Harm OCD

OCD Subtype

What is Harm OCD?

Harm OCD is a common subtype of OCD where the individual fears harming themselves or someone else. The person often experiences intrusive thoughts and images which elicit an intensive anxiety response. These thoughts are unwanted, and the OCD sufferer does anything they can to eliminate these taboo thoughts. Often, the target for these thoughts is someone close to the individual such as a significant other or their child. Some individuals fear they will accidentally harm others by not being careful enough in their day-to-day actions. While some may fear they are horrible people and could be capable of caring out a violent act on another.
Harm OCD

Common Obsessions

  • Fear of accidently dropping a baby or doing so on purpose
  • Fear of being a sociopath and having an intent to harm others
  • Fear of acting on impulse and ‘snapping’ or ‘going crazy’
  • Fear of causing a car accident when driving
  • Fear of stabbing someone
  • Fear of taking the wrong medication and overdosing
  • Fear of jumping from high surface to commit suicide
  • Fear of using medication, guns, or knives, to harm themselves or someone else
  • Fear of being poisoned or poisoning others
  • Fear of feeling depressed because this may increase intrusive self-harm thoughts

Harm OCD

Common Compulsions

  • Providing themselves with reassurance they will not harm themselves or others
  • Asking others for reassurance they will not act in accordance with their thoughts
  • Mental reviewing of the past to analyze behaviors
  • Online researching
  • Avoiding anything that may trigger these intrusive thoughts and images
  • Avoiding all music and tv shows with topics around harm or suicide
  • Making sure they are either alone or always with someone
  • No longer using sharp kitchen utensils
  • Replacing intrusive thoughts and images with more pleasing thoughts and images
  • Keeping their bodies inward and hands in pockets so they do not harm others
  • Praying rituals

This subtype of OCD can also show a theme around fear of harming themselves or even committing suicide. They experience high anxiety since it is such a terrifying thought and experience impulses that feel very real. Due to high anxiety levels and uncertainty, OCD sufferers with the fear of harming themselves or others develop compulsive behavior that provides temporary relief; however, this exacerbates their harm fears even more.

Ready to Start Your Healing Journey?

If interested, please follow the steps below! Due to the high volume of inquiries please allow 48 hours for a response.


Submit an online inquiry


You will receive a response from CalmOCD within 48 hours and a 15 minute complimentary consultation will be scheduled

Intake Session

If CalmOCD seems to be a good fit based on your individual needs, an intake session will be scheduled.