Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a treatable neurobiological disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions/rituals) such as counting, checking, praying, and cleaning. These compulsions are performed in an effort to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsessions. OCD obsessions and compulsions can be extremely time-consuming, causing significant emotional distress and may greatly interfere with day-to-day functioning and interpersonal relationships. Individuals with OCD may go to great lengths to hide their obsessions and compulsions due to embarrassment and shame. It is estimated that one in every 40 adults, and one in every 100 children suffer with OCD.
Facts about OCD:
- The exact cause of OCD is unknown, although research shows there may be a genetic component.
- OCD impacts 1 in every 40 adults and 1 in every 100 children.
- OCD affects approximately 2% of the population.
- OCD usually appears in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood.
- There is effective treatment for OCD.
- OCD affects Women and Men equally.
- On average, it takes 9 years for an OCD sufferer to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.
It is important to note that avoidance can be just as detrimental as rituals when it comes to giving the OCD power and contributing to the OCD cycle. Although there may be many places and situations, which you avoid due to your OCD, with proper treatment you can engage, return to and resume activities (thoughts, people, places or things) you have previously been avoiding. When engaging in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) it is important that you work to eliminate avoidance behaviors (both avoidance of exposure situations as well as avoidance of touching/cross-contaminating certain things) in order to make optimal progress in your treatment.
DISCLAIMER: The content found here is intended to serve as educational content and is not intended to replace therapy. For treatment-related questions, please be sure to work with your local provider or contact a local clinician.