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Learning the Different Types of OCD

Teen girl looks at her colored pencil collection while pondering the different types of OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be a debilitating mental health condition that severely affects an individual’s daily life. Living with OCD can be extremely challenging, as it often disrupts relationships, career prospects, and overall quality of life. People living with OCD experience a constant state of anxiety and stress due to uncontrollable thoughts and compulsions. It is important to understand the different types of OCD and how they can impact an individual’s life.

HillsidesCares’ obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment in Los Angeles offers comprehensive and specialized care to individuals struggling with OCD. Call 323.641.4842 today to learn more about our evidence-based treatment options. Everyone deserves to lead a fulfilling and joyful life.

What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental health condition that affects people of all ages. It is characterized by recurring, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions) that individuals feel compelled to perform. These obsessions and compulsions can significantly interfere with daily life and cause distress.

Types of OCD

There are various types of OCD, each characterized by specific obsessions and compulsions:

Contamination OCD

This type involves an intense fear of germs, dirt, or contamination. Individuals may engage in excessive handwashing, cleaning, or avoidance of certain places or objects.

Checking OCD

People with checking OCD repeatedly check things such as locks, appliances, or personal belongings, driven by a fear of harm or disaster.

Symmetry and Ordering OCD

This type of OCD manifests as a strong need for symmetry, exactness, or order. Individuals may spend excessive time arranging objects or aligning items to achieve a sense of balance.

Hoarding OCD

Hoarding OCD is characterized by an excessive accumulation of items and difficulty discarding possessions, regardless of their value.

Intrusive Thoughts OCD

Individuals with intrusive thoughts OCD experience distressing and unwanted thoughts or mental images that are often violent, sexual, or blasphemous in nature. They may perform rituals or mental acts to neutralize these thoughts.

What Causes OCD?

The exact cause of OCD remains unknown, but it likely involves a combination of factors:

  • Genetic – Research suggests that OCD can run in families, and individuals with a family history of the disorder are at a higher risk.
  • Environmental – Traumatic events or significant life changes may trigger the onset of OCD symptoms.
  • Neurological – Some evidence suggests that abnormalities in certain areas of the brain may contribute to the development of OCD.

Imbalances in brain chemicals, such as serotonin, may play a role in the development of OCD. Additionally, traumatic events or stressful life circumstances can trigger or worsen symptoms in individuals predisposed to the disorder.

The Positive Side of OCD

While OCD often brings distress and impairment, it also has a potential positive side. Some individuals with OCD demonstrate exceptional attention to detail, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Their ability to focus intensely on specific tasks can lead to high levels of productivity and success in certain areas of life.

However, the negative impact of OCD should not be disregarded or overlooked.

Benefits of OCD Treatment

Seeking treatment for OCD can significantly improve one’s quality of life in the following ways:

  • Reduce symptoms – With proper treatment, individuals can learn to manage and reduce their obsessions and compulsions, leading to a decrease in distress and impairment.
  • Improve relationships – OCD can put a strain on personal relationships due to the time-consuming and repetitive behaviors. Treatment can help improve communication skills and reduce conflict.
  • Enhance overall well-being – Treatment can also address co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, which often accompany OCD.

If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD, it is essential to seek professional help.

Treatment for OCD

The good news is that OCD is treatable. Depending on the individual’s needs and preferences, treatment options may include:


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed to help manage OCD symptoms. These medications can help regulate brain chemicals and reduce compulsive behaviors.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that involves identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with OCD. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is one specific form of CBT often used to treat OCD.

Support Groups

Joining a support group can provide a sense of community and understanding as individuals navigate the challenges of living with OCD. These groups can offer valuable insight, coping strategies, and emotional support.

Call HillsidesCares to Begin Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatment in Los Angeles

HillsidesCares specializes in providing compassionate and effective OCD treatment. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping individuals regain control of their lives and manage their OCD symptoms. Contact HillsidesCares online or call 323.641.4842 to begin your journey toward recovery.