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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Information

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder, more specifically, an anxiety disorder. OCD is manifested in a variety of forms, but is most commonly characterized by a subject's obsessive (repetitive, distressing, intrusive) thoughts and related compulsions (tasks or rituals) which attempt to neutralize the obsessions...
  • The phrase "obsessive-compulsive" has worked its way into the wider English lexicon, and is often used in an offhand manner to describe someone who is meticulous or absorbed in a cause (Felix Unger). Such casual references should not be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder; see clinomorphism. It is also important to distinguish OCD from other types of anxiety, including the routine tension and stress that appear throughout life. A person who shows signs of infatuation or fixation with a subject/object, or displays traits such as perfectionism, does not necessarily have OCD, a specific and well-defined condition.

    OCD can be treated with Behavioral therapy (BT), Cognitive therapy (CT), or a combination of both known as Cognitive-Behavorial therapy (CBT), as well as with a variety of medications. Psychotherapy can also help in some cases, while not one of the leading treatments. According to the Expert Consensus Guidelines for the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1995, Vol. 54, supplement 4), the treatment of choice for most OCD is behavior therapy or cognitive behavior therapy. Medications can help make the treatment go faster and easier, but most experts regard BT/CBT as clearly the best choice. Medications generally do not produce as much symptom control as BT/CBT, and symptoms invariably return if the medication is ever stopped.

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Health Blogs

If you struggle with perfectionism in general, the holiday season can be particularly stressful. More items on your to-do list, more get-togethers, and more people to please can bring out feelings of not being enough or doing enough. But whether your perfectionism is set off by trying to find the perfect gift, wanting to have the best holiday ... Read More »
Has someone accused you of being too sensitive or suggested that you grow a thicker skin? Or maybe you’ve heard that you’re hard to read or that you’re a tough nut to crack? Those comments may be clues to your ... Read More »
I have a very close family friend, and she is the Secretary of Health for the state of Washington. She was asked what the number one thing was that she thought could change the quality of health of Americans. I expected her answer to be a cure for cancer, or a reduction in obesity. Her answer? Wash your hands. She is one of the growing number ... Read More »

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