Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

by Matias Pietruszka

Definition of OCD

OCD is...

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder in which the brain does not filter out what is dangerous or not to a person with the disease and causes people to have obsessions over patterns or orders in doing certain things.

Signs and Symptoms of OCD

Signs and symptoms include...

  • Constant uncertainty, doubt, or fear
  • Being preoccupied with whether something could be dangerous or that bad things may happen (obsessions)
  • Worrying about things not being in order or just right
  • Worrying about losing things, needing to collect such items
  • Feeling strong urges to do things repeatedly (rituals/compulsions) to get rid of scary thoughts and make sure everything is safe and right
  • Obsessions (maybe worrying about germs) are accompanied with compulsions (maybe an urge to wash hands and other things)
  • Feeling a brief sense of relief after compulsion

How Does OCD Affect Someone?

OCD can...

  • Make people feel anxious
  • Make people feel depression
  • Obsession takes up time
  • Having less time for normal activities
  • The more someone does compulsions, the stronger OCD gets

Other Names for OCD

Other names/forms of OCD...

Do not exist

Diagnosis

OCD is diagnosed through...

A test of questions such as:

  • Do you have worries or ideas that bother or upset you?
  • Do you feel like you have to check or do things over and over again?
  • Do you feel you have to do things a certain number of times or in a certain pattern?

Treatment

OCD can be treated with...

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) uses methods called exposure/ritual preventions (ERP)
  • This helps people learn to use their behavioral power to change their thoughts
  • A person learns how OCD works, how giving into compulsions can make OCD stronger, and how resisting OCD makes OCD weaker
  • A support group can help people deal with their OCD
  • CBT "resets" the brain mechanisms that trigger obsessions and compulsions
  • Treatment can take between a couple of months to years
  • Medicine may be prescribed to victims of OCD in serious cases

Interesting Facts

An interesting fact about OCD is...

  • Some people spend hours carrying out compulsions