Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Symptoms of OCD may be:
Obsessions—repeated and unwanted ideas, images, or urges, such as:
- Fear of being harmed or causing harm
- Excess fear of germs or dirt
- Religious, violent, or sexual thoughts
- Needing things in perfect order
Compulsions—repeated and unwanted behaviors, such as:
- Excess checking on things—such as door locks, stoves, and light switches
- Making lists, counting, and arranging things
- Hoarding useless objects
- Repeating routine actions
- Rereading and rewriting
- Repeating phrases
- Excess hand washing
OCD may happen with:
- Other anxiety disorders
- Organic brain syndrome
- Tourette syndrome
- Attention deficit disorder
The goal is to reduce unwanted thoughts and compulsions. Early treatment can have better results. Options may be:
Medicines, such as:
- Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy
Sometimes OCD is severe and hard to treat. In this case, options may be:
- Electroconvulsive therapy —a brief electric pulse helps reset the brain
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)— a device sends pulses to the brain
- Brain surgery
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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Anxiety and Depression Association of America https://adaa.org
International OCD Foundation https://iocdf.org
Canadian Mental Health Association https://cmha.ca
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml. Accessed March 12, 2021.
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