Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Performing these repetitive behaviors, commonly know as "rituals," provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.
Signs & Symptoms:
- Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away.
- A need to repeatedly check things, touch things (especially in a particular sequence).
- Common obsessions include having frequent thoughts of violence and harming loved ones, persistently thinking about performing sexual acts the person dislikes, or having thoughts that are prohibited by religious beliefs.
- Preoccupied with order and symmetry.
- Have difficulty throwing things out - may hoard.
Causes and Other Illnesses:
- May run in families
- The problem can be accompanied by eating disorders, other anxiety disorders, or depression.
- People with OCD may try to help themselves by avoiding situations that trigger their obsessions.
- May use alcohol or drugs to calm themselves