Health & Wellness News and Tips
Priya K + Follow 17 Feb 2016
OCD: Did I clean that table? Did I clean that table? Did I clean that table?

It could be as simple as counting steps while walking, drinking exactly 7 sips of water before sleeping, rewriting the entire grocery list according to the sections or constantly cleaning everything. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviours (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over. It is a condition in which people cannot control the thoughts or the activities. Common activities include washing hands repeatedly and checking to see if the oven is off. These activities occur to such an extent that the person's daily life is negatively affected.

A place for everything and everything in its place.

People with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both. These symptoms can interfere with all aspects of life, such as work, school, and personal relationships.

Obsessions are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety.

Common symptoms include:

  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, and harm
  • Aggressive thoughts towards others or self
  • Having things symmetrical or in a perfect order

Compulsions are repetitive behaviours that a person with OCD feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought.

Common compulsions include:

  • Excessive cleaning and/or hand washing
  • Ordering and arranging things in a particular, precise way
  • Repeatedly checking on things, such as repeatedly checking to see if the door is locked or that the oven is off
  • Compulsive counting

OCD is typically treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Although most patients with OCD respond to treatment, some patients continue to experience symptoms. Sometimes people with OCD also have other mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphic disorder, a disorder in which someone mistakenly believes that a part of their body is abnormal. It is important to consider these other disorders when making decisions about treatment.

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