What Is OCD?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a treatable neurobiological disorder characterized by obsessions and/or compulsions/rituals. Certain compulsions are performed in an effort to relieve the anxiety or distress caused by the obsessions. Obsessions and compulsions can be extremely time-consuming causing significant emotional distress, and may greatly interfere with day-to-day functioning and interpersonal relationships. Individuals with OCD may go to great lengths to hide obsessions and compulsions due to embarrassment and shame. It is estimated that 1 in 40 adults, and 1-2 out of every 100 children suffer with OCD.
- The exact cause of OCD is unknown, although research points to genetic and other biological causes.
- OCD impacts 1 in every 40 adults and 1-2 in every 100 children.
- OCD affects approximately two percent of the population every year.
- OCD usually appears in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood.
- Effective treatment is available for OCD.
- OCD affects women and men equally.
- It often takes a long time for an OCD sufferer to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.
There are a variety of conditions that have obsessive compulsive disorder qualities that are quite similar to OCD such as PANDAS, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), hoarding disorder, trichotillomania, compulsive skin picking, hypochondria, and olfactory reference syndrome.
Types of Symptoms
When looking for the right help there are many treatment options available. Treatment for OCD includes self-help options, outpatient therapy, intensive outpatient therapy and residential treatment centers. Exposure with response prevention, also known as ERP, is the gold standard treatment for OCD. ERP is a specific form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for OCD. The basic principles surrounding this treatment for OCD (and other anxiety conditions) is to face your fear without engaging in a ritual or any avoidance (exposure and ritual prevention). However, this process can be challenging and takes hard work; although the reward is worth the effort. Specific steps are recommended in CBT with ERP and if possible it is best to do this type of treatment with an OCD specialist.