Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is commonly referred to as OCD, is a mental health condition that is characterized by recurring intrusive thoughts often accompanied by repeated ritualistic behaviors and routines. It is a chronic disorder that can interfere with both the performance and enjoyment of daily activities. OCD is seen in children and adolescents as well as adults. Although, cases of OCD can affect both sexes, male children exhibit a higher rate of the disorder. Approximately, 3.3 million people in the United States suffer from obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
While obsessions can vary from one person with OCD to the next, some of the more common ones include an extreme preoccupation with cleanliness, having things in perfect order, experience recurring fears about being a victim of an attack, or having persistent sexual or violent thoughts. In order to deal with these obsessive thoughts and to reduce the anxiety they produce, an individual with OCD often engages in compulsive and seemingly senseless routines such as repeatedly washing one’s hands, constantly arranging and rearranging items, or checking on things over and over again.
An individual suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder is powerless to control their thoughts or behaviors. Additionally, signs and symptoms of OCD may fluctuate over time and may ease or get worse. While the exact causes of OCD are unknown, certain genetic factors, differences in brain structure and function, as well as environmental issues can increase one’s risk for developing the disorder. Treatment typically involves psychotherapy, medication or a combination of both. An individual with OCD may also suffer with other mental health