Obsessions in OCD
Obsessions are involuntary thoughts, images or impulses.

Obsessions In OCD: What Are They?

Common obsessions include, but are not limited to, fears about dirt, germs and contamination; fears of acting out violent or aggressive thoughts or impulses; unreasonable fears of harming others, especially loved ones; abhorrent, blasphemous or sexual thoughts; inordinate concern with order, arrangement or symmetry; inability to discard useless or worn out possessions; and fears that things are not safe,(e.g. household appliances). The main features of obsessions are that they are automatic, frequent, upsetting or distressing, and difficult to control or get rid of.

Some Characteristics Of Obsessions In OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by the presence of either obsessions or compulsions, but commonly both. An obsession in OCD is defined as an unwanted intrusive thought, image or urge, which repeatedly enters the person’s mind. Obsessions are distressing but are acknowledged as originating in the person’s mind, and not imposed from the outside by some other source. Obsessions in OCD are regarded by the individual suffering from them as being either or both unreasonable or excessive. Generally people carry out a compulsion as a way to reduce the level of anxiety induced from the obsession.

Frequency Of Common Obsessions In OCD

Common Obsessions In OCD
Obsession Percent
Contamination: fear of germs, dirt, viruses, bodily fluids, HIV, sticky substances, dangerous materials 37.8
fear of harm (door locks are not safe, this is not paranoia but an anxiety that these things don’t work properly, etc. 23.6
Obsessive concern with symetry and order 10
Obsessions with the body, bodily functions and symptoms 7.2
Sexual thoughts (about being a paedophile or homosexual) 5.5
Urge to hoard useless and worn out things 4.8
Thoughts of violence and aggression (stabbing one’s own child, etc.) 4.3
‘Rumination‘, which refers to prolonged thinking that is experienced as uncontrollable around and around the same subject, includes both intrusive thoughts, often in the form of doubts or questions, and repeated attempts to find an answer. As I stated in a previous post on OCD compulsions, a rumination can be considered as both an obsession and a compulsion as it covers both the obsession (the doubts or question) and the accompanying compulsive thinking which attempt to answer the question. Obsessions in OCD can be quite disturbing, especially if you don’t know that they are part of the OCD illness and think that you are in the process of becoming a ‘dangerous’ person.  But there is no need to feel like this.  Get up the courage and go and talk to someone so you can begin to address the difficulties you face.  Unfortunately, too many people remain ashamed and embarrassed and don’t seek help.  Living with shame like that and trying to mask your symptoms can be a very lonely and frightening experience. An experience that is completely unnecessary when you know the fact and the fact that you can do something about it.

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