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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

About 1.2%-2.3% of the population has some form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

It is a disorder which makes you feel compelled to act out certain rituals repeatedly, even if you don’t want to — and even if it complicates your life unnecessarily.

Obsessions are the worrisome thoughts that cause anxiety. Compulsions are the behaviors you use to relieve that anxiety (Source: OCD: Symptoms, Signs & Risk Factors by Ann Pietrangelo).

OCD mainly affects women.

Common obsessions include:

  • anxiety about germs and dirt
  • need for symmetry and order
  • concern that your thoughts or compulsions will harm others
  • worry about discarding things of little or no value
  • disturbing thoughts or images about yourself or others

Behaviors that stem from these obsessive thoughts include:

  • excessive washing, disinfecting and cleaning
  • continually arranging and reordering
  • checking the same things over and over
  • hoarding
  • counting or repeating a particular word or phrase
  • performing a ritual