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How Does OCD Change You?

Although OCD features many of the same symptoms throughout each case, the way these symptoms manifest can vary greatly from person to person, and even from time to time. If you suffer from OCD, you may even find that your symptoms have changed over time and morphed into something far different than they were at the start.

The symptoms of OCD

OCD symptoms can be divided into a number of types, the most common being:

  • Obsessive thoughts regarding symmetry, repeating, and counting, which can lead to ordering compulsions
  • Obsessions and compulsions related to hoarding
  • Contamination obsessions and cleaning compulsions
  • Checking compulsions
  • Sexual/religious obsessions

Research indicates that once an OCD symptom type appears, it is very rare for it to outright disappear or be replaced by other symptom types. That said, it is possible for symptoms to shift within the same symptom subtype.

How does OCD change you?

As many as half of the people with OCD have what is considered severe OCD. Areas that this condition can affect, disrupt, or outright ruin include:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Career and workplace
  • Personal relationships
  • Familial relationships
  • Overall quality of life

What are obsessions?

Obsessions are intrusive thoughts, feelings, or images that cause stress and anxiety. With OCD, you may feel compelled to perform rituals that you think may get rid of these obsessive thoughts. These thoughts are incredibly unpleasant and hard to escape, and will end up interfering in even your basic daily activities.

Examples of OCD obsessions include some of the following:

  • Fear of contamination
  • Needing things orderly and symmetrical
  • Aggressive or horrific thoughts about harming yourself or others
  • Unwanted thoughts, including sexual or religious subjects

Signs and symptoms of obsession also include:

  • Fear of contamination when touching objects someone else may have touched
  • Intense stress when objects are not perceived as orderly
  • Intrusive images or thoughts about hurting yourself or someone else
  • Thoughts about shouting obscenities or acting otherwise inappropriately
  • Avoidance of situations that may trigger your obsessions
  • Distress about unpleasant sexual images repeating in your mind


Compulsions are repetitive behaviors you are driven to perform by your obsessive thoughts, although they will (at best) only provide temporary relief from your symptoms.

Examples of compulsion signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Hand-washing until your skin becomes raw
  • Checking doors to make sure they’re locked
  • Checking the stove to make sure it’s turned off
  • Counting in repetitive patterns
  • Silently repeating a prayer, word, or phrase

Ketamine for OCD

Ketamine, first approved by the FDA as an anesthetic, has been shown in recent years to treat mood disorders like OCD with rapid results. Ketamine is thought to play a role in the treatment of mood disorders through its influence on glutamate, a neurotransmitter that mediates response to stress and traumatic memories.

To learn more about ketamine and its use as OCD treatment, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.