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

103 Answers
Last Updated: 11/26/2021 at 5:34pm
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Top Rated Answers
June 3rd, 2018 10:36pm
There are definitely other types of OCD than just the stereotype which obsessively cleans their hands in fear of contamination. All types of OCD however, can be described in terms of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are the worries and intrusive thoughts/images which come to mind in situations which trigger us; or just at random, whereas compulsions are the ritualistic behaviours/thoughts which OCD causes us to perform as an unhealthy coping mechanism to relieve the anxiety induced by the obsession. Types of OCD include harm related, sexual, religious, relationship and many more. OCD can be perceived as a biological tendency which can latch onto any concept in our life, big or small. For example, someone with OCD tendencies can develop obsessions and in turn compulsions related to the recent death of a relative, a new partner and associated fears of being hurt, or even fears and obsessions of hurting ourselves or others. OCD causes an individual to experience extreme obsessive worries about a concept or situation and then feel the need to perform a behaviour or think/say something in order to relieve the fear/anxiety or to prevent something bad from happening. It's not so much about the topic which our OCD concerns, but more about the mechanism of OCD which is pretty much the same across the spectrum of topics which it could relate to. As a result, the most important part is to address the dysfunctional beliefs, obsessions and behaviours.
June 9th, 2018 11:48am
There are many types of OCD out there. Do not worry if your OCD does not line up with the other “stereotypes” of individuals who experience OCD. To find all of the different types of OCD, I would suggest using this link to see them. The link: To conclude, there are many types of OCD out there, so if yours doesn’t align with someone else’s, chances are it lines up with another type.
June 14th, 2018 3:39am
There are plenty of different types of OCD! If you are obsessing over a thought, no matter what it is, and it's causing you serious distress and anxiety, that is considered OCD. The stress and anxiety leads into doing a compulsive behavior which relieves the anxiety for a short period of time but ends up just repeating the OCD cycle. Just because it doesn't fit the 'stereotype' doesn't mean that you aren't suffering! Hope this clears some stuff up.
June 27th, 2018 2:43am
Yes, no one fits perfectly into a stereotype or mental illness exactly and that is okay. You can have different severity of OCD.
June 29th, 2018 8:24pm
Yes. There are OCDs that aren't physical, but all in your thoughts. This OCD is normally called Pure O.
July 19th, 2018 5:59pm
There are many different ways in which OCD manifests. The two main parts of the disorder are having obsessions that lead to compulsive behaviors, but the types of obsessive thoughts and rituals that follow can vary greatly.
July 28th, 2018 1:09pm
Many. Everyone has different obsessions / compulsions too. Not everyone is alike when it comes to having OCD
August 15th, 2018 2:18am
Yes many. I experienced postnatal OCD which displayed as intrusive thoughts of harming my baby. I was so fearful of being the one to hurt him that it caused mental illness. Not all OCDs are obsessive cleaning.
January 13th, 2019 11:36am
Yes there are different types of OCD. A lot of people just seem to think that it's cleaning and liking things organised, when in reality it's a lot deeper than that. It can be irrational thoughts, obsessing over external things or obsessing over your health, body, family health. It can also present as a lot of physical symptoms rather than just things you think, such as fast heart beat, picking at skin, dizziness etc. If you're unsure, there are lots of self help guides that can help you to identify which type best fits your 'symptoms' and from there, whats the best path to find help on!
March 3rd, 2019 11:03pm
Absolutely. Everyone’s OCD is different. There are 5 main categories of OCD: Checking. Contamination / Mental Contamination. Symmetry and ordering. Ruminations / Intrusive Thoughts. Hoarding. These are just the most common types. There are many different combinations of these to form OCD. There also varying amounts of the obsessions and compulsions. There can be some people who have very few compulsions and many obsessions, where as many other people have fewer obsessions and more compulsions. The amount of differences in every single person’s OCD is part of what makes it so hard to identify and treat. It is a challenging disorder, but luckily, there are so many people willing to help.
April 10th, 2019 5:19pm
Yes! I also have OCD, and sometimes it "fits the stereotypes" and at other times it doesn't. I have pretty bad germophobia, which is definitely stereotypical; meanwhile I get anxious at heights because I'm afraid of losing bodily control and throwing myself off - not as stereotypical. However, a lot of exercises for OCD translate to less-stereotypical symptoms - at least, they have for me! I've also found that sometimes talking about the less-stereotypical symptoms with a therapist is even more helpful than talking about the stereotypical ones, because often the stuff that no one else talks about is the stuff you don't realize bugs you. It's okay to have anxieties and symptoms that don't fit a rigid definition of OCD or of any anxiety disorder - you can still find the help and support you may need!
April 13th, 2019 10:25pm
OCD is very diverse, and most people with OCD don’t fit into the stereotypes persona. The main common trait is a cycle of feeling anxious about something minor, and then compulsively doing something to prevent this. You might feel like you have to do this compulsive action to stop feeling anxious. Usually, people will get relief from their action, however the feeling of relief doesn’t last very long, and you start to feel anxious again, restarting the cycle. I’m basic, the answer to your question is yes, OCD can affect people in lots of different ways, so don’t worry about not fitting the stereotype.
