1699033 tn?1514113133

What is OCD and what are some common symptoms?

Hello and welcome to the OCD forum!

This is the place to discuss all of your obsessive thinking and your compulsive behaviors.  We are here to help you either with our own experiences and how we have dealt with them and/or to help guide you to the professionals out there that can help you.  

Pure-O OCD stands for Purely Obsessional OCD.  This form of OCD usually involves thoughts rather than compulsions.  When one of these irrational thoughts enters our mind, we endlessly ruminate about it over and over again trying to either prove or disprove the thought.   The next thing you know you are caught up in the vicious cycle that is OCD irrational thinking.  The whole "What-if" or "Could I possibly do that?" thing.    There are some common themes that these thoughts revolve around, however, this is in no way a complete list of all the irrational thoughts people have.  

Health - where the irrational thought revolves around catching a horrible disease from an unlikely source such as touching a doorknob.  The irrational thought can also revolve around disbelieving test results that you have gotten particularly negative test results.  And also that you may have contracted a horrible disease such as cancer or HIV.  

Violence - where you ruminate about hurting or even killing the people you love.  It can also include repugnant thoughts that you may all of a sudden start harming children or suddenly become attracted to them.  

Religion - where the foundation of your religious beliefs starts to unravel because you are ruminating about things that go against them.    

Sexual orientation - where you ruminate about possibly being attracted to the opposite sex of what your natural sexual orientation is.  Straight men and women thinking they are turning into gay men and lesbians and vice versa.    

Relationship issues - where you ruminate about possibly not loving your partner anymore because you believe you are noticing other people more often and so that must mean you are no longer in love with your partner.  


The "C" in OCD stands for compulsive.  These are behaviors that people exhibit that become "necessary" in their daily lives in order to relieve anxiety or to move on so to speak with their day.  This relief is usually very short lived and the person finds themselves doing the same thing over and over again.  

There are a lot of different compulsive rituals and again the following list does not cover every compulsion that people do in their lives.  

Checking - This is when you feel you have to check to make sure that for instance the stove is off, the iron is off, the door is locked, etc.  You find yourself going back again and again checking the same things as if you are doubting that you even checked them the first, second and third time.  

Hand-washing - This is when you have a fear of germs or illness in general and you feel that you must incessantly wash your hands sometimes to the point of bleeding.  

Ordering - This is when you feel like you have to have certain things placed in a certain way.  For instance your shoes lined up a certain way, the boxes in the pantry lined up in a certain way,

Self-injury - This is when you feel like you have to pick at your skin(dermatillomania), pull your hair (trichotillomania) and bite your nails (onychophagia).  

Counting - Then is when you feel you have to count the steps as you walk them or count to a certain number before you can perform a task, etc.    

All of the above are common irrational thoughts and compulsions that people experience.  These thoughts and actions, when they start to take up your entire day, can lead to a heightened anxiety state and disrupt your ability to do the day-to-day tasks that are required in our daily lives.  The worst part is that the person suffering from Pure-O OCD realizes these are irrational thoughts and just cannot stop thinking about them.  The person doing the compulsive rituals feels that without doing them, their anxiety will worsen.   In most cases OCD requires outside help from a Psychologist and/or Psychiatrist in order to break the cycle of irrational thinking and compulsive behaviors.  

Remember, we are here for you and in most cases have walked in your shoes.  Together we can hopefully get you on the path to leading a normal life again.  
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Avatar universal
Hello i am a 45 yr old woman who was diagnosed with depression/ anxiety in 06 i was sorta stable with depression but now something is making it worse doc thinks it is perimenopause but the anxiety is worse i have started digging at toenails until they bleed or i pull them completley out i did this before and had two big toenails removed,but now it's started up worse than ever and it's all toes but little ones i have had several infections and i try to stop but i can't i will be digging sometimes for hours and not realize it until it hurts then i get upset cry and then do it again my toenails and feet are really dry and it starts with a little piece and i can't get it and i keep digging and digging cause i think there is something still in there usualy there isn't  my mind just keep telling me that i am going to be put on celexa to see if that will help i am currently on imipramine but it doesn't help anxiety and now my depression isn't responding to imipramine as well i just hope this med will help cause after feeling somewhat "normal" for a couple of years to fall back this far is frustating
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1699033 tn?1514113133
I'm sorry you are feeling this way again.  I'm very close to your age, I'm 47, and we sound like we have had a similar OCD/anxiety flare-up.  I too thought that perimenapause might have something to do with what I went through but not entirely.  I was doing well for years and this past May I had a trigger, septic system died, and I went over that OCD cliff once again.  I wasn't anxiety free or OCD free those years prior to May but it was managable like you have been with your depression.  

In any case, I'm wondering if there is a trigger that you  may just not be aware of.  Or if you thought about it, maybe you can pinpoint something.  In any case, we are where we are.  

It is good that you are going to try celexa.  As you probably already know it takes a good 4 to 6 weeks to really start to see the full benefits from the medication.  I took klonopin during that time to help with the more anxious days.  That might be something to discuss with your doctor...a benzodiazipine to help with the crisis times.  I myself prefer klonopin to Xanax.  But worth talking to your doctor about.  

I also had to fall back on my CBT training from years ago.  I had to breath my way out of panic attacks.  I had to practice replacing my negative thoughts with positive ones on paper.  I had to imagine pulling a red handle and say STOP in order to halt the catastrophizing process in my head.  Did you ever learn CBT?  

For what you are going through I think that for now you need to just be aware of when you go to pick at your nails, you have to stop yourself in anyway you can.  If it means wearing socks on your hands when you are at home...then do that.  Don't think for a second it is ridiculous.  Our minds are capable of making us do the most irrational stuff.  Imagine pulling that red handle and say STOP.  When you have anxiety because you cannot pick at your nails, practicing your breathing.  if you don't know the technique let me know.  

Lastly, and mostly importrantly, you know you can get better.  You did it before and there is absolutely nothing stopping you from gettng better this time.  This is a momentary bump in the road.  I knew I would get better this past May, I just knew it was going to take a while.  And here I am back to my old self again...on meds of course, but who cares.  I'll take them for the rest of my life if I have to.  

So hang in there, think positive thoughts, and try very, very hard to stop yoursrelf when your hands go to your feet.  Try the socks when you are at home.  

I hope I have been of some help and comfort to you.  With the right help, the right medication, you will get better!  Just in case you find that Celexa is not for you, I take Wellbutrin.  It has less side effects overall but again, each medications works differently for each person.  My first medication was Prozac years and years ago and that worked too.

Take care and keep me posted with what I know is going to be progress!
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1699033 tn?1514113133
Sorry, I clicked the best answer button my mistake and I wasn't done typing my post...now I have to start over again since what I was typing disappeared.
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