What Are The 7 Different Types Of OCD?

OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a mental health condition consisting of obsessions and compulsions. These obsessions are marked by intrusive(unwanted and often repeating) thoughts. Such thoughts force the patient to do something to relieve themselves or cope with them by indulging in (repeating)behaviors or compulsions. Without further ado, here are the different types of OCD classified based on the subject of intrusive thoughts or obsessions.

7 Common Types Of OCD

Organization: People with OCD might want objects and their surroundings to be arranged perfectly. They might seek symmetry and arrangements of objects or have superstitions regarding the same. Things need to be in just the right place, and the person with OCD might spend hours arranging them to be so.

Contamination: This compulsion is influenced by fear of contamination or being vulnerable to germs. However, you cannot reduce these compulsions to being a clean freak or someone who prefers cleanliness. Washing hands intensively and regularly and maintaining cleanliness is common, and therefore not necessarily a sign of OCD.

Ruminations: Ruminating means thinking about something intellectually,  theoretically, or philosophically. Ruminations concerned with obsessions and compulsions lead to more intellectual activity, adversely affecting different aspects of life. Someone engaged in these ideas might forget about, ignore, or avoid real-life activities. Doing so can adversely affect their personal life, work, health, and relationships. For instance, one might start ruminating on morality and deciding whether they are a sinner or not.

Read more: Being blind in the mind

Checking: Always having doubts about doing or having left something incomplete and wanting things to be “just the right way” is known as checking. Again, this tendency might sound like a workaholic or a good habit of completing work diligently. But in reality, it’s a compulsion that wastes time and energy, making people with OCD paranoid about new projects and never being able to “finish” old tasks in their minds.

Self-Control: Thoughts related to aggression, sexual urges, and violence make up one type of OCD. The primary fear of these thoughts is losing control over oneself and engaging in these harmful actions. In this case, the related compulsion is seeking validation for one’s goodness from others. But this condition can contain other compulsions like making sure one can’t harm others or isolation too.

Harm To Loved Ones: Other than losing control and harming those around them, people with OCD might also fear damage coming to their loved ones. They might deal with this obsession by doing everything to prevent such harm, sometimes resorting to extreme measures.

Read more: How mental health affects family relationships

Random Thoughts: Finally, it is not always necessary that the intrusive thoughts faced by people with OCD revolve around a particular topic. Their thoughts can be a combination of the obsessions mentioned above or might be something else entirely. And having harmful thoughts does not indicate that people with OCD want to cause harm. Instead, they are helpless against these repeating, uncontrollable thoughts.


OCD is a condition marked by intrusive, unwanted, and repeating thoughts that trigger behaviors as coping mechanisms. Different types of OCD can be classified based on the object of these thoughts and behaviors. These include fear of losing self-control, being vulnerable to germs, having loved ones harmed, leaving something incomplete, not understanding something abstract or intellectual, and many more. While these fears seem overwhelming, you might be hesitant to seek therapy too. In this case, you can refer to our list of the best affordable online therapy platforms for quality care from the comfort of your home.

Subscribe to Your Mental Health Pal for the latest mental health updates, actionable insights, and premium products.

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *