Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is a chronic and long-lasting disorder that causes one to have reoccurring, sensations (obsessions) or uncontrollable thoughts that drives an individual to do an action repetitively (compulsions).

The (repetitive behaviors like hand washing or cleaning drastically interferes with the social interactions and daily activities of an individual.

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms

People with this disorder may display signs of compulsions, obsessions, or both. The symptoms or signs interfere with every facet of life including personal relationship, activities in school and at work.

OCD and Obsessions?

Obsessions are urges or repeated thoughts that cause nervousness and angst. The general symptoms include:

  • The fear of disease or contamination
  • Unwanted or forbidden thoughts including religion sex, and harm
  • Violent thoughts towards yourself and others
  • The need to always put things in perfect or symmetrical order

What are Compulsions?

A Compulsion drives an individual with obsessive-compulsive disorder to carry out repetitive behaviors in response to a compulsive thought.

Some compulsive behaviors include:

  • Unnecessary hand washing or cleaning
  • Placing things in a precise way
  • Checking on things repeatedly
  • Compulsive counting

Not all of these behaviors are compulsions. However, an individual with obsessive-compulsive disorder generally:

  • Can’t control excessive behaviors or thoughts
  • Spends more than an hour each day on these behaviors and thoughts
  • Do not derive pleasure when performing such behaviors

Experiences major problems in their everyday life as a result of these excessive thoughts or behaviors

Risk Factors

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects children, adolescent, and adults globally. The causes of the disorder are unknown, however, some risk factors are

  • Brain Functioning and Structure

Studies have indicated a disparity in the subcortical structures and frontal cortex of patient’s brain. The research also shows a connection between the abnormalities in specific areas of the sufferer’s brain and the symptoms of OCD, however, such connection is not comprehensive as Research is still in progress.

  • Environment

People have suffered sexual or physical abuse or other ordeals in their childhood are at risk of developing OCD.

  • Genetics

Family studies have indicated that people with relatives who have an obsessive-compulsive disorder are also at risk of developing OCD


OCD is treated with psychotherapy and medication. Even though some patients respond to medications and treatments, some patients still experience the symptoms.


Some medications like Serotonin reuptake and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, sertraline) are used to reduce the symptoms of OCD.



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