mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a mental illness comprised of obsessions and/or compulsions – the individual may experience obsessions, compulsions, or both. An obsession is an urge or repetitive thought/image that persists and can cause anxiety and discomfort. Compulsions are the actions one takes to help reduce anxiety – typically caused by obsessive thoughts – such as counting, cleaning, or ordering things in particular ways.

Five Main Categories of OCD

There are five main categories of OCD: Checking, Contamination, Symmetry & Ordering, Rumination & Intrusive Thoughts, and hoarding. A person with OCD is usually aware of the thoughts and actions don’t make sense, yet they are still compelled by them – they are uncontrollable. OCD tends to cause a feeling of embarrassment and challenges performing day-to-day activities.

Living with OCD

Therapy is very effective in helping people with OCD. A therapist can help to understand the driving forces behind the obsessions and compulsions and teach skills to manage stress and allow the more rational thoughts to be more prevalent. Support groups are also available to help those suffering from OCD.

Read more about Living with OCD and Intrusive Thoughts over on our blog.

Would you like to discuss treatment options for OCD?