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    Ten OCD Sub-Types You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

    When most people hear “OCD” they immediately think of excessive hand-washing, repetitive checking of locks and appliances, and keeping things perfectly straight. While those can be common aspects of the disorder many people, even some professionals, fail to realize just how many are suffering from some of the more rare forms that fall under the OCD Umbrella. An important aspect of OCD is that the sufferer knows the thoughts are irrational; they simply cannot stop them (much like a broken record). Here are some (but not all!) of the lesser-known forms of OCD.

    1. Harm OCD


    Someone with Harm OCD typically has intrusive, unwanted fears of harming someone else or themselves. They can fear losing control and causing harm or may be bombarded by unwanted mental images of hurting someone they love despite the fact that they have no desire to do so. In order to alleviate the anxiety caused by the thoughts they may completely avoid knives or ask others for reassurance that they haven't harmed someone.

    2. Scrupulosity OCD

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    Someone suffering from Scrupulosity will have obsessive fears with religious or moral themes. For example someone may have intrusive thoughts against God, or thoughts that conflict with their religious and moral beliefs. They may fear that they are going to hell or that their actions will cause a loved one to go to hell. To combat the anxiety and guilt for having these thoughts they might make frequent trips to confession or follow an excessive prayer ritual that goes beyond typical religious prayer.

    3. hOCD (Homosexual OCD)


    Someone experiencing hOCD has constant intrusive thoughts and fears about their sexuality. This can occur in both heterosexuals worrying that they are actually gay and homosexuals worrying that they are actually straight. The problem does not lie in any issue with different sexualities but simply in the fear that one doesn’t truly know themselves. Some common compulsions with hOCD are watching a particular type of pornography in order to “check” the level of arousal or to constantly, obsessively monitor emotions and attraction around certain people.

    4. rOCD (Relationship OCD)


    Someone who has rOCD will have a preoccupation with the “rightness” of their relationship and/or their partner. They may constantly fear that they have fallen out of love or are in the wrong relationship. Or they can experience an unwanted focus on their partner’s flaws. On the other hand they may constantly doubt their partner’s love, the doubt returning only minutes after being reassured. A typical compulsion can be adamantly avoiding songs or movies about the “ideal” relationship, or constantly seeking reassurance from friends/family/a significant other about the “rightness” of the relationship.

    5. Hit and Run OCD (MVA OCD)


    Someone with this sub-set of Harm OCD has specific fears of harming or killing someone with their vehicle, without memory of doing so. The sufferer worries that they may have hit a person or animal with their car and driven off without realizing what they had done. Some common compulsions are obsessively checking their rearview mirror for signs of an accident or driving past a certain place over and over again to make sure no one was hurt.

    6. pOCD (Pedophile OCD)

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    Someone with pOCD is plagued by intrusive, unwanted fears that they were somehow inappropriate with a child or wanted to be. Unlike someone who truly wants those things there is no enjoyment derived from the thoughts, as they are intrusive and unwanted. Typically these are the last people who would ever hurt a child and it is precisely their horror at the idea which causes the thought to get stuck in the OCD mental loop. A typical compulsion for pOCD is avoiding children, particularly avoiding being alone with them.

    7. Memory Hoarding


    Someone experiencing memory hoarding feels the need to perfectly capture and recall memories such as a wedding or a special vacation, and the thought of not being able to accurately recall that event causes extreme anxiety. They may replay memories over and over or focus too hard on appreciating certain moments. For example someone without memory hoarding who is selling their first car might pause as they hand over the keys, remember the good times they had with the car, and then move on. Someone with this form of OCD will feel extreme anxiety in that moment, trying to capture a last “perfect” feeling. They may take excessive mental images or even actual photos in order to relieve their anxiety.

    8. 'Just Right' OCD


    Someone suffering from 'Just Right' OCD has a need for actions or objects to feel “right” and/or not have any connection to a bad thought. The focus is usually around a chronic feeling of incompleteness. Imagine if every time you completed a simple task (such as choosing a box of cereal or walking through a doorway), the message in your brain that the task was completed never gets sent. So even though you know you completed the task, it doesn’t feel right. For example someone may put their tie on in the morning and have the sudden feeling that the task does not feel right. They will then feel the need to undo the tie and put it on again, continuing as many times as necessary until it feels like the task has been completed.

    9. Olfactory Reference Syndrome


    Someone suffering from Olfactory Reference Syndrome experiences an intense fear that they are emitting a terrible odor (such as their breath or general body odor, etc). They can fear that a normal bodily smell is extremely pronounced or even fear a completely made-up odor. Common compulsions are excessive washing, reassurance-seeking from friends or family, or even avoiding other people altogether.

    10. Pure-O OCD


    Most of the above fall under this broad category. Someone who has Pure-O OCD experiences intrusive mental images, thoughts, or impulses that go against their core values. They are so horrified at having a thought (which causes the thought to show up more and more) that they engage in various mental behaviors to combat the anxiety and guilt. These mental behaviors are still compulsions even though they are not observable by others, therefore the name 'Pure-O' (or purely obsessional, without compulsions) is actually inaccurate. Common compulsions include mental checking, mental comparisons, or repeating “good” words and images to counteract the “bad” ones.