About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions).1
Definition and Symptoms
OCD is a psychiatric disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions, such as cleaning, checking, counting, or hoarding. These actions are irrational, distressing, and extremely difficult to overcome. OCD is a potentially disabling condition that can persist throughout a person’s life.
For most people, OCD is a chronic illness requiring lifetime management. For some, OCD symptoms produce extremely severe anxiety and distress. Severe OCD symptoms can be time-consuming and impact all areas of a person’s everyday life, including relationships and the ability to work or study.
Only a trained healthcare provider can diagnose a person with OCD. The severity of the disease is typically measured on a numerical scale gauging the impact thoughts and actions have on daily life.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD. National Institute of Mental Health. http://nimh.nih.gov. Accessed September 27, 2011.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
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