Keeping your surroundings clean and your house well organised are considered healthy habits, but it could get troublesome when you start becoming obsessed with these healthy habits.

Washing your hands frequently, cleaning your house to perfection, and organising everything in a cupboard could be a sign of an anxiety disorder which in medical terms is known as obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. People who suffer from this disorder often have obsessive thoughts and compulsions that unnecessarily complicate their lives. The early signs of OCD appear slowly, but you can overcome this disorder easily if you take the proper measures in the initial stages.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD features a pattern of unwanted thoughts and observations that could lead you to repetitive behaviour. Twenty habits and compulsions intrude with your daily activities and cause significant distress.

You may neglect your obsessions, but it will only increase your distress and anxiety. Eventually, you will feel compelled to perform compulsive acts to ease your stress. Despite efforts to ignore or get rid of annoying thoughts for ages, Dell keeps coming back, leading to a more ritualistic behaviour.

Causes of OCD often centre around specific themes, such as extreme fear of getting contaminated by germs. So you start washing your hands by contamination fears until they are entirely so and chapped. If you have compulsive, repetitive behaviour, you may be embarrassed about the condition, but treatment could be effective.

What causes OCD?

The exact causes of OCD are still unknown, but researchers have said that some brain areas do not typically respond to serotonin, a chemical used by nerve cells to communicate with each other.

Genetics also contribute to OCD symptoms and signs. If your parents or sibling has OCD habits, there’s about a 25% chance of another family member having it.

Early signs of OCD to look out for

Here are some early symptoms of OCD to look out for.

  1. Handwashing excessively: It is an excellent practice to keep your hands clean. Virus and bacterial infections are less likely as a result. Overcleaning, on the other hand, might be a common OCD thought. It’s concerning to wash your hands or rub sanitiser on your hands many times every day. OCD can manifest itself as a strong need to keep yourself clean owing to a fear of germs and pathogens.
  2. Re-checking everything: It is one of the early signs of OCD in adults. Excessive checking of everything, including doors and gas knobs, might indicate something is wrong. Re-checking every 3-4 hours is a frequent practice among persons with OCD, and this practice might be motivated by various factors, including an obsession or a fear of being injured.
  3. Performing tasks systematically: Performing everything systematically is very common among early signs of OCD in childhood. People with OCD do actions according to a numerical pattern, which they usually follow. For example, when climbing the stairs, count the steps or do a particular task at a specific time. The majority of these behaviours are founded on superstition, and they are afraid that something terrible will happen if they do not complete the work.
  4. Extra organised: Some persons with early warning signs of OCD are overly organised. They follow a strict routine, such as keeping their phone on the left side of the desk and their water bottle on the right. They are pretty specific about where items are placed around them, and any change might cause them anxiety.
  5. Perfectionist: The majority of persons with OCD strive for perfection in all they do. They are more concerned with their appearance or a specific body area. Some people dislike their noses or smiles, making them self-conscious in public.

Why you shouldn’t ignore the above-stated signs

Without treatment, the intensity of OCD can develop to the point that the sufferer’s life is consumed by it. It can, for example, make it difficult for them to attend school, retain a job, and lead to social isolation. As a result, many persons with this illness consider suicide, and roughly 1% of those die by suicide.

In terms of the prognosis for the individual symptoms, it is uncommon for them to progress to the point where they are physically incapacitating. However, issues such as excessive hand washing can lead to concerns such as the skin getting dry and even breaking down, and trichotillomania can produce ugly scabs on the scalp.

Time to seek help

Because they are humiliated or embarrassed, people with OCD are typically hesitant to seek assistance. If you have OCD, on the other hand, you have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a long-term health problem, similar to diabetes or asthma, and it’s not your fault.

It’s critical to seek treatment because your symptoms are unlikely to improve and may worsen if you don’t.

If you suspect you have OCD, you should see your doctor. They will most likely ask you a series of questions regarding your symptoms and how they affect you at first.

If your doctor believes you have OCD, you may be sent to a professional for an evaluation and therapy.

How is OCD treated?

The prognosis for OCD is favourable with therapy. In the end, most people will be cured of OCD, or at the very least have their symptoms reduced to the point that they can live everyday life.

The following are the most common OCD treatments:

  1. SSRIs selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – This medication can help reduce your symptoms by altering the balance of chemicals in your brain. 
  2. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) – Involves a treatment known as graded exposure with response prevention (ERP), which encourages you to face your fear and let the obsessive thoughts occur without “neutralising” them with compulsions.

If these therapies don’t work or your problem is especially severe, you may need to be sent to a mental health expert for help.


OCD symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways. In addition, other mental health diseases and settings, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, tic disorder, or postpartum OCD, can also be associated with OCD. Treatment can assist with any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Talk to your health care physician or a therapist if you’re having trouble with everyday duties and personal relationships due to OCD symptoms. They can assist you in locating the appropriate treatment to assist you in learning to manage OCD.

When it comes to OCD, Dr Chadril Chugh is the most qualified doctor. With 16 years of experience as a neurologist, Dr Chandril Chugh specialises in minimally invasive brain procedures. Among his most prized talents is psychiatric neurology, one of the most prestigious super-specialities in medicine that has revolutionized the way patients are treated.