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Facts About Being Obsessive-Compulsive

By on May 23, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a disease that causes people to have unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and to repeat certain behaviors (compulsions) over and over. We all have habits and routines in our daily lives as brushing our teeth before bed. However, for people with OCD, patterns of behavior interfere with your daily life.

Most people with OCD know their obsessions and compulsions make no sense, but can not ignore them or slow them down.

What are obsessions?

Obsessions are ideas, images and impulses that run through the mind of a person over and over. A person with OCD does not have these thoughts and finds it disturbing, but can not control them. Sometimes, these thoughts come from time to time and are only mildly annoying. Other times, a person with OCD will have obsessive thoughts all the time.

What are compulsions?

Obsessive thoughts make people with OCD feel nervous and afraid. Trying to get rid of these feelings by performing certain behaviors according to “rules” that they create. These behaviors are called compulsions. (Compulsive behaviors are also called, sometimes, rituals). For example, a person with OCD may have obsessive thoughts about germs. Because of these thoughts, the person may wash their hands repeatedly. Performing these behaviors usually only makes the nervous feelings go away quickly. When fear and nervousness return, the person who has OCD repeats the routine again.

How common is OCD?

For many years, it was thought that OCD was rare. Recent studies show that as many as 3 million Americans aged 18 to 54 years may have OCD at some point in life. This is about 2.3% of people in this age group. OCD affects men and women alike.

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