Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD)

It is a disorder characterized by unwanted repeated thoughts, ideas or images (obsessions) which causes distress and anxiety and to get relieved of that anxiety a person feels driven to do certain actions repeatedly (compulsions).

Examples of Obsessions : Excessive concern about cleanliness and symmetry, unwanted sexual and blasphemous thoughts.

Examples of Compulsions : Washing and cleaning repeatedly and in a ritualized manner, repeated checking behavior, repeatedly counting/reading/praying etc.

Treatment : The two main types of treatment for OCD are Psychotherapy and Medicines. Usually a combination of medicines and psychotherapy is advised:

  • Cognitive behavior therapy(CBT) has been found to very effective in OCD.

  • Exposure and response prevention (ERP) involves gradually exposing a person to anxiety provoking situations and things and encouraging you to face your anxiety without neutralizing them with compulsions.

Antidepressants, mainly SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed medicines for OCD.

For more information see this information booklet on OCD (courtesy-NIMHANS).