Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a neurobiological disorder that causes unwanted and recurrent distressing thoughts (obsessions), as well as repetitive senseless rituals (compulsions). In spite of recognizing that their thoughts are irrational and their behaviors are excessive, individuals with OCD have little to no control over their thoughts and feel compelled to perform their compulsions. As a result, they experience intense anxiety, and often times, shame and sadness.
Obsessions are recurrent thoughts, images, or impulses that cause unreasonable anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, or disgust. Common types of obsessions include:
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts a person feels driven to do to reduce their distress or avoid some feared consequence. Common types of compulsions include:
OCD affects approximately one in 40 adults and one in 200 children in the Untied States. It can be a debilitating disorder that can consume hours of an individual’s daily life, resulting in disruptions in their social, work/school, and family functioning. Not all recurring thoughts or repetitive behaviors are classified as OCD, but those that cause extreme distress and interfere with an individual’s life may be, and they require effective treatment. If you are concerned that you or a loved one is affected by OCD, contact your health care provider immediately.
Continue reading here for more information on effective treatment for OCD.
- Kara Meyer, Ph.D.
**The content of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other medical professional. This blog does not provide clinical advice, nor should its contents be considered clinical advice. Should you have any healthcare-related questions, please call or see your physician or other healthcare provider promptly.