Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition. Someone is diagnosed with OCD when they deal with chronic and long-lasting obsessions and compulsions. An obsession is an uncontrollable, repetitive thought. Someone with OCD deals with obsession by doing certain behaviors over and over. These behaviors are known as compulsions. For example, someone may have an extreme fear of germs. To deal with this fear, they might wash their hands excessively.


  •  If you suffer from anorexia or OCD, you may agonize over every mistake you make or every little thing that is out of order. Your thought patterns are repetitive and intrusive.
  • In both conditions, repetitive thinking leads to ritualistic behaviors, such as routinely checking, double-checking and triple-checking that you’ve turned off the lights, or that everything in your kitchen cabinet is lined up neatly and in its place, or that nothing about your body has changed since the last time you checked, even if you just checked ten minutes ago.
  • With OCD, you may repeatedly check your hands for signs of dirt or germs, obsessively washing them throughout the day.
  • In both cases, everyday concerns about choices that lead to health, weight control, and maintaining an orderly life are greatly exaggerated beyond that of a perfectionist who feels strongly that life must be organized in a specific way.
  • Both appear to result from a combination of genetic, neurobiological, behavioral, environmental, and cognitive factors that come together and trigger disordered thinking and behavior patterns.

Treatment Plans

  • There are certain medications that are shown to be helpful for OCD. These medications are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other medications that are shown to be helpful are antipsychotics.
  • Certain types of therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are known to be effective in treating OCD. There’s one CBT technique in particular that is used for OCD. This technique is called Exposure Response Prevention (ERP). ERP is done by exposing someone to something that triggers their obsession. For someone who obsesses about germs, ERP sessions would have the person get their hands dirty and then prevent them from engaging in their compulsion.
  • See a therapist. Some therapists will work with clients on a bimonthly or monthly basis after symptoms have stabilized. This can be helpful to have a therapist there to help you maintain your progress and boost your resilience.