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The Early Signs of OCD

A guy with OCD
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, more commonly known as OCD, is a mental illness, which often presents with early symptoms. About 2.2 million Americans live with OCD. Often, those living with this mental health condition also live with depression, anxiety, and other concerns.

Most often, the symptoms of OCD develop during the teenage and young adult years. As a result, many of the earliest symptoms are those you can spot early on, whether you are looking for the signs in yourself or in a child.

If you have noticed these signs of OCD, you may wish to consult with a mental health professional who can provide a diagnosis and possibly even treatment. Early action can prevent this health concern from developing into a more serious issue.

Repetitive Behaviors

Many people associate OCD with people who wash their hands many times throughout the day. While repetitive handwashing is a symptom of OCD, it is not the only one. Locking doors, checking stoves, flicking light switches, and tapping are also examples of repetitive behaviors.


Many people associate cleanliness with OCD, but the truth is that hoarding is also a symptom of the mental health condition. If you notice that somebody is compiling large amounts of items or refuses to throw items away, it may be an early symptom.

Development of Rigid Systems

Many individuals with OCD develop their own rigid systems of doing things. Sometimes these systems are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. In spite of advice to eat a rich diet with a lot of variety, for example, an individual might opt to eat only the same things every day. Perhaps somebody has a system associated with cleaning or even sitting down to watch television that does not seem normal.

Reluctance to Leave Home

Some people with OCD have a difficult time leaving the house. They often find reasons why they feel unable to leave. Perhaps there is something they want to clean or perhaps they feel there is more to be done before they can go elsewhere. Many people feel more comfortable at home and much less anxious in a place where they have some semblance of control.

Declining Work or School Productivity

Perfectionism is a major struggle for many people with OCD. Before turning something in, a student may feel the need to check over his work multiple times even if he knows the answers are correct. A woman may get fired because she is not productive--not because she isn't good at her job but because she spends too much time rechecking her work.

Declining Relationships

Relationships often suffer because of the symptoms associated with OCD. Often, individuals with OCD ask their partners to engage in some of the behaviors associated with their symptoms. For example, a woman may ask her husband to check the locks throughout the night to ensure the house is safe. When the partner does not want to engage in these behaviors, it creates stress and strain.

Excessive Time Spent Worrying

If you notice that you or a loved one spends an excessive amount of time worrying about the future or upcoming changes, it may be a sign of anxiety or OCD. When people create more time in their schedule so that they can carry out certain rituals, it is often a sign of a significant issue. Worrying should certainly not take up more time than leisure, social life, or work, for instance.

Treatment for OCD

Do you have questions about OCD? Only a medical professional can diagnose OCD or other mental health conditions. Call the Heritage Mental Health Clinic today to learn more about the mental health options available to you and your loved ones.