What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

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By amara
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental health disorder. In fictional depictions, people will often relock doors several times or turn light switches on and off. While these descriptions may be accurate for some people affected with the disorder, OCD appears in people differently, and it can be more or less severe depending on how the issues manifest.

At its core, OCD is an internal communication disorder that affects the way the brain operates. People manifest obsessions and compulsions that can become quite intrusive in their daily lives. It is necessary to get an official diagnosis, as many people may present with certain obsessive or compulsive behaviors without truly being OCD. For example, a sports fan may obsess over wearing a particular hat on game day, but if not wearing it has minimal effects over his personality and decision-making, then it is only a preference, not a compulsion. To truly understand the obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is necessary to define terms and review diagnosis and treatment options.

1. What Are Obsessions and Compulsions?

Obsessions refer to impulses, thoughts or images that occur repeatedly. People may feel that they have absolutely no control over these occurrences, and they feel disturbed by their lack of control. Most patients can rationally understand that the impulses or thoughts do not make sense, but it does not resolve the corresponding fear, doubt or disgust that occurs during an event.

Compulsions refer to repetitive behaviors. These behaviors are a perceived tool of the patients, who feel that performing the repetition or pattern will somehow resolve the obsessive thoughts in their head. While the compulsive behavior may temporarily resolve the obsessions, patients often understand the behaviors are not a solution.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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