Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a mental disorder in which anxious thoughts repeatedly drive them to compulsive behavior. With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a person can feel afflicted by persistent thoughts or images. One may have an urgent need to engage in rituals such as the following;

- People with OCD may be obsessed with germs, or dirt. Excessive hand washing is a common expression of OCD.

- OCD causes persistent doubt and creates a need to check things over and over.

- Thoughts of violence may prevail, along with fears of hurting people.

- Touching, or counting things for long periods can also become a problem.

There is no pleasure in carrying out the compulsive rituals; the anxiety grows when they are neglected. And, there are healthy people that carry out compulsive behaviors, such as checking the stove many times before leaving the house. However, people with OCD can do this for at least an hour every day, which interferes with daily life.

About 3.3 million adults are affected by OCD. Men and women are at an equal number for having this disorder and it usually shows symptoms first in childhood, or as a young adult.

Like other anxiety disorders, OCD has been researched, and there is evidence that it runs in families. Other anxiety disorders and depression may accompany OCD, such as an eating disorder.

If OCD is not treated, it can lead to social avoidance, and drug and alcohol abuse. If this disorder becomes too severe, it can become very difficult to hold down a job or maintain normal relationships.

Medication and therapy are highly effective forms of treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

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