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What I Treat

OCD Themes & Related Issues

Here is a list of common OCD themes. It should be noted that even if you don’t see your obsessional theme listed here, that does not necessarily mean that you don’t have OCD. OCD presentations are as unique as people and doubt about the existence of OCD is a common symptom of OCD. The basics of treatment are the same for all forms of OCD. 

  • Contamination obsessions / washing compulsions

  • Symmetry / “just right” OCD

  • Hypochondriasis / health anxiety (fear of having / getting illnesses)

  • Real event / past event OCD (fear about something one did in the past)

  • False memory OCD

  • Harm OCD (violent obsessions, hit-and-run OCD, fear of causing harm)

  • "Pure O" (doing mental compulsions only / can be associated with any theme)

  • Scrupulosity / morality / religious OCD

  • Hyper-responsibility OCD / checking compulsions (fear of making a mistake or causing a tragedy)

  • Sexual orientation OCD (fear of being in denial about sexual orientation)

  • Pedophile OCD (fear of inappropriate sexual thoughts about children)

  • Relationship OCD (obsessions related to love, fidelity, fit of partner, specific trait of partner)

  • Sex-related obsessions (fears about inappropriate thoughts or actions)

  • Sensorimotor OCD (fear of awareness of swallowing, breathing, blinking, itching, etc.)

  • Obsessing about obsessing (fear of having OCD forever, trying to escape a particular mind state)

  • Existential OCD (obsessions about meaning of life, existence, purpose) 

  • Decision-related obsessions (fear of making the wrong decision)

  • Perfectionism and work/performance-related obsessions

  • Perinatal / Postpartum OCD

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD / appearance-related obsessions)

Other Anxiety Disorders I Specialize In

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

  • Phobias (fears of vomiting, leaving home, driving, animals, small spaces, etc.)

  • Panic Disorder (panic attacks / fear of panic attacks)

Friends in Nature
Hand Touching Water

Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors 


Below is a list of the most common BFRBs: 

  • Trichotillomania (hair pulling - scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, arms, legs, pubic area, etc.)

  • Dermatillomania (skin picking - on face, arms, legs, pubic area, etc.) 

  • Onychophagia (nail biting)

  • Dermatophagia (skin biting - lip, cheek, tongue, skin around nails, etc.) 

  • Trichophagia (hair eating - occurs in 15% of people with trichotillomania)

  • Trichotemnomania (hair cutting)

It is thought that 5-12% of the population suffers from a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB). The behaviors can cause physical damage to the body, are often soothing for the sufferer to engage in, and are extremely difficult to stop. They are not simply “bad habits,” they are not self-harm, and they are not indicative of some deeper underlying issue. There is still much to be discovered about BFRBs, but genes certainly play a role in their presentation. They are often exacerbated by stress, anxiety, boredom, or sadness. You are more likely to have a BFRB if you also have OCD. They are not driven by a deeper underlying obsession the way OCD compulsions are. 

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