The 4 Main Subtypes of OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects approximately 2.2 million adults in the United States. It is a mental health condition that typically involves having unwanted thoughts and compulsions that are so disruptive they make it hard to focus on anything else. While people can experience OCD in various ways, there are four main symptom subtypes that many people experience.


People living with OCD often experience an obsessive need to clean because they worry about getting sick. They often obsess about germs being everywhere and have a hard time touching people or surfaces because they fear they may get in contact with germs, which can make them sick. These individuals may be especially fearful about being exposed to blood or other bodily fluids. They often perform washing rituals to rid themselves of all uncleanliness. These cleansing rituals can damage their health and require OCD treatment St Charles MO to be rid of the compulsive behavior.


Some people with OCD collect as many items as possible to protect themselves from whatever harm they feel they’re faced with. They may have difficulty throwing away items and even become enraged when others in their family throw something away. Sometimes the hoarding is connected with feeling that the items are contaminated, so they cannot touch them to throw them away.


Another type of OCD involves needing to organize or align items in a precise way. These individuals often prioritize symmetry above all. For example, they may scratch their left ankle and be compelled to scratch their right ankle simply because they want to keep all things symmetrical. They can spend hours arranging and rearranging their belongings until they feel that they have everything in order.

Thinking Forbidden Thoughts

Some OCD patients battle frequent intrusive thoughts that can bring about a lot of guilt and shame. These thoughts are often very violent or sexual and leave the individual wondering if they are a bad person for thinking such things.