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Compulsions -- OCD Behaviors to Avoid or Neutralize the Obsessions

Washing & Cleaning

Excessive and/or ritualized hand washing, showering, grooming, etc. Excessive cleaning of objects, avoiding touching objects considered contaminated.
Checking Checking for feared events. For example, driving back over a route to check if they have run over someone; multiple checking of stoves, locks, faucets, lights, unplugging lights and electrical appliances.
Excessive checking and rechecking of work due to pathological doubt or perfectionism.
Constant somatic checking: e.g., self breast exams multiple times a day, scanning body for symptoms.
Arranging Arranging and rearranging, fixing due to the need for symmetry, exactness, perfection.
Hoarding Collecting of useless items such as old newspapers (not items of sentimental importance or monetary value, not hobby collections).
Inability to erase phone messages, throw out to-do lists, etc, due to fear that some needed information will be lost.
Counting Simple counting of actions (steps, touches, words, items) or needing to do things a certain number of times or an odd or even number of times, including buying a certain number of items at a time, or eating a certain number of things, or taking a certain number of bites.
Repeating Redoing actions until they are done correctly or until they are done with the correct thoughts or feelings or until it feels right.
Avoidance Sometimes complex and ritualized avoidance of any feared object or situation. Can be due to any obsession. For example, avoidance of knives related to violent obsession; avoidance of one's child if plagued by incest obsessions, avoidance of hand shaking or touching things due to contamination fears.

Mental rituals

Having particular thoughts to undo harmful obsessive thoughts. For example, if one has a thought of something bad happening to someone, neutralizing it by imagining something good happening to that person. Counting is also a mental ritual.

Need to tell, ask or confess

The compulsion to tell, or confess, most often in response to sexual, religious or aggressive obsessions. Or the urge to ask for reassurance for other fearful obsessions such as contamination or aggression.

Other rituals

Other seemingly 'magical' behaviors to ward off bad consequences such as blinking, staring, holding one's breath, or their opposites. Eating rituals.

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