May 10th, 2019 5:19am
There are a variety of types of OCD. Some of the main types of OCD are: intrusive thoughts, checking, contamination, ruminations, and hoarding. However, there are other ticks or symptoms you could have that would be linked towards other types. Compulsions come in all types and forms. It all depends on a persons genetics, environment, and brain structure. There are many unrecognizable forms of OCD that individuals aren't able to recognize in themselves due to the stereotypes seen through social media. One of the biggest stereotypes is needing everything to be perfectly clean and repetitively cleaning your hands. I'm not stating that people don't experience this, I know people who struggle with this. I do. But there are more forms of OCD than this.
July 4th, 2019 7:10am
Yes! There are multiple types of OCD and OCPD! You can learn more about them right on google or find a variety of books on them as well. If you are in therapy for it, you could have them explain more about it too! I grew up with and around multiple kinds of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and personality disorders and there are things that go so beyond the “more common” stereotypes. There are intrusive thoughts, repetitive rituals, contamination fears, physical ticks, hoarding/collecting, number obsessions. It’s not all just wanting things to be insanely organized and/or spotless. There is just so much to it.
September 22nd, 2019 12:06am
There are infinite types of OCD, it can impact on any thought, on any subject, on any person, on any fear, and frequently fixates on what’s important in a person’s life. For example, if religion is important to someone, OCD fixates on unwanted intrusive thoughts around religion, perhaps making the sufferer believe their actions/thoughts will offend their god. Another example is if someone begins a new relationship, OCD can make a person question that relationship, their feelings, their sexuality resulting in almost constant rumination, perhaps with the sufferer worrying that they may be misleading their partner. Although there are infinite forms of OCD, it has been traditionally considered that a person’s OCD will fall into one of these five main categories, with themes often overlapping between categories too. Checking Contamination / Mental Contamination Symmetry and ordering Ruminations / Intrusive Thoughts Hoarding * Hoarding is included in the list above and may be an OCD compulsion, if it is for obvious obsessive reasons. However, some aspects of hoarding are no longer considered to be OCD and may be a separate condition altogether. We look more at hoarding in the related disorders section of the website.
October 3rd, 2019 8:16pm
Yes, far too many. No OCD is the same either. My OCD is completely different from stereo types too and it makes me feel a little alone sometimes. But you just have to be strong. You need to remember you are stronger than your OCD. I find that even though OCD that revolves around germs for example is still different between two people. No OCD is the same and it's a spectrum in a way. At the ends, the edges it's differed completely from the norm. It doesn't necessarily mean it's harder to treat though so try stay positive. You can do it!
November 15th, 2019 10:06am
Indeed there are! Having OCD means one tends to have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that makes one feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). Although people tend to think of OCD as a person repetitively washing their hands, or turning on and off a light switch, it can really be anything at all. In a sense, there's an infinite amount of different forms of OCD. It is vastly considered that different forms of OCD tend to fall into one of these 5 categories, namely checking, contamination, symmetry and order, rumination, or hoarding. So yes, your type of OCD can look nothing like the other person's, and vice versa.
December 28th, 2019 8:32pm
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can manifest in many different ways. You must have obsessions OR compulsions (according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - 5th edition) that affect your daily life significantly. That includes a very broad range of symptoms that you can have. It can manifest in obsessive and intrusive thoughts, excessive checking and counting and repeating things aloud, etc. Lots of people believe that folks with OCD are just super tidy and clean, but that isn’t the case. It can be the case, but not every person with OCD has the specific compulsion to wash their hands more than once or keep their room spot free. It is very individualistic. For me, I have compulsions where I lock the door a certain amount of times before my brain is satisfied, make sure the light switch is in the position that I like it before leaving the room, checking that the sink is not on when I leave the bathroom, things like that. I will stand there and check and lock and count over and over and over. So don’t feel odd, OCD is very different for every person suffering.
January 10th, 2020 1:07pm
There might be different types of OCD as it is true with every kind of mental health issue (illness, disorder). As every person is different, every person can have different symptoms and it is what makes mental health issues hard to diagnose by psychiatrists and even harder to administer correct and appropriate meds to heal or treat it. It is why mental health issues are often misdiagnosed as something else - for example, someone with untypical depression can be diagnosed as someone with another mental health issue (anxiety disorder for example). In medicine nothing is 100 % certain. I hope that i explained it to you.
March 4th, 2020 6:37pm
Yes! OCD stands for 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder'. The stereotype of OCD being only about cleaning or being a germaphobe is a harmful stereotype. OCD is a disorder that has many forms and types. Please consult the person that diagnosed you if you're wondering what type you have, and how to treat it. If you feel as if OCD is the wrong diagnosis, please talk to your care provider before going off medication, and trust your therapist. If anyone is telling you that your diagnosis is wrong because you don't display the stereotypical symptoms, they are wrong. Please listen to your care provider.
