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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The most misunderstood anxiety disorder.

What is OCD?

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by the presence of disturbing intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses that cause significant anxiety and compulsions. Intrusive thoughts and images can sometimes be referred to as obsessions. We will be using obsessions and intrusive thoughts interchangeably.


Intrusive thoughts are distressing thoughts that come to mind without conscious control and are almost always inconsistent with a person’s values or beliefs.

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that an individual feels compelled to perform to reduce the anxiety caused by disturbing intrusive thoughts. Compulsions can be physical, mental, or both. More on this later.

These intrusive thoughts and compulsions can interfere with daily activities, cause distress, and impair the persons functioning. That was a lot to unpack. Let us first see the main OCD thoughts and compulsions.

Main OCD Intrusive Thoughts

Some of the main OCD intrusive thoughts include :

  • Excessive fear of germs, dirt, and other contaminants
  • Horrific thoughts or images related to harming oneself or others
  • Fear of losing control of oneself or acting on an impulse that can lead to harm

These intrusive thoughts are extremely disturbing to OCD sufferers; this leads them to do rituals or compulsions to reduce their anxiety or find relief from their thoughts.

Main OCD Compulsions

Compulsions are a response that sufferers have toward their thoughts. Some of the common compulsions they have include :

  • Hand-washing until your skin becomes dry or raw
  • Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they’re locked
  • Organizing or arranging things orderly and symmetrical
  • Counting in certain patterns

As you have probably noticed by now, these types of OCD thoughts and compulsions are the stereotype we have about OCD sufferers. Another observation would be that all of these compulsions are physical. Compulsions are defined as being physical, mental, or both.

OCD is not a cute hand-washing or organizing disorder. OCD is a serious mental health disorder that causes many sufferers distress and life impairment. Although you might have a set stereotype that OCD sufferers wash their hands excessively or organize things constantly, there is more to it than that. Let us explore OCD with mental compulsions called pure obsessional OCD.

Pure Obsessional OCD (Pure-O OCD)

Pure-O OCD is a subtype of OCD characterized by mental compulsions without the more visible physical compulsions often associated with OCD. The term pure refers to the absence of outward compulsive behaviors, such as hand-washing or checking, that are commonly associated with OCD.


In Pure-O OCD, individuals experience intrusive and distressing thoughts or mental images, which are often contrary to their values, beliefs, and desires. These thoughts can be related to various topics or themes (More on themes later). Let us explore some Pure-O OCD intrusive thoughts and compulsions.

Pure-O OCD Intrusive Thoughts

Some of the common Pure-O OCD intrusive thoughts include:

  • Fear of harming oneself or others, such as thoughts of intentionally hurting a loved one
  • Fear of committing a sin or displeasing God, such as thoughts of blasphemy, sacrilege, or doubting one’s faith.
  • Unwanted or taboo sexual thoughts

There are many more different types of OCD and Pure-O intrusive thoughts. Unfortunately, we won't be going too in-depth with OCD thoughts due to their nature of them. The OCD section in the member's home will contain more themes and information about OCD (OCD section is still in progress).

Pure-O OCD Compulsions

Some Pure-O OCD compulsions include:

  • Mental Checking: Constantly checking for reassurance or evidence to disprove an obsession or intrusive thought.
  • Mental Reassurance-Seeking: Seeking reassurance from others or researching online to relieve anxiety or uncertainty about obsessions.
  • Mental Canceling: Trying to undo or erase intrusive thoughts with opposite thoughts or images.
  • Rumination: Obsessive rumination regarding the content of the intrusive thought and the fear of it returning.


OCD themes refer to the specific content of a person’s intrusive thoughts and compulsions. Let us explore a few.

Contamination OCD

Intrusive Thoughts: obsessive fears of germs, dirt, viruses, and other sources of contamination

Compulsions: compulsive cleaning, excessive use of sanitizers, and avoidance of certain objects, people, or places.


Symmetry OCD

Intrusive Thoughts: fear of unevenness, fear that if items are not symmetrical bad events will occur,

Compulsions: compulsive arranging, counting, or organizing of objects.


Harm OCD

Intrusive Thoughts: fears of causing harm to oneself, loved ones, or others, fear of failing to prevent harm,

Compulsions: seeking reassurance from others that they have not caused harm, avoiding situations, people, or items that trigger obsessive thoughts, performing mental acts to reduce anxiety or prevent harm.


