Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Obsessive compulsive disorder(OCD) is a chronic anxiety disorder. People who are affected by this mental illness experience severe anxiety as a result of obsessive thoughts. OCD can begin early, starting between 7-12 years of age. In fact, half of all adults with OCD say their symptoms started when they were children. it occurs in 2-3% of adults and children during their lifetime. OCD is characterized by some obsessions and compulsions that turn into urges, but the ways in which OCD symptoms manifest, vary from person to person. Sometimes, compulsions are used to reduce the anxiety caused by obsessions. Many intelligent people suffer from anxiety disorders, including OCD. With good coping mechanisms and treatments in place, it is possible to live a happy and productive life. 


This disorder usually includes both obsessions and compulsions. You may or may not realize that your obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable, but they take a lot of time and interfere with your daily routine, and social life, or work functioning. A patient may have symptoms of both obsession and compulsion. Common symptoms include:

  • Fear of germs or contamination.
  • Aggressive thoughts towards others or self.
  • Wanting things to be arranged in a symmetrical or in a perfect order.
  • Unwanted forbidden thoughts, including religion and caste-related violence, and some others.
  • Thoughts of harming somebody who loves you.


Some of the most probable causes of the disease include:

  • Genetic and environmental factors.
  • Stress.
  • Trauma (physical and emotional).
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.


The main risk factors include:

  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Social phobias.
  • Insomnia.
  • Having trouble breaking the old habits.


In order to prevent the occurrence of this disease, one should do the following things:

  • Meditation.
  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Taking sound sleep.

How is it diagnosed?

It is easier to find out if the person is suffering from this disorder. The ways that it can be diagnosed are a few, and they include:


How is it treated?

At Medanta, the disorder treatment is given to curb some symptoms of the disease, so they don’t rule the patient’s lives on a daily basis. The means of treatment include: 


  • Psychotherapy

    CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy) is a type of psychotherapy that is effective for many people with OCD.


  • ERP (Exposure and response prevention)

    It is a type of CBT that involves exposing you to a feared object or obsession. The patient may be able to enjoy a better quality of life once he/she learns to manage his/her obsessions and compulsions, and practice these therapies well.


  • Medications

    Some psychiatric medications can help control obsessions and compulsions of OCD. Few Antidepressants approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat OCD include, clomipramine for adults and children who are 10 years and older, fluoxetine for adults and children who are 7 years and older, fluvoxamine for adults and children who are 8 years and older, sertraline for adults and children who are 6 years and older, and paroxetine, which is prescribed only for adults.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately consult a doctor, if you experience excessive anxiety, stress, and depression. All these symptoms will be treated just right with the medical help of our expertise at Medanta.

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