OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder)

OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder)

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a condition characterized by intrusive thoughts and certain compulsive and repetitive behaviors. It is one of the anxiety disorders. Both males and females are equally affected. A higher incidence is seen below the age of 18.

Causes and risk factors

The exact cause of obsessive compulsive disorder is still not clear. However the studies conducted indicate that certain psychological and biological factors are responsible.

Certain biological factors like an abnormality in the neurotransmitter serotonin, genetic mutation and increased grey matter in the bilateral lenticular nuclei and the caudate nuclei have been put forth.


 Clinical presentation

A person can suffer from obsessions or compulsions have fear of being contaminated hence they frequently was hands. They adopt an exaggerated habit of having things in an orderly manner. They tend to follow a strict routine. They have fear of been robbed and hence they repeatedly keep checking the locks of doors and windows. These people tend to be very calculative and constant counting is seen in them. Unpleasant thoughts about harming oneself or others or about sexual act is seen in them. They keep repeating a prayer silently. These symptoms can develop gradually and by time can become more intense Obsessive compulsive disorder do not pose any complication on health however it cause disturbances in daily  routine, Hamper the personal and social life, Suicidal or homicidal thoughts.



Diagnosis can be made on the basis of the symptoms narrated by the patients and on the basis of complete psychiatric evaluation. Reviewing of the history is the most essential step. All the details are obtained from the family and friends. Close observation in such cases is essential. Investigations can be advised in cases where the doctor suspects any pathology. Certain criteria have been put forth for diagnosing OCD these are

  • One must have either obsessions or compulsions or both.
  • Obsessions and compulsions are time-consuming and they interfere with the daily routine or hamper the personal and social life.
  • Recurrent, persistent and unpleasant thoughts.
  • These thoughts are pacified by involving into compulsive actions.



The medicines prescribed for obsessive compulsion disorder are the serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Psychotherapy plays a major role in this. It comprises of counseling and interpersonal therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy has found to be effective in such cases. Support and care by family and friends will help the patient to cope up with the complaints. Indulgence in positive recreational activity, meditation care effective.


Other modes of treatment:

The other modes of treatment can also be effective in treating depression. Homoeopathy is a science which deals with individualization considers a person in a holistic way. This science can be helpful in combating the symptoms.


Recent update:

As per the article published in medindia studies have shown that OCD is linked to higher rates of schizophrenia.

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