My Life with OCD: When Compulsions Hurt You

In addition to this, there’s a link between OCD and insomnia: A 2020 study found that people with OCD are 7 times more likely to have insomnia.

Because compulsions vary from one person with OCD to the next, the physical effects of the disorder aren’t the same for everyone.

For example, someone who has a handwashing compulsion might find that their hands become red, cracked, and sore from excessive handwashing.

A similar issue can arise if you have compulsions that involve excessive showering or cleaning. These compulsions are common among people who have contamination OCD.

Another example is exhaustion. All compulsions can be pretty exhausting, both mentally and physically. If you have a compulsion around pacing up and down, for example, that can be physically tiring.

Similarly, compulsions that involve “checking” or rearranging items can tire you out.

A compulsion is, by definition, hard to control, persistent, and repetitive. In the moment, it’s not always easy to foresee the physical toll your compulsions will have.

More often than not, you’re so preoccupied with the obsessions that you’re not necessarily thinking about whether you’ll end up with cracked skin or a tired body.

For this reason, it’s not always easy to link the physical effects of OCD to your compulsions. However, noticing the connection can help you take care of your body and address your compulsions better.