Topics: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Psychology, Anxiety Pages: 2 (540 words) Published: November 1, 2005
Definition Paper
October 31, 2005

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors or compulsions. Some of these unwanted obsessions can be anywhere from counting, checking various items, cleaning, or hand washing. These actions are performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them disappear. However, when someone performs these actions they are only providing themselves temporary relief and if they are not to perform these actions it will most of the time result in increased anxiety.

OCD is a very common mental illness today. It has affected about 3.3 million Americans. The first signs usually will happen during your childhood years. Symptoms can come and go and may just gradually get easier over time. Research says that OCD can run in families. Some of the signs and symptoms of OCD cause people be taken under by persistent unwelcome thoughts or images. They will just repeatedly feel the need to check things over and over or also wash there hands over 100 times a day because they have a fear of germs.

The disturbing thoughts or images are called obsessions and the actions taken to try to prevent or rid the obsessions are called compulsions. There is no pleasure when one carries out these actions, only temporary relief. Today there are many healthy people that carry out some of these traits. Some of the symptoms that everyday people perform are things such as checking the stove several times before leaving the house or simply rechecking the door to make sure it has been locked. Many adults with this condition recognize that what they're doing is senseless, but they can't stop it. Some people, though, particularly children with OCD, may not realize that their behavior is out of the ordinary.

Effective treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder are available and research is yielding new,...
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