Obsessive Compulsion Disorder

Definition of OCD

The DSM defines OCD as the presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both. OCD is an anxiety disorder that causes people to have unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations.

In the DSM 5 OCD is its own category.

Obsession: an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind.

Compulsions: an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one's conscious wishes.


  • cleaning to reduce the fear that real or imagined germs, dirt, or chemicals will contaminate you and your surroundings
  • ordering and arranging to reduce discomfort
  • checking to reduce the fear of harming oneself or others (constantly checking behind yourself)


  • Biology. OCD may be a result of changes in your body's own natural chemistry or brain functions. OCD may also have a genetic component, but specific genes have yet to be identified. -(Mayo Clinic Staff
  • Environment. Some environmental factors such as infections are suggested as a trigger for OCD, but more research is needed to be sure. -(Mayo Clinic Staff)


There is no cure for OCD but, you can take medication to control your obsessions and compulsions. You you can take Serotonin reuptake inhibitors to deal with the compulsions and obsessions. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors stop neurotransmitters form being absorbed. This increases communication between nerve cells which then makes circuits in the brain stronger that control mood.
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Cognitive Therapy: Patient learns to decrease and then stop the rituals that plague their lives.

Clinical Example 1
A woman seeks help for low self-esteem. The therapist might help the client identify her automatic negative thought patterns called cognitive distortions. This stage of treatment is referred to as functional analysis. Together, they identify the client’s automatic thought, “I am worthless.” The therapist then helps her learn to interrupt this thought pattern and replace it with a more positive one of her choosing, such as “I have value.” They would attempt to do this with other cognitive distortions that contribute to her low self-esteem. -(CBT or Psychodynamic Therapy?)

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Who can get OCD?

Anyone can get OCD, both males and females, and all ethnic and social groups, symptoms usually start at younger ages it is very rare to get it when you are older.

OCD affects 2.3% of the U.S population

Celebrity: David Beckham

David Beckham is a soccer player, he suffers from OCD. When he goes into hotel rooms before he can relax he must put everything in order; he will rearrange soda cans or rearrange a whole room. Many people think that celebrities are different than us but, the are indeed the same. They go through the same things that we go through as you can see by David Beckham and many other Celebrities having to deal with OCD.