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What Are the Types of OCD?

Person wondering what the types of OCD are

Movies and television shows often portray types of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in characters through quirky traits like locking a door a few times. But what is OCD, and what are the types of OCD that you can develop? OCD can be a debilitating mental health condition that disrupts daily life and causes severe mental stress. Various types of OCD affect people, causing them to react to the world around them differently. People struggling with OCD also often turn to drugs or alcohol to help ease their stress, leading to the vicious cycle of addiction.

If you or a loved one struggles with co-occurring OCD and substance use disorder (SUD), Northpoint Recovery can help. The mental health therapy programs we offer in Meridian, Idaho, include an OCD treatment program that works with addiction recovery specialists to help you succeed in sobriety. Contact our team online or call 888.296.8976 today to get started.

What Is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental health condition that triggers intrusive thoughts and repetitive actions called compulsions. Severity ranges from mild, with minor disruptions, to severe, significantly impacting daily life. OCD, as a type of anxiety disorder, leads sufferers to perform compulsions to ease anxiety, but this relief is short-lived, causing a cycle of repetitive behavior. The triggers for OCD are varied, affecting the specific behaviors a person will exhibit.

What Causes Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

The cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder is unclear, but it likely stems from genetic and environmental factors. People with OCD often have relatives with the same condition, indicating a genetic connection. Stressful life events can trigger OCD symptoms. Changes in brain activity and lower serotonin levels related to anxiety are seen in OCD patients. Medications that increase serotonin levels can help manage symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has various symptoms, starting with obsessions—unwanted, anxiety-inducing thoughts—followed by compulsions or repetitive actions aimed at reducing anxiety. These can include counting, repeating words, or excessive behaviors like handwashing or cleaning. Those with OCD may experience intrusive thoughts, a need for symmetry, constant rearranging of items, or over-cleaning. These compulsions can disrupt daily activities.

What Are the Types of OCD?

Common obsessive-compulsive disorder types include:

  • Checking – This OCD involves intrusive thoughts about potential disasters (e.g., fires, accidents), leading individuals to repeatedly check things like door locks or appliances to alleviate anxiety.
  • Contamination – Characterized by a fear of germs, this type prompts excessive cleaning of oneself or surroundings to dodge perceived contaminants.
  • Mental contamination – Unlike traditional contamination OCD, this form revolves around the fear of being mentally “contaminated” by certain thoughts, driving people to avoid triggers.
  • Hoarding – Hoarding OCD is marked by the fear of discarding items, leading to the accumulation of unnecessary objects like old newspapers or clothes.
  • Rumination – Individuals with this type obsess over negative thoughts, often about death, religion, or sex, and may perform compulsions like praying or seeking reassurance to cope.
  • Intrusive thoughts – This form involves unwanted, often violent thoughts about self-harm or harming others, with compulsions aimed at preventing these thoughts from becoming reality, such as avoiding potential weapons.

People can experience various types of OCD, each with its symptoms.

How Does Treating OCD Work?

There are various ways to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, including medication, therapy, or both. Common medications for OCD include Luvox, Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil. However, there are many other types, and a doctor will prescribe what best suits the patient’s needs.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response therapy (ERT) are effective treatments for OCD. Treatment for co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues also helps many people struggling with OCD.

Connect with Northpoint Recovery to Start Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment in Idaho Today

If you or someone you love struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder and addiction, our team can help. Treating your co-occurring conditions is our priority so you can begin leading a healthy, more manageable life. Start your recovery journey today. Contact us online or call 888.296.8976 today to plan your path to sobriety.