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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)


Most people have moments wondering whether they locked the doors or turned off the stove before leaving the house or even to fear something terrible is about to happen. The person with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), however, can feel unable to stop having repeated, distressing thoughts about daily routines. OCD is diagnosed when an individual’s thoughts and “checking behaviors” take hours, not minutes, of a day. 

Once thought to be relatively rare, OCD is now recognized as a common and often debilitating mental health condition. It involves the frequent experience of obsessions, compulsions or both—with most experiencing both—and is defined by negative thoughts causing significant distress and interference with life. OCD affects 2-3% of the world population during people’s lifetimes, regardless of cultural background: 

  • In children, almost twice as likely to affect boys 
  • In adults, more women than men

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