause serious problems in a person's life by causing them to be late or completely miss important events and scheduled responsibilities. It can also cause damage to the item which is being constantly checked. Contamination is the fear that something is unclean, whether it is the person, objects, or even environments. It causes the person to feel compelled to clean or avoid the "dirty" object or area. It can also be that the individual feels that he/she is contaminated because they have suffered mental/physical/emotional abuse from others and that he/she is somehow dirty or unfit to be treated as a human. Hoarding is an OCD type that involves gathering items out of an irrational fear or worry to be without them when the item might be needed. It is not simply an inability to get rid of useless things. Ruminations are long trains of thought which are without direction and unproductive. The themes may be religious, philosophical, or even metaphysical in nature. They are time-consuming and can preoccupy a person's thoughts for long periods of time, which may become problematic. Intrusive thoughts are repetitive, disturbing and often times terrifying involuntary thoughts or ideas. They might center around sex, death, violence, etc. Intrusive thoughts and ruminations cause the person a great deal of stress often time management issues. Finally, Symmetry/Orderliness issues cause the individual to feel compelled to have things "just right" to prevent discomfort or some imagined disastrous result. Again, this can cause time management issues as well as stress and missed social interactions. The compulsions and behaviors centered around an individual with OCD can by many and as stated before, they can overlap so that no one's OCD will fit into a specified mold.
January 8th, 2020 3:56am
Yes. Despite what you may see in the media, where OCD may be characterized through constant hand-washing or counting things over and over, there are actually four different types of OCD. The unofficial categories are, according to Healthline, “cleaning and contamination; symmetry and ordering; forbidden, harmful, or taboo thoughts and impulses; [and] hoarding, when the need to collect or keep certain items relates to obsessions or compulsions”. You may be able to relate to one of these four categories, but it’s okay if you don’t. Everyone with OCD, as well as other conditions, has a different experience. The important thing is to find healthy coping mechanisms and check in with yourself to see how you are doing.
July 9th, 2020 10:08am
OCD's have a wide range, and are contingent on person to person. Just because you behave in a certain manner in a scenario does not mean that someone else with OCD will behave in the same manner. Also, we usually tend to think of OCD behaviour as an obsession to clean due to what we often see in culture - such as TV shows, etc. however OCDs can range to almost anything. As long as your OCD does not harm anyone mentally or physically it is fine, and one should not have to worry about their OCD fitting the stereotypes.
July 23rd, 2016 5:03am
There are many different symptoms of OCD - not everybody has the "classic" things we see on TV. For example, I'm working on overcoming OCD, but you'll never see me open and close the door three times or wash my hands for exactly 7 minutes. The OCD Self-Help Guide here can give you a lot of great information.
July 29th, 2016 1:01am
Yes! There are many types of OCD. Most often we hear of the more common types (i.e., washing, counting, etc.), but people may have sensorimotor obsessions and others. If you feel that you are having obsessive compulsive thoughts or feelings, consider reaching out to a professional if it is getting in the way of your life.
August 4th, 2016 8:41pm
There are many types of OCD however you may find you have a different personality disorder, that has many symptoms of OCD but often with other symptoms too.
August 6th, 2016 1:50am
In a way yes, there are different symptoms for ocd. Tv and other media doesn't portray this as well as they should. We hear about some types more than others. (i.e the germaphobe, counting over and over again, etc...)
August 8th, 2016 2:48pm
Definitely! There are many different obsessions and compulsions, and they are not all written down as only the most common ones get mentioned. I would suggest you also ask a professional and make sure it is OCD and not something else. If you have already though don't worry, symptoms don't have to be mainstream!
August 12th, 2016 7:00pm
Yes. there are some different types of OCD and it's completely normal if you don't fit to one of these = the stereotypes were created only to show the guidlines for people who are struggling with OCD or any other problem.
August 25th, 2016 8:51pm
There many other disorders that have overlapping characteristics. Both the obsession and compulsive criteria must be satisfied.
August 27th, 2016 2:53pm
There are many different types of OCD and some are not documented yet. Maybe if the doctors discover a new type because of you they will name it after you so it's not all bad. Having OCD is not anything very bad unless it is effecting your life and those around you. In that case I recommend you seek medical help. I have slight characteristics of OCD and going to a doctor really helped me get it under control. If you ever want any more advice or someone to talk to, don't hesitate to contact me.
September 3rd, 2016 10:44am
There are many different types of OCD. The obsessions and compulsions are as unique as people who are struggling with them. It is not all about counting and cleaning.
September 29th, 2016 12:03am
Yes, there are different types of OCD, and different rituals that apply to each. For example, some people will wash their hands excessively, for others it will be things like constant checking or tidying/excessive house-cleaning rituals. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often effective for treating this Disorder. Talking therapies can help too.
October 6th, 2016 10:46am
there are many types of OCD! do some research and go see a doctor for a diagnosis! never think that your disorder is not worth some help!
October 13th, 2016 12:50am
Yes, there are many different types of ocd, there are also many themes of ocd, everyone's mental health is different and unique to them
- Expert in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
November 3rd, 2016 6:50pm
Yes. like many different mental health issues, OCD presents itself differently in each situation. Consult with a therapist or doctor to figure out the best coping methods and ways of dealing with your form of OCD.
November 19th, 2016 10:51am
There are different types of OCD and yours is just as valid as anyone else's. I understand what you are feeling.
- Expert in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
November 20th, 2016 10:25pm
There are many different types according to what you struggle with, as well as severities. Categories usually include: Contamination obsessions with washing/cleaning compulsions Harm obsessions with checking compulsions Obsessions without visible compulsions or so-called "pure obsessions" Symmetry obsessions with ordering, arranging and counting compulsions Hoarding There are many types and severities of OCD. It doesn't effect everyone the same way. :)
January 14th, 2017 6:56am
Yes. There is the typical OCD in which people experience similar things like wanting to check on the locks again and again or wanting to wash hands again and again. Then, there is this atypical OCD in which you experience things different from the stereotypical symptoms. But ultimately, only an expert can guide you on this.
February 24th, 2017 8:50pm
There are actually a lot of subtypes of OCD, and they don't all have to do with cleanliness or neatness. The OCD foundation is a great resource if you think you might have obsessive-compulsive tendencies.