6 Types of OCD

Today I’ll write about the 6 different types of OCD that I identified (and experienced) in the last couple of years. As you may have read in my previous posts, I’m not a psychologist, so I was relying my own experience – and if you think there are any other items that I could add to my list, feel free to share it in the comment section.

So, let’s see the different types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that I’ve come across so far:

Fear of contamination:

It’s totally normal to worry about your health, but some people take this to a whole new level. Have you ever been scared to death that you might contract HIV from touching a handrail or that unwashed fruits and vegetables might kill you or your loved ones?

I guess contamination OCD may be one of the most well-known types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – I do not think that any statistics exist for such a question, but when I tell people I have OCD, they’ll usually think that I’m obsessed with cleaning and afraid of germs. While it’s partially true, unfortunately, these are not the only symptoms that I have.

What does contamination OCD look like?

– constant hand washing (yes, I wash my hands at least 60 times a day)
– fear of germs
– fear of bodily fluids
– avoiding public toilets/ public transport
– obsessive compulsive cleaning
– being afraid of touching door handles (I know that an average person would think that they could easily explain why it’s safe, but for me it’s like: germs are everywhere and they can survive for long enough to destroy you)

Fear of harming others (or sometimes yourself)

As for my experience, this is the least well-known type of OCD – and in my opinion, the reason behind this, is that it’s extremely difficult to tell others about it.

If you’ve ever been afraid of accidentally (or intentionally) harming one of your loved ones, pushing someone off a building or gouging out your own eyeballs, it’s likely that you have some experience with this type of OCD.

There’s an endless list of intrusive thoughts that this type of OCD can give you – and many of them start by “what if I ….

– Hit a pedestrian while driving
Jump off a cliff
– Push someone of
– Put my cat in the microwave oven
– Hurting a loved one
– Fear of doing something illegal
Intentionally harming yourself

And these terrifying thoughts can make you avoid any situation that you think is dangerous (such as being around small children or the elderly).

Unacceptable thoughts

Everyone has a personal moral code: while most of the people are not constantly distressed by their morality, beliefs and sins.

Have you ever experienced intrusive thoughts that totally violated your morals and values? Such as:

– sexually molesting others
– inappropriate thoughts about religious figures -such as “what if you’re sexually attracted to them?”
-eating food that’s not allowed in your religion

And the disturbing thoughts are followed by different rituals, such as compulsive praying (or in my case, crossing myself several times a day.)

Checking OCD

This is another form of OCD that’s pretty well-known to the public. We have all seen annoying comedy movies that made fun of people checking a thousand times if their door’d been locked or if they had not forgotten to turn the stove off. While this may sound funny, but I can tell you that the feelings that come together with the compulsive checking behaviors are not funny at all, such as:

– Extreme fear of losing your personal items (and yes, that’d make you check your pockets at least a hundred times a day)
– Fear of having written an inappropriate text or e-mail (so why not checking it exactly 3 times before you hit send?)
– Or my personal obsession: checking if the door is locked numerous times, every morning, does not always solve the problem as I’d continue to have scary thoughts during the day – until the very moment I arrive home.

Order and symmetry

Did it ever happen to you that you decided to spend some time at a local store to organize the shelves? (And you were not even working at that shop!)

Yes, that may sound hilarious, but it’s pretty far from being funny. Especially to those people who waste hours every single day on their obsessions.

This type of OCD has also appeared in numerous works of literature – with the most famous sufferer being Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.

You must use your little grey cells, mon ami (but not for overthinking! )

Common symptoms include:

– Anxiety over asymmetry (that can make you organize your shelves multiple times a day)
– Wanting to write the exact number of words on each line on the page, to make it look symmetrical (as you may have noticed, I do not have this obsession, I’ve just heard about it from others)
– Being concerned that something terrible will happen if your objects at home are not arranged in perfect order.
– Fear of odd numbers

Fear of losing control

According to many, this type of OCD may fall under the same category as the “harming others one” – but then, I’m not a scientist so I’ve listed the different types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder according to my own feelings.

