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Fears of germs or illness

A person with OCD may have repeated thoughts that objects around them, inside or outside the home, are dirty or contaminated with germs.

Intrusive thoughts or fears

A person with OCD may have a thought or image of something bad happening to someone or to themselves. They then worry that because they had the thought, it will in fact become true.

person having intrusive thoughts or fears
A need for order

A person with OCD may need things to be placed in a certain way, such as organized by colour or size, in order to feel at ease, or need things to be excessively neat and tidy.

need for order
Excessive doubt

A person may repeatedly doubt, for example, that things have been done. They may doubt that the door is locked, the oven is turned off, or the alarm clock is set.

person worried that they did not lock the door
Prolonged, repeated washing

A person with germ or other contamination obsessions may feel a need to wash themselves repeatedly, wash laundry more often than needed, or insist on cleaning the bathroom or kitchen a certain way.

Person washing hands multiple times
Repeated checking or counting

A person with excessive doubt may try to manage their obsession by repeatedly checking, for example, if a door is locked or oven is off. They may need to do things a certain or "special" number of times in order for it to feel right.

Person repeatedly checking if door is locked
Needing routines or rituals

A person with OCD may need rituals such as performing actions in a rigid order, repeating phrases or numbers in their head or arranging items in certain ways in order to calm their anxiety.

Routine checklist
Doing more than what’s expected

Someone with OCD may clean things more thoroughly or more often than needed, spend too much time getting dressed or eating a meal, or asking repeated questions that may not seem to make sense

Person throuroughly cleaning

OCD Common Signs