The first signs of OCD might occur internally (obsessions) or externally (compulsions). A person with OCD may start to notice that he is having difficulties getting rid of certain thoughts, or the people around him (often parents) may start to notice that he is performing certain rituals. What these early manifestations of OCD actually are depends on the type of OCD that a person may have. If it is scrupulosity, the OCD may manifest in mostly obsessions, such as thoughts of offending a higher power and the resulting compulsive prayer, whereas someone who fears that others may be in danger may do many behavioral compulsions, such as checking outlets and pilot lights.
The early manifestations of OCD are as broad and varied as fullblown OCD, but one commonality is that usually only a few symptoms are noticeable in people as the OCD first develops, and then the symptoms become more and more visible as the disorder continues.