And well, I find this one very disturbing: for those who do not suffer from OCD, it may be impossible to imagine that there are people out there who are scared to death that:

– they might start to shouting during a theater performance
– or they might expose their genitals during a business meeting

And just like in other types of OCD, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the creative invention of incredible and distressing intrusive thoughts.
So yes, these are the 6 types of OCD that I came across in the last decade – if you think the list is incomplete, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

And I really hope that sharing my personal stories helped some of you – I do believe that every OCD victim have to know that they’re not alone and there are a lot of people out there who’re going through the same terror.

Want to read more about OCD?

P.S: Today, I found an amazing video on YouTube that perfectly illustrates all different types of OCD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD-xPiwtyHA

Mark Wester

OCD – afraid of blinding yourself

For most of the people who do not suffer from it, OCD means a kind of cleaning obsession – we often see people in TV shows who are obsessed about cleaning their homes, so that’s what OCD means right?.

Yes, there’re a lot of people who’re afraid of germs and contamination, but then Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has “much more to offer”: the fear of blinding yourself or the fear of jumping off a cliff (click on the link to see one of my previous articles about the call of the void).

Today, I’d like to share with you one of the scariest obsessions I’ve ever had: the fear of blinding myself.

Yes! You’ve read that right: I used to be afraid of gouging my eyeballs out. You may ask yourself how this fear is even possible – yet, I’m pretty sure that there are a few OCD victims out there who’ll totally understand it.

So how did this whole thing start?

This terrible obsession started when I was a teenager(high school freshman). I got my first pair of contact lenses and I’d just put them in – accidentally hurting one of my eyes. And that was it. An intrusive thought came to my mind: what if next time, I won’t hurt myself by accident but I’ll do it intentionally?

And this is perfectly enough for a person with OCD. Because after having an intrusive thought, you’ll also start having certain rituals to prevent it – such as asking your family members to tie your arms before you go to sleep, so you’d not be able to gouge out your eyeballs.

Furthermore, I also started to avoid wearing contact lenses – as putting them in seemed to be an extremely dangerous situation to me.

So, I used to be afraid of blinding myself, but I’m proud to say that I’d managed to overcome my fear. I’d be a hypocrite if I said that I’d been able to do that on my own – it’d been far more complicated than that.

How did I manage to overcome my fears?

I got used to them – ooph, yeah, I know that doesn’t sound really nice and one wouldn’t want to live with one’s intrusive thoughts for years and years but as the time goes by, it’ll get better and better. The first time when you experience the extreme fear of gouging out your eyeballs (or any other similar fear), you’ll probably be in severe distress, but then the second time will be much easier – and after a couple of panic attacks, you’ll be able to handle it much better.

I started facing my fears: asking your family and friends to tie your hands so that you’d not be able to hurt yourself is obviously not the best solution, because you should be independent and you shouldn’t rely on other people to help you manage your OCD – so the best thing you can do is to actually put yourself into a situation that you think is “dangerous” – it’ll be extremely scary at the first time, but then, as for my experience it does help a lot. πŸ™‚

Sometimes, I wonder if my OCD will ever be cured – and my honest answer to this question is that I simply do not know. But one thing that I know is that every person who’s suffering from OCD is able to take back control and to live a happy life, even if they continue having intrusive thoughts. πŸ™‚

I really hope that you’ll find my story helpful – I’m not a psychologist and obviously, I’ll never be able to tell you how to cure yourself from OCD, but I really think that it’s important to know that you’re not alone. There’re millions of people who’re suffering from this terrible illness and who understand your feelings, fears and pain.

Further Reading

Please do not hesitate to share your personal stories in the comment section! πŸ™‚

The Call of the Void

Have you ever been walking across a bridge when suddenly, for absolutely no reason, you felt the urge to jump?

Yes, this sounds absolutely insane but it’s a feeling that a lot of people have – even if they’d never admit that. It’s so common that the French even have an expression to describe this feeling: l’appel du vide (“the call of the void“).

But then, what happens if you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and you feel the call of the void?

A total disaster.

