Anxiety Disorders

Frequently Asked Questions

20. What are the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have repeated and unwanted thoughts or images about things such as fear of germs, dirt, or intruders; violent or sexual acts; hurting loved ones; or being overly tidy.

They conduct the same rituals over and over, such as washing hands, locking and unlocking doors, counting, keeping unneeded items, or repeating the same actions again and again. They do not get pleasure from these rituals, but performing the rituals may give them brief relief from the anxiety the thoughts cause.

People with OCD have these thoughts and do these rituals for at least an hour, often longer, on most days. People with OCD can't stop the thoughts or rituals, so they sometimes miss work or meetings with friends.