Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

By: Macy Kalfs

General Characteristics

OCD is an anxiety disorder that has the characteristics of certain obsessions, which are recurrent and disturbing thoughts. It is also characterized by repetitive, ritualized behaviors that the patient feels they need to perform, which is called compulsions.

Causes

The exact causes of OCD are not fully understood, but it is thought that it is caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors. Scientist believe that the disorder is caused from problems in the pathways in the brain, where these pathways link areas of the brain dealing with judgement and planning.

Prevalence

In the year of 2000, OCD was one of the top twenty causes of illness. 1-2% of young people are diagnosed with this disorder. OCD affects 1 in 100 children. This disorder does not discriminate, it affects all genders of all races.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on the patient's symptoms, medical history, and a physical exam. The doctor could also want a mental health assessment which looks at your cognitive functioning.

Treatment

The earlier the patient seeks out treatment, the better. Treatment of OCD reduces symptoms, and the disruption the illness can create. Most people see several health professions, the patients also spend years seeking treatment before they are actually correctly diagnosed.

Facts

- In the United States, 1 in 40 adults have OCD.

- Daniel Racliffe, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Fox, and Justin Timberlake all have OCD.

- OCD can produce a fear of germs, dirt, or intruders; acts of violence; hurting loved ones; sexual acts; or being overly tidy.