Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder of the brain and behavior. OCD causes severe anxiety in those affected. OCD involves both obsessions and compulsions that take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person values.

As many as 4 million Americans have OCD, including 1 million children and teenagers. Most are not promptly or properly diagnosed. Although OCD is rarely completely cured, many patients find meaningful and long-term symptom relief with cognitive behavior therapy and medication. OCD is a debilitating brain disorder that causes problems in information processing. The brain gets stuck on a particular thought or urge and just can’t let go. OCD involves having both obsessions and compulsions. Common obsessions are: contamination fears of germs, imagining having harmed oneself or others, imagining losing control or having aggressive urges, intrusive sexual thoughts or urges, excessive religious or moral doubt, forbidden thoughts, a need to have things “just so” and a need to tell, ask or confess. Common compulsions are: washing, repeating, checking, touching and counting. OCD symptoms can occur in people of all ages. Statistical analyses indicate that a major genetic component is involved in the occurrence of OCD, though the exact gene has not yet been identified.

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