Do You Have OCD and Not Know It?

Mar 02, 2024
Do You Have OCD and Not Know It?
Do you have to have everything in your pantry organized alphabetically and with the labels facing forward? Or do you constantly worry about your health? If so, you could be living with OCD. Read on to find out if you may have OCD and not know it.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental health disorder that's driven by unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions). The key to OCD is that it affects your daily life.

Common OCD thoughts have to do with cleanliness, symmetry, and self-harm, but those aren't the only obsessions related to OCD. Compulsions usually follow the lead of obsession, but not everyone's the same.

If you worry a lot about specific issues and it is affecting how you live day to day, you might have OCD and not realize it. Questioning your mental health is never a bad thing, which is why the Pacific Phoenix TMS team is here to help get you a diagnosis.

Dr. Elia R. Gonzalez-Rodriguez is our expert psychiatrist. She takes the time to listen to your concerns and worries to determine if you have OCD and, if so, get you the treatment you require.

What is OCD?

OCD is a mental health concern where intrusive thoughts, or obsessions, and repetitive behaviors to appease those thoughts intrude on your life. The intrusive thoughts may be irrational, but in your mind, they cause extreme distress or anxiety.

Most people have slight anxiety or worry about something in their life, but it often doesn't disrupt their everyday activities. People living with OCD have difficulty with everyday life because of their obsessions and compulsions.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, OCD affects about 2-3% of people in the United States. It requires a definitive diagnosis by a specialist and impairs daily social or work functioning.

Common signs of OCD

A lot of people worry about sometimes irrational issues – but does that mean you have OCD? There are prevalent types of obsessions and compulsions that may clue you in that you're living with OCD.

The signs of OCD come in the form of intrusive thoughts and coordinated behaviors. Signs of obsessions include:

  • Fear of dirt or contamination
  • Constant thoughts of harming yourself or others
  • Religious fears and thoughts
  • Disturbing sexual images or thoughts
  • Extreme concern with symmetry
  • Fear of losing or misplacing something

The truth is, you could have OCD and have miscellaneous intrusive thoughts or sounds, including music, words, or images. These unorganized thoughts make it difficult to pinpoint OCD as the problem.

Compulsions often follow the path of obsession; for instance, if you have an intense fear of germs or being dirty, you may wash your hands excessively, sometimes until they're raw and bleed. Other compulsions include the following:

  • Excessive house cleaning
  • Constantly seek reassurance or approval
  • Repeatedly checking locks, doors, or appliances
  • Arranging objects in a particular way
  • Ritualistic counting or repeating of words

People living with OCD may also avoid situations that trigger their obsessions. Avoidance behavior may be more detrimental to their mental and physical health.

Do I have OCD?

Most people have some form of anxiety or worry about something in life – whether it's the constant worry over money or if you're going to lose someone close to you. However, many people can still get on with everyday living.

OCD takes many forms, which makes it difficult to understand, especially when you aren’t up to par with all the information. However, if you're worrying about the same type of thought and find yourself checking appliances often or washing your hands excessively, you may have OCD and not know it.

There's been a stigma against mental health issues like OCD for a long time, so maybe you've tucked your feelings and fears away from everyone else. It's easy to think that it's an issue that will pass – until it doesn't.

Checking your appliances to ensure they're off more than a few times or being late to work because you had to turn around to check if you locked the door isn't normal behavior and affects every aspect of your life.

Understanding your thoughts is difficult, but when they interfere with how you live your life, it's a sign of a bigger problem. Being unsure of OCD is okay; that's where we seek help. Dr. Rodriguez-Gonzalez evaluates your symptoms to determine if you have OCD and what treatments can get your life back on track.

If you want to know if you're dealing with OCD, don't hesitate to call one of our conveniently located offices in Salmon Creek or East Vancouver, Washington, today to schedule an appointment or request an appointment on our website.