I came across this terrific blog post on what it is like to have OCD. Complete with video.
Ever Wonder What Having OCD is Like? « Galvanized
I know the age it started because I remember well a pivotal moment when, having handled something particularly disgusting as a child (someone else’s used Kleenex, I think), I mentally freaked out as my brother told me, “You know, no matter how many times you wash your hands in your lifetime, there will always be some little atom of ‘that’ still on your skin.”
I have never thought about it before but I wonder how many of us can remember the exact moment our OCD became manifest? I know I can. After what I experienced as a child, following a fairly typical pattern my OCD went away for awhile. Not completely – but way to the background. I was 20 when it returned and I can tell you the exact day, the time and exactly what I was doing when it re-emerged. And in that moment everything in my life changed and not for the better.
In any case go read the post.