- 5 Must Read Books for People Struggling with OCD - nOCD, January 2022
- Video: Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale on Navigating the Challenges of OCD (Webinar by ADAA member Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD, LCSW and McLean Hospital)
- Why Can't I Stop These Horrible Thoughts? (blog post by ADAA member Dr. Andrea Umbach)
- OCD Stories on The Mighty
- International OCD Foundation
- Trichotillomania Learning Center
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), NIMH
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects millions of people from all walks of life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), OCD affected 1.2% of adults in the U.S. in the past year. It currently affects approximately 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children in the U.S. More than five million adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in their lifetime.
People with OCD experience obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images, or urges that cause distress or anxiety. Compulsions are behaviors that the person feels compelled to perform in order to ease their distress or anxiety or suppress the thoughts. Some of these behaviors are visible actions while others are mental behaviors. Common obsessions include concerns about contamination, cleanliness, aggressive impulses, or the need for symmetry. Common compulsions include checking, washing/cleaning, and arranging. There isn’t always a logical connection between obsessions and compulsions. Often people with OCD experiences a variety of obsessions and compulsions.
Many people with OCD recognize that their obsessions and compulsions are not rational. Nevertheless, they still feel a strong need to perform the repetitive behavior or mental compulsions. They may spend several hours every day focusing on their obsessions, performing seemingly senseless rituals. If left untreated, OCD can be chronic and can interfere with a person’s normal routine, schoolwork, job, family, or social activities. Proper treatment can help sufferers regain control over the illness and feel relief from the symptoms.
Unlike adults, children and teens with OCD may not recognize that their obsessions and compulsions are excessive.
- Parents: Visit this page to learn about behaviors that could be OCD symptoms.
- Download brochures.
- Learn about related disorders: trichotillomania and Tourette syndrome.
- Screen yourself or a loved one for OCD.
- Busting Myths that Keep Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts Stuck, ADAA blog post
- When Reassurance Seeking Becomes Compulsive - ADAA blog post
- Why Do You Have OCD? Because What Your Resist Persists - ADAA blog post
- Protecting Yourself Against COVID-19 Doesn't Cause OCD - ADAA blog post
- 8 Self-Help Principles in 5 Minutes - Free Self-Help Video by ADAA Member Dr. Reid Wilson
- Relationship OCD - ADAA blog post
- Questioning Whether You Have OCD When You Have OCD - ADAA blog post
- How to Take the Power Back from Intrusive Thought OCD - ADAA blog post
- Missing your OCD? - ADAA blog post
- Why is my OCD Worse On Vacation? - ADAA blog post
- Pedophiles, Rapists and Murderers...Oh My: How to Disengage from Harm OCD & Re-engage in Your Life - ADAA webinar
- When Things Go Bump in Your Head: How to Master OCD with Unwanted Violent Thoughts - ADAA public webinar
- OCD and Sibling Relationships: How to Cope When Your Brother or Sister Has OCD - ADAA public webinar
- Helping Kids and Teens Who Have OCD - ADAA public webinar