OCD Description and FAQ

What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a neuro-biological disorder. The hallmark of OCD is the presence of recurrent, intrusive thoughts,Helpfile260 impulses, or images (obsessions) or repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions). Common symptoms include contamination fears, excessive hand washing, horrific thoughts and images, and checking and counting rituals. These fears, phobias, and rituals can devastate a person's life. Related disorders frequently coexist with OCD, including depression, anxiety disorders, Tourette's Syndrome, and Attention Deficit Disorder.

The NIMH survey showed that OCD affects more than 2 percent of the population, meaning that OCD is more common than such severe mental illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or panic disorder. OCD strikes people of all ethnic groups. Males and females are equally affected.

Although OCD symptoms typically begin during the teenage years or early adulthood, recent research shows that some children develop the illness at earlier ages, even during the preschool years. Studies indicate that at least one-third of cases of OCD in adults began in childhood.

The IOCDF website has a good page on What is OCD.

OCD Questions & Answers

There are many sites with facts and statistics on OCD. 

MedicineNet.com offers useful information on OCD as well as anxiety and other disorders.

Other educational fact-finding sites about OCD are included below. Education is empowerment, and empowerment brings wellness.

Here is a link to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Also check out: AnxietyPanic.com

For more information about OCD, visit the OC Foundation website.