Types Of OCD



Facts about the Different Types of OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a disorder that wears many faces, but there are types of OCD that are more commonly seen than others.  Each type is felt just as strongly by the person afflicted as the others.  While each type has its own characteristics, treatment for the condition can be quite similar for each.


Five main types of OCD affect over 6 million Americans at some point in their lives.  They may be experienced singly, or in combination with others in the main 5 types.  The different types are termed simply in description:  checkers, hoarders, washers/cleaners, orderers and obsessors.

The majority of people feel the need to check the locks on the doors each night before going to bed.  Imagine now feeling the need to keep checking them, and not just the locks but the light switches and the on/off switches on all of the appliances in the home.  Imagine feeling that your safety and the safety of other depended upon you ensuring that these were all secured; so much so that you were driven to check these items repeatedly.  This is the world of “checkers”, one group in the main types of OCD.


Hoarders feel the need to collect and keep.  It may be a single type of item, such as clothing or newspapers, or it could be a combination of items.  While the things that these people collect may be useful in daily life, hoarders accumulate more than could possibly be used in the lifetime of one person.   Types of OCD sufferers in this category eventually find that it will result in almost impossible daily living conditions, as their homes and vehicles become crammed with items.

Two different types of OCD in the same category are the washers/cleaners.  Washers are compelled to wash their hands or shower repeatedly, while cleaners have the compulsion to clean clothes, surfaces or objects.  Each type is attempting to feel cleaner or safe from contaminants, but no matter how many times they perform the action they are driven to, the feeling of cleanliness is never achieved.  They live in fear of acquiring a disease because of germs or dirt.

The next group in the common types of OCD may sometimes be called perfectionists.  This is because they must have a certain order around them.  Fixing these things must be done before anything else in the day can go right.  They cannot function if things are rearranged or disorganized, and may become quite agitated if things are even touched by another.

Obsessors imagine horrible ordeals and situations that may occur if they do not repeatedly pray, count, chant or recite.

Treatment is often similar for all types of OCD; encountering the fear that drives them.  Only a professional well versed in these disorders should treat them.  The important thing to remember is that there is help.