Are There Different Types of OCD?

Brain, Conditions, Faq


One of the many types of mental illnesses or disorders is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD. This type of disorder focuses on a person’s need to repeat certain routines, thoughts, rituals or check on things repeatedly. Unfortunately, this urge to repeat things over and over both in thought and behavior is uncontrollable for some people. The exact cause of OCD has been a mystery for years. There are certain risk factors that can increase a person’s chance of having OCD such as: genetics, post-traumatic stress and child abuse. According to research, brain structure and specific environments can higher the risk of developing OCD. There are different types of OCD and not all cases of OCD are the same. Small habits such as saying ‘God bless you’ when someone sneezes or biting your nails are not considered habits that can trigger OCD. However, needing to say ‘God bless you’ to someone a certain amount of times after they can sneeze can be a sign of OCD.

Types of OCD

Types of OCD

OCD does not follow one group of people or adults. OCD can be found in children, adults and people from any race or culture. This type of disorder does not discriminate because of color or gender, it picks a person for some unknown reason and OCD sticks. There are many sub-categories of different types of OCD but most of types fall into one of the following categories:


A person who has OCD but with a concentration of obsessions tends to focus of impulses and thoughts. Unfortunately, a person who suffers from OCD cannot escape certain ideas or thoughts regardless of their willingness to stop. For most people, having disturbing thoughts leave them feeling uneasy with themselves and others. To be categorized as a person with OCD, their obsessions need to take over their daily activities rather than be just a psychological state of mind.

It can be insulting to a person with OCD that suffers from obsessions to hear the words: obsession, obsessed or obsessing. For those without OCD, the use of these words may seem normal, but it can be a trigger word for people with OCD. A normal “obsession” can only go so far such as a crush, a love for a new food or song. However, at times OCD patients cannot distinguish the difference between normal and obsession due to this disorder.

Some of the common types of obsessions that are associated with OCD include:

  • Risk of contamination
  • Inability to touch dirt
  • Fear of catching germs
  • Constantly aware of breathing habits or other bodily functionsTypes of OCD
  • Fear of contracting diseases
  • Risk of acting on impulse
  • Fear of burglary
  • Farm of causes others and themselves harm
  • Need to be always perfect
  • Fear of being forgetful
  • Having impure thoughts (sexual thoughts)
  • Sexual obsession with incest
  • Sexual obsession with children
  • Worrying about morality
  • Superstitious thoughts


As opposed to obsessions, those who suffer compulsions of OCD deal with behaviors. Compulsions and obsessions can be linked to one another, especially if avoiding certain circumstances comes. Behaviors that become compulsive tend to control a person’s life and disrupt their daily activities. Some of the most common types of compulsions in OCD include:

  • Constantly washing hands
  • Need to brush your hair a certain number of times
  • Cleaning things a certain number of times
  • Rewriting or rereading constantly
  • Doing things in multiplies
  • Repeated touching or blinking
  • Checking and double-checking things
  • Need to touch certain objects a certain number of times
  • Arranging things in specific orders
  • Counting or preferring to end on a specific or “safe” number
  • Praying constantly and always for specific reasons or times

Types of OCD

Living with OCD

Depending on the age a person develops OCD, they can learn to manage their symptoms or triggers overtime. Most doctors will recommend treating OCD patients with medication and/or therapy.  There is no way to cure OCD but there is always a way to live a full life with OCD.