Relationship OCD

Intrusive Thoughts: fears of not being in love with your partner, fear of cheating, or fear of being cheated on by your partner.

Compulsions: reassurance from one's partner or others about the relationship, comparing one's relationship to other relationships, analyzing every aspect of the relationship or partners behavior


Existential OCD

Intrusive Thoughts: fears about the meaning of life, death, or one’s own existence. Crazy intrusive thoughts regarding the universe. (Can lead to DPDR)

Compulsions: constant rumination regarding existential questions, seeking answers to existential questions, and constant reassurance.


Religious OCD

Intrusive Thoughts: obsessions about committing sins, obsessions about one's faith or beliefs, obsessions about being punished by a higher power for perceived sins.

Compulsions: repeatedly confessing perceived sins, engaging in excessive prayer or religious study, seeking reassurance about religious beliefs.


There are more different types of OCD themes. Recovery might be different depending on if compulsions are physical or mental. It is important to note that OCD themes tend to overlap. Fortunately, the theme itself does not matter when it comes to recovery! Sufferers can make a make a near recovery or a full recovery regardless of the theme!

My OCD Story


Hey everyone, I'm Jared. I'm a software engineer who loves building websites and software, exploring new places, hiking, and playing many sports. I'm constantly captivated by the world of technology, engineering, and the endless cycle of learning. But I've got to be honest; I didn't realize how much I took all these things for granted until they were suddenly taken away from me. In June of 2022, I had a massive panic attack that turned my life upside down. The cause of this panic attack was an intrusive thought over the fear of going crazy or developing schizophrenia. When I woke up the next day, I felt completely out of sync with myself and everything around me. I developed chronic depersonalization derealization disorder as a cause of the panic attack. In the first months of recovery from severe anxiety and DPDR, I started to experience these crazy intrusive thoughts. These thoughts revolved around fears of developing schizophrenia, psychosis, or having intense hallucinations. They'd come once or twice a week, stick around for a few days to a week, and then fade away. Unfortunately, four months into my recovery, OCD hit me with full force. OCD symptoms like mind pops, constant brain chatter, and racing thoughts started to kick in; this led me to believe that I was developing schizophrenia. I obsessed over this fear 24/7, from the day I woke up to even in my dreams; This, in turn, caused me to develop a subtype of OCD, known as Pure O OCD, with a theme of schizophrenia (Schiz OCD). Over the following months, I had to deal with chronic DPDR, recurring panic attacks, and OCD. I was in a constant battle every single day, stuck at rock bottom with no sign of light anywhere near me. But you know what? I'm still here. I'm still standing. Although I am still in recovery for OCD, I have recovered by about 70%-80%! Some days I feel fully recovered, and the most incredible part is that anyone else can achieve this level of recovery too! At my lowest, I could not afford a $100-$500 anxiety, DPDR, or OCD course. FreeMind is the program I desperately needed back then - one that could provide guidance, understanding, and financial accessibility! Register for FREE today to see my full anxiety and OCD recovery story. I'll show you what I did right and what I did wrong.

OCD Treatment

Research has shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), self-help therapy, as well as lifestyle changes, such as stress management techniques and exercise, are critical for someone to make a full recovery.

Here at FreeMind, we use a combination of great self-help therapy, which uses crucial CBT/ACT techniques and methods, stress management techniques, personalized online support, and much more to ensure our members are on track to make a full recovery. We do not offer ERP since it is recommended that ERP be done in person with a licensed professional. In order for ERP to work, it must be done correctly. For individuals with more physical compulsions, it is advised to work with a therapist on top of following up with self-help therapy. Working with a therapist can help speed up recovery or make the process smoother, but it is possible to make a recovery without a therapist, although not advised.


You can make a full recovery from OCD.

IMPORTANT!: The OCD recovery section is still in progress.

Why FreeMind?

I built this website with one intent, to provide anxiety disorder recovery services at no cost to you. When I was at my lowest, I was unable to pay my rent, let alone $300, for an anxiety recovery course.

FreeMind is the anxiety disorder recovery website I needed two years ago. It is free and continues to grow daily! FreeMind has several pages, links, audios, and much more to help you make a full recovery. (Videos coming soon)

New information is constantly added for support members. You will get the latest up-to-date anxiety disorder recovery information (OCD and DPDR Recovery sections coming soon!). Join hundreds of others in recovery today!

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