One of the symptoms I usually hide (but that takes up much of my time) is counting. With my OCD, there are "good" numbers and "bad" numbers. I mentioned before that I grew up in a Christian home, so a lot of my "good" and "bad" numbers stems from the Bible and my spiritual beliefs. Some of the good and bad numbers have changed over the years--they're not necessarily static. Here's a list of some of my good and bad numbers, and reasons why.
1 - Good number, for example, because there is 1 God.
2 - It varies back and forth. Some times it plays into my fears of sexual contamination because it could represent two people or two same-sex people.
3 - Good number. The Trinity has 3 parts.
4 - This is one of my favorite numbers, and I don't really know why. But it's very safe, and very popular in my counting.
5 - It used to be bad, since there are 5 star points on the pentagram, but now it can be good, since we have 5 fingers/toes on our hands/feet, and God made them.
6 - Used to be a bad number because of its connection with the mark of the beast, but now it's kind of OK.
7 - Often called the "perfect" number. This number is good, but I don't use it that often in my counting, since in my OCD brain it's a more "holy" number, and I don't want to use it for fear of doing something bad with it.
8 - Used to be bad because a spider has 8 legs, and spiders can represent Halloween and evil. But now it's actually a good number.
9 - This is kind of along the lines as the number 7. The Trinity has 3 parts, and there are three 3s in 9, so that makes it especially "holy".
10 - Ten is a good number for me.
11 - Falls in the same category as the number 2, since adding its numbers together equals 2.
12 - Twelve is in a similar category as 7 and 9, since 12 is the number of Jesus + the 11 good disciples (Judas Iscariot was not good).
13 - Surprisingly, 13 is a good number. I'm not superstitious in the typical ways you'd think. Also, adding the numbers together is 4, a good number.
14 - This number would pretty much be equal to the number 5, since that's the total if you add the letters together.
You can pretty much work up from there by adding the numbers together and referring back to this list.
(Note: as a courtesy to other OCDers who may be reading this, I ended the list on 14 instead of 13, so as not to inspire stress if 13 is a bad number for you, since 13 is a popular bad number).
Now for the counting.
I count a lot of things. I count when I wash my hands. If the soap is pump-style, I usually do one set of 2 squirts of soap on my hands, then one set of 2 squirts of soap to wash up on my arm (to about mid-forearm on my right hand, since it is my wiping hand), then at least two sets of 2 more squirts of soap to clean my hands again.
If the soap is bar soap, I'll usually stick it in the stream of water 4 times before I wash my hands, 4 times before I wash up on my arm, and at least 2 sets of 4 times to wash my hands again, followed by 1 final time in the stream of water before I put the soap back. Sometimes if I have a bad thought or if it doesn't fell "right", I'll have to do more sets of 4.
If you're reading this and you don't have OCD, you might think that people would consider me a freak. But I'm good at hiding this, and usually only do it in my head, or out loud when I'm alone. I hate that I have to count. It takes up time, and it's not fun. But there's a lot of things that OCD has me do that aren't fun.
On lighter note, I think it would be fun to do a Broadway show based on OCD. It could be called "Night at the Soap-a-cabana" or "Let Me Count the Ways". Yeah? No? :)