Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are well aware of their diagnosis as symptoms tend to be quite obvious. However, many of us struggle with mental health in ways we don’t often evaluate.
Often times, OCD goes unnoticed or undiagnosed as the symptoms aren’t always obvious.
We all have a pattern of thoughts that directs our lives. Yet, many of us struggle with this pattern which, in turn, leads to a mental health condition. There are a number of mental patterns that can be observed which are associated with OCD, yet, aren’t obvious on a surface level.
Throughout this blog, we’re going to take a deeper look into 7 of these patterns. At the end, we invite you to ask further questions.
#1 – You Write Down a Lot of Reminders
Writing down daily reminders isn’t an immediate sign of OCD. We all have things we need to do and, most importantly, can’t forget to do.
However, if you find yourself constantly writing things down or, worse yet, fearing that you’ll forget even a minor task, you may have OCD.
It’s not necessarily the organization that’s the problem. Rather, it’s the obsession with organization.
People with OCD feel a compulsion to write down tasks so they won’t forget. It’s a vicious cycle that usually involves more time setting reminders rather than actually completing the tasks.
If you feel as though it’s difficult for you to function without these written reminders, you may want to consult a medical professional.
#2 – You Clean Your Home More Than Necessary
One aspect of OCD that’s often overlooked is the concept of completing tasks in fear of what will happen if they aren’t completed. Cleaning your house is a perfect example of this.
We all need a spring cleaning every so often to freshen up our living situations. In fact, making our home environments clean is actually very positive for our mental health.
However, those with OCD aren’t necessarily focused on the outcome. Rather, they’re concerned about a house becoming too messy.
The primary reason a messy home becomes an apprehension for those with OCD is because messy homes are unorganized. They put a person with OCD in a situation where they won’t be able to properly navigate their living environment and, in turn, trigger more of their symptoms.
You may find yourself compulsively reorganizing furniture, clothes, or anything else in your house so everything looks perfect.
#3 – You Need to Double-Check Everything
One of the more obvious signs of OCD is double-checking to make sure everything is in perfect order. Whether this be your list of reminders, the lock on your front door, or if your bed is made or not, double-checking (and, sometimes, triple-checking) is a sure-fire sign you’re struggle with OCD.
Again, this is another aspect of compulsion that many people are unaware they struggle with. More often than not, these people feel as though they’ll be at risk of harm if they don’t double-check something.
It’s normal for you to do a double-check every so often for little things. But if you find yourself re-checking multiple times throughout the day, you may be struggling with OCD.
#4 – You Prefer When Things Are Symmetrical
Don’t get us wrong, symmetry always makes a space more pleasant to look at. It comes as no surprise interior decorators make use of this aesthetic whenever they can.
However, if you feel the need to make sure things are symmetric – whether in your own home or someone else’s – that could be a sign of OCD.
You’ll know for sure if you have trouble completing other tasks while things aren’t symmetric. For example, you may find it difficult to go out and leave your home if the pillows on your bed aren’t in perfect order.
If you find yourself spending extra time throughout the day making sure everything is symmetric – if objects that aren’t symmetric just “don’t feel right” – you may be struggling with this disorder.
#5 – You’re Consistently Re-Thinking a Situation
Overthinking is common among everyone. In many cases, there’s no way to avoid overthinking from time to time.
What we’re talking about goes deeper than simply overthinking. If you find yourself constantly thinking over a specific situation or memory – most notably, in your alone time – you may be struggling with OCD.
Signs of this symptoms include taking the time to re-think a situation, conversation, or other interaction and even rehearsing (acting out) an upcoming one. This sign is highlighted by those who do this over and over again.
Of course, not all OCD will involve outward actions. In other words, you may find yourself simply thinking out these scenarios rather than physically revealing them.
#6 – You Need Reassurance
We all need reassurance from time to time – such interactions trigger chemicals in our brain that make us feel better about ourselves. However, it’s common for those with OCD to have racing thoughts that they constantly need assurance of.
These can be anything from an action they did that (they consider) is morally wrong to an interaction that left them feeling embarrassed. Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself constantly reaching out to people – especially, in your alone time – for reassurance, you could be struggling with OCD.
#7 – You’re a Perfectionist
Being a perfectionist doesn’t necessarily mean you have OCD. A lot of us feel incomplete unless a task is completed to it’s utmost perfection.
However, one trait that’s common among people with OCD is that of being a perfectionist. More so than merely being a high achiever, a person with OCD will most likely feel obsessed (or compulsive) into doing things perfect.
The signs of OCD mentioned above are simply a way for you to figure out whether or not you’re struggling with this disorder. If you struggle with one of the above-signs, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have OCD.
However, if you struggle with a handful of these signs, chances are higher than you may desire.
Still, the only true way to know for sure whether or not your struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is to reach out to a medical professional.
We’re all different in how we react to the world around us. By consulting someone who’s well-trained in mental health, you’ll be able to get a personalized reference on your mental situation.
Still have questions about the signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?
We invite you to ask them in the comments section below. If you have any advice or further knowledge on the topic – whether personal or professional – we’d also love to hear from you.