Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was once thought to be a fairly rare but serious mental problem.  Specialists saw it as serious mainly because the behaviour of a person with this disorder appears quite abnormal to other people.  Approximately 1 in 40 people suffers from OCD.  However, many cases of OCD go undiagnosed.  So we now know that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is not so rare a condition.  The more researchers discovered about OCD, the more they saw that people with this disorder are mostly normal.

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours that interfere with a person’s normal routines, daily functioning or relationships with others.  They are distressing to the one who suffers from OCD and they are time-consuming.

Obsessions are persistent thoughts, ideas, impulses or images that cause anxiety and worry.   Compulsions are repetitive behaviours performed in response to obsessive thoughts in order to relieve anxiety or worry.

OCD is not the same as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, an eating disorder or superstitious behaviour.  Also, OCD is not the same as Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, which is a tendency that some people have to be perfectionists.  These people like having order and some frigidity in their lives.  People with OCD, on the other hand, are disturbed by their ritualistic patterns.

Some Common OCD Compulsions or Rituals:

  • Grooming behaviours, like washing hands repeatedly
  • Changing clothes again and again
  • Counting to oneself over and over
  • Arranging things in a certain ritualistic way
  • Checking light switches, stove burners, locks, or electrical outlets constantly
  • Hoarding things like magazines or mail

Some Common OCD Patterns:

  • Counting and repeating
  • Protecting Against Contamination
  • Checking
  • Hoarding
  • Strange Movements
  • Being Scupulous

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