A beautiful image, created by my friend Aurora Spectator, who was inspired by my call of the void story

So, as I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who is suffering from OCD and experienced the call of the void, I’d like to share my personal story – and I really hope I can give you a couple of useful tricks to overcoming this terrible fear.

I had my first call of the void experience a couple of years ago, when I was walking across a bridge. I’d have a sudden thought – literary out of nowhere – what If I just jumped and threw myself into the river?

To people who do not have OCD, this sudden urge wouldn’t cause severe distress, but to me, this was the beginning of a new obsession. I had a terrible feeling that was more than just a simple urge. I really felt like I could just jump into the river at any single moment. It all felt so real. And I used to ask myself:
– What if I actually want to jump? What if one day, I will lose control for a couple of seconds and I will do it? I think I do not want to die but….what if I do? How can I ever know?

And it really felt like a never ending story with all the typical what if questions familiar to every OCD-victim.

And obviously, it was not only about the disturbing thoughts, but I’d start avoiding any situation that could trigger my fears. So, during those dark days, I’d never ever cross a bridge or I’d never smoke a cigarette on the balcony – and in the most extreme period, I never actually dared to open the window cause I’d been terribly afraid of jumping out of it.

This happened years ago, and I can say that nowadays, I’m doing just fine. It was a very long and difficult journey and I’d not have been able to do it alone. I was lucky to have very supportive friends and family.

How did I overcome my fear?

I faced my fears (okay, I know this sounds clichΓ©e but it actually works!). So I started to walk across bridges, spent time on the balcony, went to sky bars and the final step that I took was: moving to a flat on the 8th floor.

I told my family and friends about my fear: it may be extremely difficult to tell others about your feelings (especially if these feelings are weird), but it’s really worth it. Furthermore, talking about your feelings will make you realize that you’re not alone. I’m pretty sure that most of us have at least one friend who’s (or was) suffering from the call of the void.

I was reading about it: one can find a lot of great articles on the internet about OCD and about the call of the void – and the more you know about it, the better you can fight it.

Want to read more about OCD?:
6 types of OCD
Pure O: Living in Endless Fear
OCD: Living a lie
12 things that will help you overcome OCD
OCD: a vicious cycle of doubt and guilt
Demons are real: Stop Negative Self Talk!

I accepted it. Let’s be honest: I’ve been living with OCD for most of my life and I’m getting better and better at handling it, but it’s a very long process – I hope to believe that it’s possible to cure it completely, but even then one will always have crazy thoughts and urges, so we need to accept them.

– I made fun of it. Okay, I’m pretty sure a lot of experts would disagree with this method, but then I’m not a psychologist or a researcher just a guy who’s pretty experienced when it comes to OCD and this actually works for me. In the middle of a panic attack, it’s not really possible to make fun of your fears but during “calmer periods” it’s something you can do. Because if you think about it: at the end of the day, it’s pretty weird that someone is afraid of jumping off a cliff when they do not actually want to do it, right?

So, with the combination of these techniques, I could finally overcome my fear. Sometimes I still feel the call of the void, but it won’t scare me anymore!

I really hope my story will help some people out there and I’m also looking forward to hearing about your call of the void stories in the comment section! πŸ™‚

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Overcoming OCD

Welcome to my blog! πŸ™‚ I’m really glad you to have you here.

So, a couple of words about myself: I’m a 27 years old guy from Central Europe – from a place where OCD is not really well understood by the people and where it’s a taboo to speak about this topic.

The reason why I’ve started this blog is because I’d love to help others by sharing my OCD experiences – as I’ve been suffering from it for the past 15 years. And also for helping myself as I do think that it’s time to come out and to be proud of having OCD!

The world nowadays is becoming more and more open-minded and there’re a lot of minorities who come out of the dark and who tell others about their values, culture and experiences, but people with OCD are pretty much hiding: most of the people think that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder means a kind of cleaning obsession.

OCD makes us suffer and it can be a torture, but let’s be proud of ourselves, of our personalities and our mistakes because these are the things that make us the person who we are! πŸ™‚

Mark Wester