When a person with OCD attempts to stop these compulsions or obsessions, their anxiety and distress can increase. In this respect, often the person feels that their compulsive acts are necessary in order to ease stress. OCD is usually rooted in certain fears – such as being contaminated by germs. These may involve the compulsive washing of hands, even to the point of them becoming sore and damaged.
OCD symptoms are typically classed as obsession symptoms or compulsion symptoms. You may have either, or both.
Obsessions symptoms can include: repeated and unwanted thoughts which cause distress or anxiety, and can lead to a compulsive act in order to address them. Themes typically related to obsessions can include: fear of dirt or contamination, needing things to be orderly, having difficulty coping with uncertainty, and having aggressive thoughts.
Compulsion symptoms can include themes such as; checking things, washing and cleaning, counting, following rigid or strict routines, and demanding reassurance.