OCD Compulsions: Signs, Causes, and How To Manage It?

OCD Compulsions:

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder that affects many people around the world. It is characterized by persistent intrusive thoughts and recurrent behaviors called compulsions. Those affected are often unable to control them and they can have a significant impact on daily life. Compulsions can range from mild to severe, with some people going as far as engaging in dangerous activities such as self-harm. In this blog post, we will be exploring OCD compulsions in more detail, including discussing the symptoms, treatment options, and how to manage the disorder.

What are OCD Compulsions?

OCD Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person engages in to alleviate the distress caused by obsessions. Examples of OCD compulsions include excessive hand washing, counting and repeating certain words or phrases, asking for reassurance, and arranging objects in specific patterns. Sometimes these compulsions can interfere with daily life, leading to lower levels of functioning. To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for OCD, it is important to understand what OCD compulsions are and how they manifest themselves.

Treatment options include medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as well as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). With proper treatment, individuals can learn better-coping strategies and reduce the symptoms associated with their OCD compulsions.

Types of OCD Compulsions

There are many different types of OCD compulsions, and they can vary greatly from person to person. Some common types of OCD compulsions include:


One of the most common types of OCD compulsions is checking. This involves repeatedly checking things such as locks, the oven, and even the time. People with this type of OCD tend to be obsessed with making sure that everything is in order and secure.


Another common type of OCD compulsion is counting. People who suffer from this type of OCD may count objects or repeat numbers in their heads until they feel satisfied. They may also count steps or breathe a certain number of times before feeling calm again.


People with an obsession for orderliness can become compulsively organized and structured in their daily routines. This can involve arranging items in a specific way or needing to keep everything neat at all times.


An individual with OCD may also have an obsession with hoarding objects. This can involve needing to keep items even if they are no longer needed or of any use. People who suffer from this type of compulsion may feel a need to save every item that enters their home, leading to severe clutter and disorganization.


People who struggle with this type of OCD often feel the need to excessively clean and disinfect objects and surfaces in their environment. This can lead to hours spent on repetitive cleaning tasks each day.

Mental Rituals

Individuals with OCD can also develop mental rituals, such as repeating words, counting silently, or praying for protection from harm. These rituals can be used as a way to cope with anxious thoughts or to avoid certain situations.

There are many other types of OCD compulsions, and the type individual experiences may vary from one person to another.

Causes of OCD Compulsions

There are many potential causes of OCD compulsions. Often, compulsions arise in response to Obsessive Thoughts. For example, a person with OCD may have obsessive thoughts about germs and bacteria. In response to these obsessions, the person may engage in compulsive behaviors such as excessive hand-washing or avoiding contact with others.

Other potential causes of OCD compulsions include:

Fear of making mistakes

The fear of making mistakes can lead to checking rituals or other compulsive behaviors. People with OCD may feel that if they do not repeat certain tasks or rituals, something bad will happen. The need to complete certain steps in a certain way can become overwhelming and lead to compulsions.

Brain chemistry

Research suggests that imbalances in brain chemistry, such as serotonin levels, may be linked to the development of OCD. This could explain why some people are more prone to developing obsessive thoughts and compulsions than others.

Trauma or Stressful Events

Traumatic events or situations can trigger an increase in obsessions and compulsions. For example, someone who has experienced a traumatic event may develop frequent checking rituals as a way to cope with anxiety and fear.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, such as living in an unstable environment or having parents who exhibit obsessive-compulsive qualities, could also be associated with the development of compulsions.

Some of the enablers of OCD compulsions include perfectionism, a need for control, and difficulty tolerating ambiguity. Additionally, people with OCD may struggle to find resources or support to help them manage their compulsive behaviors.

Signs of OCD Compulsions

Common symptoms of compulsions include:

Excessive hand-washing and/or showering

Hand-washing and showering can become an obsession if done in extreme amounts. When compulsions take over, people may spend hours washing objects in their environment.

Checking rituals

Someone with OCD may engage in frequent checking rituals to make sure things are done correctly. This can include checking the locks on the door, setting an alarm multiple times, or re-reading a text to make sure it’s accurate.

Reassurance-seeking behavior

People who struggle with compulsions often seek reassurance from others that everything is okay. They may also look for signs or symbols of safety or security to help them feel more at ease.

Organizing and arranging items

Having an obsession with neatness and orderliness can lead to excessive organizing or arranging of items in the home or workspace. This can become very time-consuming and lead to compulsive behaviors such as reorganizing items in a certain order or pattern.

Treatment for OCD Compulsions

There are several ways to treat OCD compulsions, and the best course of action will vary from person to person. However, some standard treatment methods can be effective in managing and reducing OCD compulsions.

One of the most common treatments for OCD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy helps people to understand and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their OCD. CBT can be done in individual or group sessions, and it is effective in treating OCD.

Other common treatment options for OCD include medication, exposure and response prevention (ERP), and self-help or support groups. Medication can be used to help reduce anxiety and obsessive thoughts, while ERP involves gradually exposing oneself to situations that trigger OCD symptoms and then learning to resist the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors. Self-help or support groups can provide education and support for people with OCD.

Some of the strategies that can be used to manage compulsions include relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and distraction. Relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and tension in the body and mind, while mindfulness involves paying attention to one’s thoughts without judgment or criticism. Distraction techniques can help take the focus away from obsessive thinking by engaging in activities such as reading, listening to music, or focusing on something else.

It is important to remember that OCD is a chronic condition that requires ongoing treatment and management. It may take time for someone with OCD to find the right combination of treatments that work for them. Seeking professional help from a mental health provider is often the best way to get started on the road to recovery from OCD symptoms.

Living with OCD Compulsions

Living with OCD compulsions can be challenging. It is important to remember that you are not alone in this and that there are treatments available to help you manage your symptoms. Here are some tips for living with OCD compulsions:

  • Identify your triggers: What situations or activities make your OCD symptoms worse? Avoiding these triggers, or learning how to cope with them healthily, can help reduce your compulsions.
  • Create a routine: Having a set routine can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of structure for those with OCD. This may include things like setting aside time each day to do rituals or other activities related to your compulsions.
  • Challenge your thoughts: Obsessive thoughts can be very distressing, but it is important to remember that they are just thoughts – they are not reality. Learning how to challenge and reframe negative thoughts can help lessen their power over you.
  • Seek professional help: If you are struggling to manage your OCD symptoms on your own, seek out professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in treating OCD. This can provide you with the support and guidance you need to find relief from your symptoms.

Living with OCD can be difficult, but it is important to remember that help is available. With proper treatment and management, it is possible to reduce your compulsions and live a more fulfilling life.


OCD compulsions can be difficult and overwhelming to deal with, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. With the right support and resources, it is possible to manage OCD and its associated symptoms. If you feel like you need help in understanding or managing your OCD compulsions, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance from a mental health professional. Taking control of your well-being can make a huge difference in how well you can cope with the effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

For more information and guidance, please contact MantraCare. OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding Online OCD Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session

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