Bustle recently talked to Dr. Eliza Belle about the signs of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The article points out that while some may joke about OCD, “is a real disorder.. There’s a difference between having routines you like and letting those routines control your life, so if you suspect you or someone you know may have OCD, it’s important to pay attention to these symptoms and not make light of the disorder.”
One of those signs is obsessing about cleanliness.
“[People with OCD] are afraid of illness, infection, and /or contamination,” Dr. Belle wrote. “They usually have cleaning or hand-washing compulsions. May even wash hands so frequently that their skin becomes raw.”
She adds that some people also “repeatedly check things that they associate with harm or danger. They may repeatedly check that the lights are turned off, doors are locked, electronics unplugged, parking brake on, etc.”
Dr. Belle says another sign of OCD is being obsessed with order.
“They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colors, or arrangements. They may align everything in the pantry to face the same way, with all labels turned in the exact same direction.”
Doubt can be an issue as well.
“Worriers and doubters are afraid that if everything isn’t perfect or done just right, something terrible will happen or they will be punished.. They may perform the same duty over and over to ensure what they perceive as perfection.”
Hoarding is now classified as a disorder. Those with OCD may hoard things.
“They fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away,” writes Dr. Belle. “Some will stockpile items, including garbage, waste, etc to the point of living in deplorable conditions under the belief that they must keep everything.”
Other signs of OCD include:
- Repetitive Physical Gestures
- Uncontrollable thoughs
You can read the full list and comments from Dr. Belle and others here.