OCD Types

“All OCD Types involve an endless cycle of obsessions and compulsions, regardless of the theme. The following are some of the most common OCD Types. *This list, however, is non-exhaustive, and some OCD presentations are highly unique and do not fall within any recognizable category. It is also important to point out that a person may have more than one type of OCD.”


Individuals with this type of OCD experience an overwhelming feeling of distress when they come into contact with items perceived as ‘contaminated’. The list of potential contaminants is extensive. The following are some common examples:

Compulsions may involve any protective act that prevents contamination or removes contamination that has presumably occurred. Compulsions may include: excessive hand washing; excessive showering; avoiding certain people or places, or avoiding touching certain objects; disinfecting, and so on.

Compulsive Checking:
At the heart of checking, and most forms of OCD, is persistent doubting and intolerance of uncertainty. Repeatedly checking that the door is locked, repeatedly checking that the stove is off, repeatedly replaying a conversation with a friend to ensure that nothing wrong or offensive was said, repeatedly looking back at a child’s car seat to ensure its properly fastened are all examples of checking. ‘Hit and Run’ OCD’ as the name implies, is an obsession about striking, or having struck, a pedestrian while driving a vehicle and involves endless checking compulsions. Checking can take the form of mental operation such as when a person mentally reviews having turned off the stove. Checking often involves an obsession about having done, or not done, something that is going to cause harm to others.

Relationship OCD (ROCD)

This is a type of OCD in which an individual experiences distressing thoughts about the suitability of their partner, and about the strength and quality of their love and desire for them. While these types of doubts arise for most people, ROCD sufferers spend an inordinate amount of time agonizing about this theme and engaging in endless compulsions. This type of OCD can severely diminish quality of life and cause a significant strain on a relationship.

There are two common presentations of ROCD: relationship- centred and partner- focused. A person with relationship-centered obsessions will focus on doubts/worries about their feelings towards their partner, how a partner feels towards them and whether the relationship feels “right”. A person with partner-focused obsessions will focus on a partner’s perceived shortcomings – their intelligence, physical appearance and attributes, personality traits, socioeconomic status and other qualities.


Order and Symmetry:

Is a preoccupation with perfection and exactness. Examples include excessive concern with aligning books, furniture, dishes, shoes in a “perfect” arrangement.


Excessive fear, worry and preoccupation about doing things against one’s religion or morality. Examples include: not praying enough or not praying ‘perfectly’; violating religious rules; having blasphemous thoughts or engaging in blasphemous actions.


Excessive, irrational fear of acting in a violent, dangerous, and inappropriate manner. Some of the most common harm obsessions include: fear of losing control and harming another person (punching, stabbing, choking, for example); and the fear of acting on a thought or impulse such as running over a pedestrian or pushing someone into traffic. A person with harm obsessions does not want to experience/act on these thoughts and finds them extremely disturbing and guilt-provoking.

Sexual Obsessions:

Unwanted, intrusive, and disturbing thoughts and images of a taboo nature. Categories include but are not limited to: the fear of being a pedophile or becoming a pedophile (POCD); the fear of gender attraction contrary to one’s sexual orientation (SOCD); the fear of being sexually attracted to family members; the fear of being sexually attracted to animals, and so on. A person with sexual obsessions does not want to experience/act on these thoughts and finds them disturbing, and guilt-provoking.

Emotional Contamination:

Emotional contamination is an OCD subtype in which a person is preoccupied with being ‘contaminated’ by (i.e. taking on) the negative personality traits of another person.

At New Heights, we offer state of the art treatment for all OCD Types. 

Call 778-953-6886 and speak to any of our office staff to learn more or schedule an appointment.

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