Child demonstrating symptoms of OCD: Understanding Common Types in Children

2 Common Types of OCD That Your Children May Have

Time and time again, you may have heard of people claiming to have OCD or shows that represent people with OCD. What do you see from them as a result? Well, more often than not, their rooms are super neat and organized. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with bringing a mental health issue to light, but the problem here is that these portrayals aren’t exactly accurate. 

The truth is that not everyone with OCD is the same, and while some are surely neat, others aren’t. That being said, there are actually many types of OCD, and we’ll discuss two common ones with you today:

Contamination OCD

This is what one might most commonly think of when they think of OCD. Have you ever heard of “germaphobes”? These are people who are terrified of germs and contamination. They will go out of their way to wash their hands and prevent themselves from coming into contact with things that they believe are dirty or gross. 

These people are referred to as “washers,” and they spend their days cleaning and disinfecting everything. If a doorknob or a pen is touched by something that they deem as dirty or contaminated, they wash their hands. They will also wash or sanitize objects that they use, like their cell phones and computers, to prevent any sort of risk.

The thing about this is that it isn’t just a preference. It’s an actual OCD compulsion. When these people come into contact with something that they deem as dirty or contaminated, they feel this intense need to wash it. It is like a chemical reaction in their brain that forces them to act.

Checking OCD

This is one of the most common types of OCD. Have you ever heard someone refer to themselves as a “checker”? Those that do this refer to themselves as people that have a checker OCD and then go on to tell you all about how they check things over and over again. They tell you about how they have to do a certain operation or task a certain amount of times, or else they feel like it isn’t done right. For example, they might have to check the door three times or the stove twice before they can leave a room.

There are many people who struggle with this kind of OCD, and it is very common for people to relate to it. This is because there are a lot of things in life that we want to check repeatedly to make sure that they are done correctly. For example, many people check their email multiple times a day to make sure that they haven’t missed any important messages. In this way, we can relate to checking what we have done even if we don’t have OCD. Even if you don’t have OCD, you still have to check your work over and over before you can leave a room, or you feel like it isn’t done. The difference is that people with checking OCD do this impulsively, meaning that they have a hard time stopping themselves from doing it.


While these OCD problems don’t seem harmful on the surface, they can actually affect individuals in so many ways, affecting their quality of life. As such, anyone with this OCD problem should seek help immediately, especially children who show signs of OCD. From over-cleaning their bodies by showering multiple times a day to impulsively asking their parents if nothing bad will happen over and over, if you notice any of these signs, you should reach out to a psychologist to see if your child has OCD!

Children Psych offers personalized psychiatric mental health care for children and families to overcome mental health problems. If you are looking for a child psychiatrist to help with your child’s OCD, get in touch with us today!

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