Frequently Asked Questions about OCD

What does the acronym OCD stand for?

OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is a type of mental illness. People who’re suffering from OCD can have either obsessive thoughts and urges (such as fear of harming themselves or others) or compulsive repetitive behaviors (cleaning, repeatedly washing their hands, checking etc.) Many people with OCD suffer from both obsessions and compulsions.

What are the symptoms of OCD?

Obsessive thoughts:
– fear of germs or getting dirty
unacceptable thoughts (feeling of guilt)
– anxiety over asymmetry (or over anything that’s not in the exact order you think it should be)
fear of losing control
fear of harming others or yourself

A few examples of Compulsive Behavior
having to do tasks in a specific order/ a specific number of times
– repeated hand washing and/or obsessive cleaning
– checking multiple times if you’ve locked the door, turned on the washing machine etc.

Find more information about OCD symptoms in my blog posts:
What is it like to live with OCD? – A day in my life.
6 types of OCD
OCD: a vicious cycle of doubt and guilt
The call of the void
OCD: Living a lie
Afraid of blinding yourself
Pure O: Living in endless fear

What percent of the population has OCD?

1 in every 40 adults – so approximately 2.3% of the population. (United States, source: )

What is the root cause of OCD?

Doctors are not sure why some people have OCD, but the most likely causes are:

  • OCD may be due to genetic and hereditary factors (you’re more likely to have OCD if one of your parents or siblings are suffering from it)
  • Chemical, structural and functional abnormalities in brain
  • Learned behaviors
  • Experience with trauma

    Want to learn more about the causes and risk factors? Check out: Why do I have OCD? Causes and Risks

Is OCD genetic?

There may also be a genetic component to OCD – if you have a parent or other family member with OCD, it’s more likely that you’ll also have it.

Is OCD curable?

OCD is just like diabetes: at the moment there’s no cure for it, however, luckily there are a lot of techniques developed by psychologists that can keep it under control. (And also medication)

Are people with OCD dangerous to the society?

Not at all. People with OCD may have intrusive thoughts, but they are not more likely to act on them than any other person who is not suffering from OCD.

Does OCD get worse by age?

If left untreated, OCD can get worse. But luckily, there are a lot of effective ways for handling it.

How does OCD start?

It usually begins during your teenage years (late childhood and adolescence). Usually, the onset of OCD is pretty gradual, but there are cases when people started experiencing it suddenly, out of nowhere.

How does OCD affect your daily life?

The answer to this question would be very long, so please find more information about it in my blog posts:

How to tell the difference between OCD and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)?

Check this article for more information:

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