Although there are no specific limits to obsessive-compulsive disorder, most people fall into one of five types of OCD sufferers. These sufferers usually have rituals that they carry out as a result of their tormenting thoughts.
These people have a fear of germs and contamination. Their compulsion is to clean and many of them have hand washing compulsions that cause them to wash more than they need to.
These people have an issue with checking things. They are the type of OCD sufferer that feels the intense urge to check and check-again. Whether it is checking to see if a door is locked, the iron is shut off, or if they set their alarm clock properly, they check to be sure that everything is taken care of so that they can protect them and others from harm.
Doubters are afraid that if something isn't done just right and if things aren't perfect, then something bad will happen or they will be punished in some way. It is common for Washers and Checkers to also be Doubters since they doubt their attempts are good enough. It is their doubting that keeps them stuck in their behaviors.
Counters and Arrangers
These people are obsessed with order and symmetry. Many of them like to keep things "just right" and have superstitions about numbers, colors and arrangements. People who obsess about counting or arranging feel unsettled until they fix whatever it is that feels "out of order" to them.
Hoarders think that something bad will happen if they got rid of things. Many hoarders hate the idea of wasting things. They also have a tendency to become emotionally attached to items. Sometimes they fear that by getting rid of things, they are being wasteful or are saying goodbye to old memories. Some hoarders even hoard food that is too old to be considered safe to eat. Guilt also seems to be a problem that most hoarders face.
See Yourself Here?
It's important that you understand that although you may have OCD symptoms, and may even fit into one of these types of OCD, this does not mean you actually have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Most normal people do exhibit some of these behaviors to a limit, but not to the point where it takes over their lives. It is always good to talk to your doctor if you have any questions about this disorder.
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost, Gail Steketee
The Boy Who Finally Stopped Washing by John B. Written by a previous OCD sufferer who is also a therapist. This book touches on the subject of chronic washing.