March 12th, 2020 1:26am
As someone with OCD who doesn't fit the stereotypes either, but there happens to be five main categories, with themes often overlapping between categories too, so in turn, you might not fit into the stereotype of what OCD is made out to be that doesn't mean you don't have it. If someone happens to say you don't have OCD you can always inform them too on the matter, but as I stated before there are many types of OCD yet everyone has different symptoms, but a lot of people have the same "Stereotype" associated with OCD. I hope this helped and gave you an answer.
March 26th, 2020 3:39am
100% yes! yes! yes! OCD can come in so many different forms, its not just about the organizing and having to have everything 100% perfect all the time, though that plays a role in most types of OCD. Our world is so full of stereotypes it can be hard to know what is "right or wrong". All forms of OCD are valid, even if they don't fit stereotypes, because all you beautiful people are valid as a human being
April 4th, 2020 1:52pm
Yes definitely! OCD can take on many forms, sometimes compulsions may all be internal rather than something that can be seen outwardly for example counting in your head to minimise the obsessive thought. OCD is usually OCD as long as you are experiencing some form of obsessive thoughts that you find disturbing or unsettling and as a result, carry out compulsions in order to neutralise and try and get rid of the unwanted thoughts. Essentially if the thought is unsettling to you, and you conduct actions in an attempt to neutralise that thought, it's more than likely to be OCD although it's always best to get a professional opinion where possible. Good luck, we're all here for you.
April 10th, 2020 3:38am
Yes! There are many types of OCD, some which focus more on obsessive thoughts, and some that focus more on compulsion. Some can also be associated with mostly intrusive thoughts. Not all OCD looks like the stereotypical nit picky tendencies it is often portrayed as. It’s not all about being afraid of germs or having to keep your pens lined up. For example, I have a friend who has scrupulosity, a type of OCD specifically associated with religion or unwanted thoughts considered to be taboo. She’s perfectly comfortable with getting muddy, and she’s far from organized. Yet her intrusive thoughts make her life very difficult sometimes. OCD can look different for everyone, don’t compare yourself to the stereotypes!
April 24th, 2020 1:21am
Yes 100% !! I have struggled with OCD as well as anxiety in the past but now that I take medication to calm my anxiety, it has helped me so much and I no longer have invasive thoughts that take over anymore!! My type of OCD is not the typical "wash your hands 300 times a day and close the door 7 times in a row" stereotypical OCD but rather my obsessions AND compulsions are performed mentally. This type of OCD is called "Pure O". So, yes there are different types. I do not know which one you struggle with but it is a spectrum and everyone with OCD is different. Always remember you are never alone in this and though OCD is still one of the most stigmatized mental illnesses out there, you are not your mental illness and it will get better!! I hope this was helpful!! If you have any questions, let me know!! :)
July 1st, 2020 12:48am
there absolutely are different types of OCD so even though you are saying that your experience doesn't seem to fit the stereotypes, if your obsessions and compulsions are interfering with your day to day life, and are negatively impacting your wellbeing, it is worth reaching out for support. because it is possible to break the OCD cycle and you are not alone even though it might feel that way with regards to the stereotypes that do exist and you deserve the support you need to live your life to the fullest, without your OCD getting in the way. your experience is valid and never forget that.
July 2nd, 2020 1:42am
There are MANY different types of OCD. Just to name a few: contamination OCD; "Pure O" OCD, relationship OCD, etc. Definitely look into the different types of OCD but I highly recommend to NOT self-diagnose! The best thing you can do if you think you have OCD is to make note of all the things you think are similar to the disorder. Next, speak to a licensed professional, like a therapist, about it. Therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists should be the only people diagnosing you! They do know best when it comes to this. Good luck in your research and please heed my reminder about not self-diagnosing!
July 2nd, 2020 10:38pm
Yes OCD can manifest in many different ways. Some people experience compulsive behaviors such as need to check door locks many, many times, but there are other forms of OCD. There is also what is sometimes called "Pure O OCD" which is essentially the experience of obsessive thoughts on a continuing basis. Obsessive thinking is when we get "stuck" or fixated on an intrusive thought or unpleasant thought. This can be very disturbing and is generally considered a form of anxiety (as is OCD). OCD can also be a trauma reaction. Talk therapy can be very helpful for OCD, as can mindfulness practice.
November 25th, 2020 1:54am
there are many subtypes to OCD talking with a mental health professional can help you figure out what is going on. since I am not a professional I can only say from experience that I was told I had OCD but later learned having it looked to further that I have OCPT so I do not have the disorder but I have some personality traits of the disorder. it is okay to have doubts and also it is okay t have either but also stereotypes are just that stereotypes they are made up making this disorder bad and possibly a way people make fun of the disorder which is definitely not okay,
December 16th, 2020 12:08am
Hi there. You’re right, it probably doesn’t fit the stereotypical image of OCD people portray. That’s simple because Not every diagnosis is cookie cutter, or in better terms, the same for everybody. There are different symptomatic signs of OCD. It is hard to judge based on the lack of detail in this question what exactly you mean but there are different types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Some main examples are - ——Checking. ——Contamination / Mental Contamination. ——Symmetry and ordering. ——Ruminations / Intrusive Thoughts. Hoarding. I hope I helped you gain some clarity on the topic at hand! Best of luck on your mental health journey.