OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

By: Kylie Ward


  • An anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviors you feel compelled to perform.
  • Considered a mental illness
  • You probably recognize that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational.
  • Obsessions are involuntary, seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in your mind.
  • Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that you feel driven to act out again and again.
  • Most people are diagnosed by about age 19.

Signs and Symptoms: Main Idea

  • Have repeated thoughts or images about many different things
  • Do the same rituals over and over
  • Can't control the unwanted thoughts and behaviors
  • Spend at least 1 hour a day on the thoughts and rituals

Signs and Symptoms: Obsessive Thoughts

  • Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others
  • Fear of causing harm to yourself or others
  • Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas
  • Fear of losing or not having things you might need
  • Order and symmetry
  • Superstitions

Signs and Symptoms: Compulsive Behaviors

  • Excessive double-checking of things
  • Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they’re safe
  • Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety
  • Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning
  • Ordering or arranging things just because
  • Accumulating old newspapers or empty food containers


  • On average, it takes 14-17 years from the time OCD begins for people to get the right treatment
  • Psychotherapy (Cognitive behavior therapy)
  • Family and Group Therapy
  • Medication
  • Both (Therapy and Mediation)
  • Depends on the person and how bad the case is