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How to Recognize the 8 Symptoms of OCD in Adults

How to Recognize the 8 Symptoms of OCD in Adults

Everyone is a little bit neurotic in some way. Maybe you have several routines that you have to do in a particular way. Maybe you obsess over certain thoughts.

However, you might find yourself asking; is this normal? Some processes might be a bit self-destructive, or they may be detrimental to your mental or emotional health. What if you’re one of the 2.5 million American adults affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

If you are asking yourself this question, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ll talk about the symptoms of OCD in adults so keep reading.

  1. Intrusive Urges

These are persistent thoughts or impulses that lead to distress and anxiety. These thoughts usually involve doing something that the sufferer considers to be wrong.

They often cause feelings of guilt, shame, and fear. They can even cause physical symptoms such as muscle tension, increased heart rate, and trouble sleeping.

  1. Obsessive Thoughts

Obsessive thoughts are one of the most common symptoms of OCD in teens and adults. These can include worrying about contamination, fearing the wrong decision, or even wrong thoughts. And they can relate to religious beliefs and think that a bad event will occur due to exhibiting certain behaviors.

Most adults will also find themselves repeating the same thought when they face obsessive thinking. These thoughts take control and affect the individual’s daily life.

  1. Excessive Worry

Adults with OCD can spend hours, days, and weeks worrying about the most insignificant details. This type of worry can sometimes lead to a feeling of being out of control and feeling paralyzed.

Adults with OCD often have difficulty making decisions as well. This is because they tend to be consumed with worry over even the most minor of changes or choices.

Common obsessive worry topics for adults with OCD can be anything from germs, money, safety, religion, and morality. They have an almost unlimited range of other topics. So adults with OCD often experience low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.

  1. Inexplicable Need for Perfectionism

Adults with OCD often experience an inexplicable need for perfectionism. This often leads to an obsession with details, precision, and orderliness. This obsession can have a detrimental impact on one’s day-to-day functioning.

People with OCD may feel excessively compelled to re-check things repeatedly and to adhere to strict routines. They may also be overly preoccupied with washing and cleaning.

This need for perfectionism may be a result of uncontrollable and intrusive thoughts. In turn, this leads to more feelings of distress and anxiety. These often manifest in the form of uncontrollable and persistent worries, doubts, or fears.

As a result, the individual may be engaged in compulsive activities. This includes counting or excessive hand washing, in an attempt to reduce their anxiety.

This symptom, however, can easily be mistaken for something it’s not. So to understand more about the disorder, you can read about OCD here to avoid misdiagnosis.

  1. Intense Fear of Mistakes

One of the most common symptoms of OCD in adults is an intense fear of making mistakes. Individuals with this symptom may feel a need to continually check tasks to make sure they’re done correctly. They may have trouble trusting others and doubt themselves and the accuracy of their work.

Furthermore, these individuals often think in extremely concrete terms. This may lead to feelings of guilt or anxiety when they cannot be certain they acted correctly.

If the mistakes are not validated, they may be prone to obsessive thoughts or intrusive images of their mistakes. Ultimately, this intense fear of making mistakes is a core symptom of OCD.

  1. Hyper-Organization

A common symptom of OCD among teens and adults is hyper-organization. This is the obsessive need to keep things perfectly organized or in exact alignment.

Hyper-organization often leads to excessive tidying up. Individuals tend to remove items that appear to be out of place. And people who have OCD need to rearrange objects until they are perfect.

Hyper-organized individuals may also feel an extreme need to classify items. They may become overwhelmed if they are unable to keep track of multiple projects at once. If individuals are unable to meet their needs for organization, it can lead to severe levels of distress, anxiety, and depression.

  1. Avoidance of Stressful Situations

One of the key symptoms is avoidance of stressful situations. This manifests when the individual will go to great lengths to avoid feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed.

People may start to avoid social situations like going to work or other professional settings. They may not even participate in activities or hobbies for fear of receiving judgment. And they may prefer not speaking up for fear of saying the wrong thing.

This is a significant symptom of OCD because it puts the individual in an increasingly isolated state. And it also exacerbates existing symptoms, leading to further avoidance behaviors.

  1. Rituals and Repetitive Behaviors

The symptoms of OCD in adults most often involve rituals and repetitive behaviors which interfere with everyday life. This could be performing certain actions for a certain amount of time before feeling satisfied. Or it could even manifest in avoiding specific activities or objects due to heightened levels of anxiety.

Common OCD rituals may involve always making sure a door is locked after leaving or entering a house. People may also constantly resort to repetitively touching items. And one can even continue to repeat words in one’s head.

Constantly engaging in these activities can limit an individual’s daily functioning as well as their overall quality of life. It is important to recognize these warning signs and seek professional treatment to manage and overcome one’s OCD.

Recognizing Common Symptoms of OCD in Adults

OCD is a complex disorder that can have a significant negative impact on quality of life. So it’s important to identify and treat the symptoms of OCD in adults early.

If you or someone you know may be suffering from OCD, reach out to doctors or encourage them to get help. Don’t let OCD stand in the way of living a fulfilling life.

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