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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder What is it and What are the treatments What is obsessive - compulsive disorder Obsessive - compulsive disorder OCD is defined as an anxiety disorder People with OCD suffer from recurrent unwanted thoughts obsessions or rituals compulsions which they feel they cannot control Rituals such as hand washing counting checking or cleaning are often performed in hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away Performing these rituals however provides only temporary relief and not performing them increases their anxiety Although we all have habits and routines that help us organize our daily lives people with OCD develop patterns of behavior that take up too much time and interfere with their daily lives Obsessions are unwanted and intrusive ideas images and impulses that run through the persons mind over and over again Sometimes these thoughts come only once in a while and are only mildly annoying but at other times the thoughts come constantly and cause great distress Some examples of thoughts that people with OCD have had are as follows stabbing oneself killing someone strangling a child etc A compulsion is a behavior that is performed on purpose in response to an obsession People perform these compulsive behaviors according to rules they make up themselves to try to control the nervous feelings that come along with the obsessive thoughts Sometimes compulsive behaviors are called rituals For example a person may have a profound fear of germs and spend hours washing his or her hands after using a public toilet Rituals like this can make the nervous feelings go away but usually only for a short while Then fear and discomfort return and the person repeats the routine all over again Most people with OCD know that their obsessions and compulsions are ridiculous and make no sense but they cant ignore or stop them There is no single proven cause of OCD There is growing evidence that OCD has
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