Exploring Common OCD Subtypes: A Brief Introduction

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Exploring Common OCD Subtypes: A Comprehensive Overview

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) manifests in various forms, with each subtype presenting unique challenges and symptoms. At New Heights OCD & Anxiety Clinic in North Vancouver, BC, we recognize the importance of understanding these subtypes for effective treatment and management. This article provides a deep dive into some of the most common OCD subtypes, offering insights into their specific characteristics.

Contamination OCD

Fear of Germs and Compulsive Cleaning Rituals

One of the most well-known subtypes, contamination OCD, revolves around the fear of germs, dirt, and/or becoming ill. This often leads to excessive washing and cleaning rituals. Understanding and addressing the fears underlying these compulsions are crucial in treatment.

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Symmetry and Order OCD

The Need for Exactness and Symmetry

This subtype involves a preoccupation with symmetry, order, and exactness. Individuals may feel a compulsive need to arrange objects in a specific manner or perform tasks symmetrically to alleviate discomfort.


Intrusive Thoughts of Causing Harm

Harm OCD is characterized by intrusive thoughts of causing harm to oneself or others. These thoughts are deeply distressing and can lead to avoidance behaviors or seeking reassurance to mitigate the fear of acting on these thoughts.

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Relationship OCD (ROCD)

Doubts and Preoccupation with Relationships

ROCD involves obsessive doubts and preoccupations about one’s romantic relationships. Concerns about compatibility, feelings, or the partner’s traits dominate the individual’s thoughts, often leading to significant relationship distress.

Scrupulosity OCD

Obsessions with Morality or Religion

Scrupulosity OCD involves obsessive concerns about moral or religious correctness. This can manifest as excessive praying, confessing, or fear of moral or religious failure.

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Understanding the different subtypes of OCD is vital for recognizing the diverse experiences of those living with this disorder. Each subtype requires a tailored approach to treatment, highlighting the need for comprehensive and individualized care.

Learn More About OCD Subtypes

For more detailed information on OCD subtypes and resources for support, visit the International OCD Foundation at iocdf.org.

At New Heights OCD & Anxiety Clinic, we are dedicated to providing informed and empathetic care for all forms of OCD. If you or someone you know is struggling with any OCD subtype, our team in North Vancouver, BC, is here to offer support and specialized treatment.