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What are the symptoms of OCD?

While people often joke about being obsessive and compulsive, for people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder, the condition is no laughing matter. OCD is a devastating condition that can take over your whole life, making it almost impossible to get through each day. According to WebMD, OCD involves two distinct symptoms or phases: obsession and compulsion.

If you have OCD, you cannot control what you do. Instead, the obsessions and compulsions control you. They affect your daily life in profound ways. The symptoms usually develop over time. You may notice something as a silly little thing you do, but gradually, it begins to take over and develops into either an obsession or a compulsion.

An obsession is an uncontrollable fear. It could be a fear of someone dying, a fear of germs or a fear of getting hurt. Often the obsession pairs with a compulsion, which is a repeated ritual. For example, you may believe you have to turn the light on and off eight times before leaving a room or someone you love will die or that you must wash your hands eight times or you will get sick. The paring usually happens because the obsession causes stress while the compulsion relieves it. However, a compulsion only relieves stress for a short time before the obsession comes back and you must do the ritual again.

OCD often has triggers, which can be almost anything, that cause the obsession or compulsion to begin. Typically, if you have a family history of the disorder, your chances of having it increase. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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