Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) or ritualized acts (compulsions) which cause distress and may result in impairment in social, academic, and, in some cases, occupational functioning. Some patients may suffer from both obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior.
HOW OCD AFFECTS PEOPLE
Obsessive thoughts that cause anxiety may have threatening or frightening themes:
- Harm to one-self, spouse, parents,
siblings, pets and friends
- Failure (occupational, academic or social)
In an effort to combat these obsessive thoughts, overt or covert compulsive behavior may be performed in an effort to neutralize the perceived threat or fear. Compulsive behavior is typically:
- Excessive – performed repetitively or for long periods of time
- Bizarre – performed without any causal relationship to the fear
Further, in an effort to lessen anxiety, particular activities, places or tasks may be avoided by one with OCD.