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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, commonly known as OCD, is a disorder that affects the way a person is able to live his/her life. OCD causes a person to be unable to function without having certain uncontrollable rituals and habits. There are many different sets of symptoms that are associated with this disorder.

Some people constantly think they have forgotten things such as turning off the stove or locking their doors and must obsessively check again and again. Others have a fear that violent acts will happen against themselves or their loved ones and still others are compulsively obsessed with germs and dirt and may go to the extreme of carrying soap or anti-bacterial substances to rid themselves of these things.

The thoughts and feelings are referred to as obsessions and the habits, which result from the thoughts, are called compulsions. These ritualized compulsions do not provide permanent relief for the person suffering from OCD, but only stop that particular thought until the next one occurs. OCD consumes a person making it difficult for him/her to function and have a normal life. Some sufferers know that they are acting irrationally but are unable to stop themselves from performing these acts. Others, such as children with OCD, do not even know they are being abnormal.

The symptoms of OCD can fluctuate throughout a person's life, but it is also possible that the symptoms just continue to worsen over time. Similar to many other anxiety disorders, research shows the possibility that the probability for having this disorder is hereditary.

Depression and constant anxiety can also be symptoms of OCD, causing people with this disorder to believe that their condition is untreatable and there is no hope for living a normal life. Substance abuse can also result from untreated OCD, because many people hold the belief that self-medicating will relieve their symptoms.

OCD is, however, a treatable condition that responds well to prescribed medication and therapy. If a sufferer of OCD wants to regain control over his/her life, he/she must seek treatment from a licensed specialist and continue proper maintenance to ensure long-term recovery.

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