Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have recurring and unwanted thoughts, ideas, or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). The American Psychiatric Association states that while some people may do something repetitively to make daily life easier, the repetitions experienced by people who suffer from OCD may cause them great distress if not enacted. Many people associate OCD with excessive cleaning or checking the door, knocking a certain number of times, etc. However, OCD is not just physical compulsions – it can involve other actions as well.

For example, a person who suffers from relationship OCD may have obsessive thoughts about their relationship and whether that person is the right one for them. Due to these intruding thoughts, that person may approach their loved one and confess these thoughts, seeking reassurance that their partner still loves them and that they have made the right decision. Psychology researchers Doron and colleagues found in their 2016 study titled “Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Interference, Symptoms, and Maladaptive Beliefs” that relationship OCD can cause more symptoms of depression and can greatly distress intimate relationships, whether romantic in nature or not.

OCD-UK, a charity dedicated to improving the mental health and well-being of those affected by OCD in the United Kingdom, describes rumination as a form of OCD. With rumination, a person has a train of prolonged thinking about a question or theme that is undirected and unproductive. In this instance, a person may consider a large question of life such as “what happens after death?” for a very long period and may explore various theoretical possibilities.

The Recovery Village explains scrupulosity as a manifestation of religious or moral symptoms, such as being fixated on sin, unwanted sacrilegious thoughts – such as thoughts about the devil, excessive doubt about whether one has committed a sin, or taking a religious ritual to an extreme. People who suffer from this type of OCD may not complete physical compulsions, but may obsess over moral or religious thoughts.

OCD can be more than physical compulsions – intrusive thoughts and mental checking are also acts of OCD. If you suffer from OCD and it is causing distress to your daily life, seek out a therapist today. There is someone that can speak with you and work with you on your symptoms so that you can live a happier, more manageable life.





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