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A relatively vague obsession could involve a general sense of disarray or tension accompanied by a belief that life cannot proceed as normal while the imbalance remains.A more intense obsession could be a preoccupation with the thought or image of someone close to them dying Other obsessions concern the possibility that someone or something other than oneself—such as God, the devil, or disease—will harm either the person with OCD or the people or things that the person cares about.
People with OCD frequently perform tasks, or compulsions, to seek relief from obsession-related anxiety.
Within and among individuals, the initial obsessions, or intrusive thoughts, vary in their clarity and vividness.
In such situations, it can be hard for the person to fulfill their work, family, or social roles.
In some cases, these behaviors can also cause adverse physical symptoms.
Furthermore, some subtypes have been associated with improvement in performance on certain tasks such as pattern recognition (washing subtype) and spatial working memory (obsessive thought subtype).
Subgroups have also been distinguished by neuroimaging findings and treatment response.
Excessive skin picking, hair-pulling, nail biting, and other body-focused repetitive behavior disorders are all on the obsessive–compulsive spectrum.
Some common compulsions include hand washing, cleaning, checking things (e.g., locks on doors), repeating actions (e.g., turning on and off switches), ordering items in a certain way, and requesting reassurance.
Other individuals with OCD may experience the sensation of invisible protrusions emanating from their bodies, or have the feeling that inanimate objects are ensouled.
Some people with OCD experience sexual obsessions that may involve intrusive thoughts or images of "kissing, touching, fondling, oral sex, anal sex, intercourse, incest, and rape" with "strangers, acquaintances, parents, children, family members, friends, coworkers, animals, and religious figures", and can include "heterosexual or homosexual content" with persons of any age.