OCD compulsions: Understanding and Overcoming Them

OCD compulsions: Understanding and Overcoming Them

Do you feel like you’re constantly being driven to do things that don’t make any sense? Are you plagued by intrusive thoughts that make you feel like you have to take action? If so, you may be struggling with OCD compulsions. In this blog post, we will discuss what compulsions are, how they develop, and what are the negative impacts of it. Also, we will provide some tips to overcome them.

What Are OCD Compulsions?

What Are OCD Compulsions?OCD compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that you feel you must do to reduce your anxiety. Many people with OCD have both obsessions and compulsions.

Compulsions are usually a response to an obsession. For example, someone with an obsession with germs may wash their hands over and over again. This would be considered a compulsion. Most people with OCD realize that their compulsions are irrational, but they still feel compelled to do them anyway.

It’s important to understand that compulsions are not voluntary. That is, people with OCD do not want to have these thoughts or engage in these behaviors, but they feel like they have to in order to relieve the anxiety. This can lead to a lot of distress and impairment in daily functioning.

Some people only have intrusive thoughts and rarely have compulsions. These are generally known as “purely obsessional” or “Pure O” OCD. It’s important to note that even though someone may not engage in compulsions, the thoughts can still be very distressing.

Two Types Of OCD Compulsions

OCD compulsions are generally classified into two different types. These include:

Mental OCD Compulsions (Covert compulsions acts)

The very first type of OCD compulsions is mental compulsions. In this, an individual with OCD performs a mental action over and over again in order to reduce their anxiety. For example, somebody with mental OCD compulsions may keep repeating words in their head or count objects obsessively.

The word covert compulsions refers to those acts that are unobservant. And this is generally the type of compulsion that people are not too aware of. It’s because these compulsions happen inside the person’s head.

They seem constantly involved in cleaning themselves or one’s surroundings in order to avoid contamination. This includes

  • washing their hands multiple times,
  • repeating words or phrases out loud,
  • or walking in and out of doorways a certain number of times.
  • avoiding public toilets,
  • not touching doorknobs,
  • or staying away from people who are sick.

Mental compulsions are believed to be the most difficult to overcome as they are often not visible to others.

Physical OCD Compulsions (Overt compulsions acts)

Physical OCD Compulsions (Overt compulsions acts)The second type of compulsion is a physical compulsion. These include any type of repetitive behavior that an individual with OCD performs in order to reduce their anxiety. For example, somebody with physical OCD compulsions may repeatedly check to see if a door is locked or an appliance is turned off.

In fact, the word overt compulsions refer to those acts that are observable. And this is generally the type of compulsion that people are more aware of. Because these compulsions happen outside the person’s head.

Moreover, in physical compulsions, people with OCD may excessively clean their homes or themselves. They may also arrange things in a certain order or according to a specific pattern. People with physical compulsions often perform these behaviors in public, which can be disruptive and embarrassing.

Other examples of physical compulsions include:

  • touching objects a certain number of times,
  • arranging objects in a specific way,
  • excessively washing one’s hands,
  • or repeatedly checking the time.
  • hoarding,
  • counting,
  • touching,
  • and tapping.

While these compulsions may be easier to overcome than mental compulsions, they can still be very debilitating and cause significant distress for sufferers. However, it is important to remember that there is help available and sufferers can overcome their compulsions with treatment.

How Do OCD Compulsions Develop?

There must be a history of this type of behavior. For example, a child who is afraid of dirt may start washing his or her hands excessively. A person who is worried about germs may start avoiding contact with others. compulsions can also be triggered by a traumatic event.

There has been so much research on this OCD compulsion and its causes. The most common theory is that compulsions are a way of managing anxiety. When someone feels anxious, they may do a compulsion to relieve that anxiety. However, the relief is only temporary. Doing the compulsion over and over again can become a habit.

Compulsions can also be a way of avoiding something unpleasant. For example, a person with OCD may avoid going outside because they are afraid of dirt and germs. This can lead to isolation and make OCD worse.

In 2005, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) conducted a study on OCD. They found that compulsions are often related to certain themes, such as:

  • contamination
  • germs
  • dirt
  • orderliness
  • symmetry
  • exactness

So, after identifying these things, they published some guidelines to treat OCD.

What Are The Negative Impacts Of OCD Compulsions?

What Are The Negative Impacts Of OCD Compulsions?There are several negative impacts of having OCD compulsions. This includes;

  • Feeling isolated and alone, as people may not understand what you are going through.
  • Feeling like you are not in control of your own life.
  • Struggling to manage day-to-day activities as compulsions can take up a lot of time.
  • Feeling anxious, stressed, and depressed due to the constant worry and anxiety that comes with OCD.
  • It consumes your life and you can end up neglecting other important aspects of your life.

The negative impacts of these compulsions can have a significant impact on your quality of life. If you are struggling to cope with the negative impacts of your compulsions, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.

They can provide you with the support and guidance you need to overcome your OCD and live a happy and healthy life.

Tips To Overcome From OCD Compulsions

There are many types of compulsions that people with OCD may suffer from. And, compulsions are often performed in an attempt to relieve anxiety or prevent a feared event from happening.

However, they are usually only temporary relief and the anxiety soon returns. In fact, performing compulsions can actually make the anxiety worse in the long run. If you are suffering from this, then, here are some things you can do to try and overcome them:

Talk To Someone Who Understands

Talking to someone can be a huge relief, especially if they understand what you’re going through. This can be anyone from a friend or family member, to a therapist. It can also be helpful to join a support group for people with OCD. They can help you understand your compulsions and develop strategies to overcome them.

Challenge Your Thoughts

One of the main things that fuels OCD is anxiety-producing thoughts. These are usually called “intrusive thoughts.” Intrusive thoughts are often bizarre, irrational, and disturbing. They can make you feel like you’re going crazy or that something bad is going to happen. However, it’s important to remember that just because you have an intrusive thought, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen.

Expose Yourself To What You Fear

This may sound counter-intuitive, but deliberately exposing yourself to what you’re afraid of can help reduce your anxiety in the long run. This is because it helps you to realize that your fears are usually unfounded and that you can cope with the situation. It’s important to do this gradually and under the guidance of a therapist so that you don’t overwhelm yourself.

Practice Self-Relaxation Techniques

It is also important to learn how to relax. This can be done through different techniques such as

Relaxation can help reduce the overall anxiety that you’re feeling and make it easier to deal with your compulsions. In addition, this can be used as a form of exposure therapy.

Get Professional Help

Get Professional HelpIf you find that your compulsions are starting to take over your life and you can’t seem to overcome them on your own. Then, it’s important to seek professional help. A therapist who specializes in OCD can help you develop a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to your needs. They can also provide you with the support and understanding that you need to overcome this disorder.

For that matter, try visiting Mantra Care for more tips on overcoming OCD compulsions. Mantra Care is a website that provides information and resources on mental health disorders. They also have a blog that discusses various topics related to mental health.

Overcoming OCD compulsions can seem like a daunting task, but it is possible with the right help and support. If you are struggling, please reach out for assistance from a mental health professional. They can help you develop a treatment plan that is specific to your needs and help you on the road to recovery.


To conclude, compulsions are a very real and serious part of OCD that can be extremely debilitating. However, it is important to remember that they are also very treatable. In fact, this is one of the areas where Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy has been shown to be very effective. If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, please reach out for help. There are many resources available and treatment can make a world of difference. Thanks for reading!

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