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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common nervous disorder that affects a person's ability to control their thoughts and actions.

What is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. The individual begins to feel the need to perform repetitive behaviours that the person knows are not useful or necessary for normal functioning, but still feels driven to do them.

Obsessions are intrusive thoughts, images or impulses that often revolve around contamination fears and skin picking. Compulsions include unrealistic acts aimed at reducing anxiety such as hand washing or counting. For example:

  • An individual with an obsession with germs will repeatedly wash their hands until they are too tired to continue; this could be seen as excessive cleaning because there was no danger present during these actions (and therefore no reason for them). Or it might be because they believe themselves to be constantly exposed in some way so must always be clean; again this would require more than what's necessary just because it feels good!

How common is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is the most common psychiatric condition in America, affecting more than 2.2 million adults. It's more common in women than men and seems to run in families; OCD is also more likely to occur among people who have experienced a traumatic event or abuse during childhood.

OCD involves repeated thoughts about something that causes anxiety and discomfort -- for example, worrying about germs or contamination -- despite having no evidence that these thoughts are true. The person often tries to get rid of their intrusive thoughts by performing certain rituals (for example: washing hands dozens of times) or avoiding situations where they feel that their mind may be on "hyper-alert" mode (such as driving).

What are the symptoms and signs of OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder in which people experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviours. These symptoms can cause significant distress, interfering with daily life. Some people may also have physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches related to their obsessions or compulsions.

The exact causes of OCD are unknown; however, research suggests that genetics play a role in its development. The condition usually begins during childhood or adolescence but can occur at any age after puberty and before adulthood.

Can it be diagnosed before anyone is aware something is wrong?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common problem that can be diagnosed by a doctor or by self-testing. The diagnosis of OCD can be made at any age and any gender, but it typically occurs more often in women than men.

An estimated 2 million Americans live with OCD, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). In fact, research shows that up to 3% of adults have some form of OCD at some point in their lives—but only an estimated 1% will seek treatment for it!

OCD often begins during childhood but may not become apparent until later on; however, many people experience symptoms throughout their entire lives without seeking treatment until they reach adulthood or older age groups (say 55+) when they begin thinking about retiring from work due to health concerns related specifically with stress levels related directly back towards mental health issues such as depression/anxiety disorders etcetera.

How is OCD treated?

There are several treatment options for OCD, including medication and therapy.

  • Medication: Your doctor may prescribe an anti-depressant, a weight loss drug called an amphetamine-dextroamphetamine compound (Adderall), or an antipsychotic (also known as a neuroleptic) such as Risperdal. Some people with milder symptoms may be able to use over-the-counter medications like Benadryl or Zyrtec that help relieve anxiety without causing insomnia or other side effects.

  • Therapy: A therapist can teach you how to control your thoughts and behaviour so that they don't lead to obsessions or compulsions anymore. You might also learn relaxation techniques—such as deep breathing exercises that will help you manage stress in everyday life

What are the common treatments for OCD?

There are many treatments for OCD. These include:

  • Medication - Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are commonly prescribed to treat OCD. They work by increasing levels of brain chemicals that affect mood, sleep and appetite. SSRIs can take up to 6 weeks before they begin working properly, so you should talk with your doctor about the best option for you.

  • Therapy - Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people change their thoughts and behaviours to reduce their symptoms. CBT may be combined with medication or another treatment like hypnosis or acupuncture in order to make it more effective at treating your condition

Treating an obsession can bring better quality of life, but you will need to work with a professional.

OCD is a condition that can be treated, but it's important to work with a professional. If you are struggling with OCD, don't try to treat this on your own. You will need to be patient and open-minded as your therapist works through the process of treatment. This can take time and patience, but it can also bring a better quality of life!


If you think that you or a loved one may have OCD, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. Professionals will be able to diagnose your condition and provide the best care possible for you. Don’t wait until things get worse before seeking treatment; it could mean the difference between living a normal life and experiencing trauma every day.

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