Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder Facts

Nov 22


Juliet Cohen

Juliet Cohen

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood and is seen in as many as 1 in 200 children and adolescents.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder most commonly characterized by a subject's obsessive,Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder Facts Articles distressing, intrusive thoughts and related compulsions which attempt to neutralize the obsessions. OCD is a type of anxiety that happens when there is a problem with the way the brain deals with normal worrying and doubts. Feeling driven to perform such rituals over and over may indicate that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, ritualistic behaviors may literally take over your life. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are unwanted and cause marked anxiety or distress. Frequently, they are unrealistic or irrational. They are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems or preoccupations. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or rituals or mental acts. OCD affects people of all ages. It often begins during childhood. OCD is a result of changes in your body's own natural chemistry.

Some adults with OCD say their symptoms started when they were kids, but that their condition didn't get recognized or treated until they were grown. Childhood-onset OCD may have a higher rate of comorbidity with Tourette syndrome and ADHD. Patients with OCD often feel shame regarding their symptoms and put great effort into concealing them from family, friends, and health care providers. OCD symptoms can worsen with stress; however, this does not appear to be an etiologic factor. OCD is no longer attributed to family problems or to attitudes learned in childhood. Instead, the search for causes now focuses on the interaction between biological factors and environmental influences. Childhood-onset OCD is more common in males and more likely to be linked genetically with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Tourette syndrome. Strep throat-Some children develop OCD after infection with group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis — strep throat. An antibody against strep throat bacteria sometimes mistakenly acts like a brain enzyme.

Children and adolescents often feel shame and embarrassment about their OCD. Many fear it means they're crazy and are hesitant to talk about their thoughts and behaviors. OCD appears to have an overall prevalence of 1.7-4%. Childhood-onset OCD is more common in males and more likely to be linked genetically with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Tourette syndrome. OCD afflicts about 3.3 million adults and about 1 million children and adolescents in the U.S. The disorder usually first appears in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. It occurs about equally in men and women and affects people of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds. Medications as treatment include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as paroxetine (Paxil, Aropax), sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), and fluvoxamine (Luvox) as well as the tricyclic antidepressants, in particular clomipramine (Anafranil).

Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder Treatment Tips

1. Pharmacotherapy- use of potent 5-HT reuptake inhibitors, such as the SSRIs and clomipramine (Anafranil).

2. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), especially in patients with comorbid depression.

3. Some medications such as the antidepressants clomipramine (Anafranil), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine and sertraline (Zoloft).

4. OCD primarily involves the brain regions of the striatum, the orbitofrontal cortex and the cingulate cortex.

5. Clomipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) used to be the usual treatment for OCD.

6. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and include well-known treatments such as Prozac (fluoxetine).