Home Health An Overview of Pure O OCD: Symptoms and Treatment
Pure O OCD

An Overview of Pure O OCD: Symptoms and Treatment

by Robin Smith

Are you experiencing disturbing intrusive thoughts, the need for excessive neatness, and using the wrong words?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, may be familiar to you because of television shows or movies that bring this disorder to light. Yet, the reality of pure o ocd may not be as obvious or funny as they are portrayed to be.

Read on to learn more about pure OCD symptoms and OCD treatment.

What is Pure O OCD?

Pure O (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is a type of OCD in which sufferers have obsessions with intrusive thoughts, worries, images, or impulses that they can’t control. Despite the presence of these intrusive thoughts or rituals, many people with Pure O don’t exhibit many of the common signs of OCD, such as compulsive behaviors, such as repetitive handwashing or checking behaviors.

Pure O sufferers can also experience negative symptoms such as mental exhaustion, low concentration, or feelings of guilt and shame. To treat Pure O, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapy used to help patients understand their thoughts and behaviors and make counter-active changes to reduce the impact on their lives.

Types of Pure O OCD

Pure O OCD is a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in which the physical compulsions associated with OCD are absent or much less severe. Those affected struggle with intrusive, unwanted thoughts, which can manifest as persistent worries, fears, or doubts.

Common Pure O OCD types include the following:

Contamination OCD

Contamination OCD is a form of Pure O OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) where an individual buys into the idea of contamination through either physical contact, airborne materials, or visual contact.

It can feel like an invisible film is covering the individual’s life as they avoid any type of physical contact and begin to experience a range of secondary anxieties.

Symptoms can range from an aversion to touching doorknobs or shaking hands to hypochondriasis, where an individual might fear that even a simple sneeze is contaminated and spreading germs.

These compulsions often take on a specific theme, such as an intense fear of feces, vomit, and saliva, though such thoughts can range from air-borne illnesses to fear of touching inanimate objects or animals. 

Checking OCD

Checking OCD is a subtype of Pure-O OCD that focuses on a compulsive need to check things repeatedly. It can take the form of obsessive thoughts about the safety of loved ones, harm to oneself or others, or the need to verify that the oven is off or that a door is locked.

Checking compulsions can manifest in many ways, such as repeatedly checking the locks on doors, constantly checking to see if items are in the correct place, repeatedly asking for reassurance from family members or friends, or repeatedly checking to see if harm has been done.

Symptoms of this type of OCD can include feeling overwhelmed with fear, embarrassment, guilt, and anxiety due to their ritualistic behaviors, as well as a feeling of being endlessly anxious that something bad will happen despite repeated checking.

Rumination OCD

Rumination OCD, also known as Pure O, is a type of OCD that involves persistent intrusive thoughts and compulsions that prevent the sufferer from leading a normal life. People with Rumination OCD can have a wide range of symptoms, from mild to severe obsessions and compulsions.

The type of rumination OCD can vary from person to person and can include things such as thoughts about safety, being anxious, and worrying excessively. The obsessions in Rumination OCD can involve thoughts that are intrusive, persistent, and difficult to ignore.

These thoughts often focus on responsibility, perfectionism, and self-criticism, and they can make it difficult to concentrate and make decisions.

Symmetry OCD

Symmetry OCD is characterized by the obsession of a person to have symmetry and balance in their life. The person affected by this disorder may become obsessed with making sure everything in their life is perfectly symmetrical and balanced.

This can extend to every aspect of their life, from surrounding the environment in their home to the objects that they own or the layout of items within an area. Symptoms of this type of OCD can include over-organizing, counting objects, and extreme cleanliness. The individual may feel anxious when something in their environment is unbalanced or asymmetrical.

It is important to note that this disorder does not extend to physical symmetry in the body but rather the symmetry in the lifestyle of the individual.

OCD Symptoms

Pure O OCD is a subset of OCD that presents itself in the form of intrusive, obsessive thoughts but without any visible behaviors or compulsions. People with Pure O often experience intrusive, anxious thoughts that focus on an individual’s fears, doubts, or worries.

These thoughts often center around themes such as doubts about sexual orientation, fears of contamination, or rumors about an individual’s character or reputation.

People experience these intrusive thoughts as a result of their obsessions but are unable to control them, leading to high levels of distress and anxiety. The main symptom of Pure O OCD is an individual’s inability to quiet these thoughts.

Without any signs of compulsions, Pure O can be more challenging to diagnose and treat than other forms of OCD. This is because the focus is on controlling the individual’s thoughts rather than any externalized behaviors.

Treatment for Pure O OCD 

Pure O OCD involves a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that primarily manifests as intrusive and unwanted thoughts. In order to treat this form of OCD, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often the main form of treatment.

With CBT, individuals can develop strategies to manage unwanted thoughts, learn how to challenge maladaptive thought patterns and practice exposure and response prevention.

Additionally, medication may be prescribed depending on the severity of the symptoms. Commonly prescribed medications include SSRIs, SNRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, and MAO inhibitors.

Lastly, other therapies, such as mindfulness and relaxation techniques, can be beneficial to help reduce anxiety levels and teach the patient better coping skills. With the combination of CBT, medications, and other therapies, individuals with Pure O OCD can begin to manage their intrusive thoughts and live a more balanced and healthy life. See page about trichotillomania and its correlation to Puro O OCD.

Learn More About Pure O OCD

Pure O can be debilitating and can significantly affect a person’s life; therefore, it is important to seek treatment for the best possible outcome. If you suspect you or someone you know may be exhibiting symptoms of Pure O OCD, connect with a qualified healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and the best treatment options available. 

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