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What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Updated on September 28, 2012

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Obsessive compulsive disorder, also known as OCD, is now considered an anxiety disorder and appears to run in families. This disorder is extremely disabling to the individual who has it. The individual with OCD has uncontrollable thoughts or behaviors that they repeat over and over again. These actions can take up many hours of a day for the affected person.

OCD affects approximately 3 percent of people. Normally, it affects people over 20 years old and although with treatment the symptoms decrease, it lasts indefinitely. Men are more likely to have the disorder than women until midlife and then the percentage of men to women with the disorder are about 50/50. Approximately 1 in 200 children are also diagnosed with OCD and symptoms of the disorder are usually linked to fear. It is believed to be a biological disorder and does not stem from any traumatic lifetime event. This disability is often misdiagnosed and can take years to obtain a proper diagnosis.

What are the Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

· Obsessive Compulsive individuals often repeatedly perform ritualistic actions such as washing their hands or taking showers many times a day. This stems usually from a fear of germs and they wash continuously either to protect themselves or others from germs.

· Constant checking to see if doors and windows are locked or things are in their assigned place.

· Irrational fears of common place things cause major anxiety.

· The repeating behavior often calms their anxiety while they are performing the behavior.

· The individual often feels shameful because of their behaviors and withdraw socially because of them.

· Nervousness in public and or new situations.

· Some people with severe OCD are unable to leave their homes and need constant care or to be hospitalized.

How To Treat Obsessive Compulsive disorder

· Cognitive Behavior therapy. Teaches individual healthy ways to deal with obsessive thoughts, and how not to react to them. Exposes individual to whatever the obsession is and practice delaying the behavior.

· Family counseling

· Exercise helps to relieve anxiety and lessens obsessive behavior.

· Avoid stimulants, alcohol and nicotine.

· Medication such as, Anafranil, Celexa, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft.

· Natural treatments such as vitamins are successful in some cases. For example, methonine, SAMe, calcium, magnesium, b-6, Inosito, TMG, and zinc.

I hope this article is useful. I am interested in this subject and wanted to share my research with you! My research on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was done through books(yes I still read books) and the internet. The information is readily available, but when you are doing any type of research remember to verify all information, especially when surfing the web.

Life with OCD, a personal story


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    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 6 years ago from California

      I worked with a guy who had it and it was very difficult for him to maintain relationships, or even go into a store. He was OCD about where things were placed. If someone moved anything in his office he would have a melt down. He is doing a lot better now. He is an interesting character and a really nice person. Thanks for the comment and for taking the time to read my hubs.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      This is very useful and interesting information about OCD. Years ago, I used to work as a receptionist at a psychiatrist's office, and I can still remember one patient with OCD very well. He usually called me at least 4 times to confirm his next appointment. I have no idea how successful the treatment went because I got a new job soon after that. Hopefully, he got better.

    • msviolets profile image

      msviolets 6 years ago

      Great info! Just enough to get the point across, but not overwhelming. Thanks for sharing!

    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 6 years ago from California

      Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments! Your input is much appreciated.

    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 6 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

      wonderful information

    • Tara4 profile image

      Tara4 6 years ago

      You did a great job with keeping the information straight forward and to the point. I found it interesting.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      I can relate. My OCD tendencies are exhasperated when I move from hyomainc to manic within the bipolar diagnsosis I have. That is a tell-tale sign I use to recognize I am moving that direction. If I check my doors at home and at work more than 2 times, I refer to my moodchart for other symptoms. The funny part is when I drive down the street a block or two, turn around and re-check the doors at work. Good things the cops know me - LOL