Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Definition, 3 Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Obsessive-compulsive disorder definition

Obsessive compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder that causes the sufferer to feel a repetitive action. If not done, OCD sufferers will feel anxiety or fear.

The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be experienced by anyone. Although it is more common in early adulthood, OCD can also occur in children or adolescents. OCD sufferers have sometimes realized that their thoughts and actions are excessive, but still feel the need to do so and not be able to avoid them.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Causes

The cause of OCD is not yet known for certain, but there are a number of factors that may increase a person’s risk of suffering from OCD:

  • Suffering from mental disorders
  • Having family members suffering from OCD
  • Have experienced an unpleasant event.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Symptoms

You must clean the house

The reason is not because mother-in-law will come, children play the soil, then go into the house without washing the feet, or because it must be so the house is always comfortable.

If you have OCD, you may feel like you have no choice but to clean the house, because otherwise, someone in your household will be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria and it will be your fault.

Similar to hand washing, the urge from within you to clean the house repeatedly is because of the unreasonable fear, time consuming and stressful.

You don’t have to clean the house, tens or even hundreds of times a day, said Reid Wilson, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Usually, cleaning the house only takes one to two hours each day. But, since you are obsessed, you do it very long, maybe five to six hours a day.

Washing Hand

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Symptoms
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Definition, 3 Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment 2

The obsession for immediate washing hands is done by OCD sufferers for fear of disease caused by bacteria and germs. In addition, acute OCD sufferers usually also remain worried about the dangers of germs even if they are washing hands.


Has a habit of re-checking if the door is locked or no items are left out when going? Actually the habit of re-checking is good, but if it raises anxiety if it is not done, it means you are positive OCD.


Some OCD sufferers like to calculate patterns about daily activities, such as the number of steps. The habit is driven by a certain belief, for example, if they count to seven, then there will be a perceived luck.


Everything has to be placed, styled, and laid out according to numbers, colors, or symmetrical. If all are messy, OCD sufferers will immediately feel anxious and not calm.

Fear of being hurt

Everyone is certainly afraid and worried if the bad things happen to him. But OCD sufferers are more of a great effort to get rid of such thinking from his head compared to ordinary people.

Seeking Comfort

When OCD sufferers have felt cornered about things that are wrong around them, they will begin to seek comfort from friends or family. For example Ask, “is all this normal? Is it all no problem? “.


Meanwhile, Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is also associated with OCD. BDD sufferers often feel their appearance is not perfect. However, unlike eating disorders, BDD sufferers are not focused on a strict diet.

OCD Diagnosis

Physical examination

Steps to help diagnose OCD are included in a physical examination. This can be done to help get rid of other problems that can cause symptoms and to examine related complications.

Laboratory tests

Further, laboratory tests include complete blood count (CBC), thyroid function screening, and screening for alco**hol and drugs.

Psychological evaluation

Psychological evaluation includes discussing thoughts, feelings, symptoms, and patterns of behavior.

Diagnostic criteria for OCD exist on diagnostic and statistical Mental disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatment

Unfortunately, OCD is not curable. However, the people with OCD can relieve symptoms that interfere with their activities by undergoing some treatment. OCD treatment consists of medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. Although the majority of OCD’s people with improved after obtaining treatment, some other idlers continue to experience symptoms.

Sometimes people with OCD are also found to have other mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and dysmorphic disorders of the body (disorders when a person has a mistaken notion that a part of their body is abnormal). It is important to consider this other disorder when determining treatment options.


Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors (SRI) and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are two types of drugs used to help alleviate OCD symptoms. Additionally, any other medications that are also shown to be effective at overcoming OCD in older persons and children are clomipramine, which is a member of an older class of “tricyclic” antidepressants, and some newer SSRIS, including fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine, and sertraline.

If symptoms do not improve with this type of drug, research suggests some patients may respond well to antipsychotic drugs (such as risperidone).


Besides drugs, psychotherapy is also effective to cope with OCD in older persons and children. Research suggests that certain types of psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other related therapies (for example, a habit reversal training) can be equally effective with medications for many individuals. 

Research also shows that CBT types, called Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP) are effective in reducing compulsive behaviors in OCD, even in people who do not respond well to SRI drugs. For many sufferers, EX/RP is an additional treatment option when SRI or SRRI drugs is not effective at overcoming symptoms of OCD.

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Last Updated on July 12, 2020 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team