Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often thought of as a preoccupation with cleanliness or order. In reality, OCD can present in extremely diverse ways, many of which are often invisible to the outside observer. This page gives a brief description of the various types of OCD, and offers links to further information about each.
Please note: these are not scientifically derived distinct categories. They are all OCD. OCD can shift from one to another, and they have much more in common than they have different.
Hit and Run OCD
This type of OCD is marked by intrusive thoughts about having hit someone while you were driving. The thoughts can strike while you’re still behind the wheel, or sometimes much later. It can lead to avoiding driving altogether or to retracing one’s route to make sure there are no signs of a recent accident.
POCD (pedophilic OCD)
POCD is characterized by thoughts, urges or images of sexual behavior with children. This type of OCD is particularly difficult because it’s associated with strong feelings of shame. Sufferers are understandably very uncomfortable telling others about their thoughts.
ROCD (relationship OCD)
Relationship OCD is a term used for OCD that centers on relationship obsessions.
HOCD or SO-OCD (homosexual or sexual orientation OCD)
When intrusive thoughts center on one’s sexual orientation, it’s sometimes referred to as HOCD. This can affect men, women or teens, and can happen regardless of one’s actual sexual orientation.
Learn more about this condition from our guide to HOCD.
Subtype: Mental contamination
This involves impulses, urges or images of harming others. It can be loved ones or strangers.
Learn more on our harm OCD page.