Here are 30 OCD (Obsessive-compulsion disorder) facts.

1-5 OCD Facts

1. You don’t have to display compulsive or ritualistic behavior (e.g. excessive hand-washing) to be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Up to 60% of OCD cases don’t display compulsive behavior and are affected primarily by obsessive thoughts that become disruptive to their lives. – Source

2. A man with severe OCD and a phobia of germs attempted to commit suicide at the age of 19 via a gunshot wound to the head. Instead of killing him, the bullet eliminated his mental illness without any other brain damage. – Source

3. Psychiatrists have redefined “Pathological Grooming” such as skin-picking, hair-pulling, and nail-biting as similar to OCD, and they are considered often to be virtually uncontrollable. – Source

4. The hockey player Clint Malarchuck, in 1989 nearly died after his carotid artery and jugular vein were both sliced open in a freak hockey accident. Then 19 years later in 2008, Malarchuck attempted suicide by shooting himself with a rifle. He survived and now gives speeches about OCD. – Source

5. Cats under stress may develop an OCD-like habit of excessive grooming to the point they start to bald. Some even hide the habit from their owners. – Source

6-10 OCD Facts

6. Nikola Tesla never slept for more than 2 hours, remained abstinent, and had extreme OCD. – Source

7. Some people with OCD suffer from “sensorimotor obsessions”, the hyperawareness of and focus on bodily processes or sensations such as the act of breathing, blinking, swallowing, or their own heartbeat. – Source

8. There is a form of OCD that manifests as intrusive thoughts and fears of molesting children. These thoughts cause extreme distress and the diagnosis of pedophilia has absolutely nothing to do with the diagnosis of OCD. – Source

9. The act of attributing a causal relationship between unrelated actions and events is called “Magical thinking”, for example, “If I don’t brush my teeth today my dog will die”, and is considered a form of OCD. – Source

10. Thre is a form of OCD that is essentially the opposite of hoarding called Spartanism. – Source

11-15 OCD Facts

11. Up to 1/3 of humans are infected with a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, which has been linked to various neurological conditions such as OCD. – Source

12. German soldiers would booby trap tilted pictures targeting enemy officers with OCD. – Source

13. Most if not all of the characters in Winnie the Pooh can easily be diagnosed with mental disorders: Pooh has ADHD/ADD, OCD, and impulsivity with obsessive fixations, Piglet has anxiety, Eeyore has depression, Tigger has ADHD, Rabbit has OCD, and Christopher Robin has schizophrenia. – Source

14. Howard Hughes suffered from severe OCD. He spent the latter half of his life in complete solitude ignoring his health and hygiene. Standing 6ft 4in, upon his death, he weighed only 90 pounds. – Source

15. Grammatical Pedantry Syndrome is a type of OCD where suffers have to correct every grammatical error. – Source

16-20 OCD Facts

Image credit:

16. Despite a lack of serotonin is a key factor in OCD, researchers found that depletion of serotonin also occurs in people who have recently fallen in love. But this may explain the obsessive component associated with early stages of love. – Source

17. There are two unrelated types of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which people mix up. One is a personality disorder, the other is an anxiety disorder. – Source

18. Popular children’s author, Robert Munsch, never did well in school, almost became a Jesuit Priest, and discovered his passion for storytelling after working with children. He also has OCD and is manic depressive. – Source

19. Anne Rice developed OCD after completing Interview with the Vampire and its many rejections from publishers. She became obsessed with germs, thinking that she contaminated everything she touched, engaged in frequent and obsessive hand washing and obsessively checked locks on windows and doors. – Source

20. When a group of researchers was comparing various medications to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, they used common Benadryl (diphenhydramine) as a control group. To their surprise, Benadryl actually showed a significant effect in reducing OCD symptoms. – Source

21-25 OCD Facts

21. Dogs have an equivalent to a lighter OCD, called Canine Compulsive Disorder. This causes them to do things from constant spinning to excessive humping. – Source

22. Mice with OCD bury their marbles, but when given mushrooms containing the psychoactive compound psilocybin (P. argentipes), they were not concerned about burying their marbles. – Source

23. Soccer player and English legend David Beckham suffers from OCD. If there’s an odd number of drinks in his fridge he’ll commonly throw away the odd remainder so the drinks can be arranged in a symmetrical pattern. – Source

24. Despite hosting Nickelodeon’s famously messy Double Dare, Marc Summers secretly struggled with OCD. – Source

25. Research suggests that strep infection can trigger OCD in children via an antibody that mistakenly acts on a brain enzyme, disrupting communications between neurons. – Source

26-30 OCD Facts

26. There is an obsessive-compulsive disorder called the Gay OCD (also known as HOCD or Sexual Orientation OCD), a straight man/woman suffering from which may be afraid that he/she is gay, and a homosexual man or woman may be plagued by obsessive fears of being “straight”. – Source

27. Scrupulosity is a subset of OCD focusing on religion. One onset of it can cause sufferers to wonder if they are praying “right”. – Source

28. In an early reported case of severe OCD (1834), a woman became so obsessed with the idea that she might steal something that she would spend up to 3 hours every morning inspecting her clothes and rubbing her feet and hands in case she had hidden something between her fingers or toes. – Source

29. A study shows musicians and people with OCD are more likely to get Stuck Song Syndrome or “Earworms”. However, another study also says 98% of people have experienced it and it lasts longer in women. – Source

30. Psychosurgery is still performed in the United States as a treatment for mental illnesses such as OCD. – Source


Categorized in:

Fact List, Health,

Last Update: August 10, 2018