Table 2.

Obsessive-Compulsive Symptom Groups: Clinical Examples

SymmetryWorrying about alignment of bilateral objects in environmentLining up rows of objects
Straightening position of objects
Repetitive touching of objects same number of times with both hands
Counting in repetitive patterns
HoardingWorry about losing objects that could be needed in futureAccumulating objects in home or work environment by retaining objects that are ordinarily discarded or by acquiring excessive quantities of objects
Urges to save things
As a result, spaces become nonfunctional or unsanitary
Forbidden thoughtsImages of violent behaviorConfessions of violent or sexual impulses
Images of sexual behavior that the individual considers to be deviantRepetitive checking and securing doors and windows
Worries about having inadvertently neglected to perform a vital safety procedurePrayers and rituals for purification and absolution
Worries about having inadvertently hurt a loved oneChecking to ensure the safety of a loved one
CleaningExcessive worry about becoming contaminated or infected with germsRepetitive hand-washing, showering, rinsing, wiping with clean towels
Fear of contact with surfaces thought to have germsWearing gloves
Worries about transmission of infectious disease through casual contact with peopleAvoidance of touching surfaces such as door handles
Elaborate rules related to eating and preparing food