What is OCD?

What is OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD- An Overview

Definition of OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (also called OCD), in psychiatry, is defined as a type of anxiety disorder in which the person has recurring, unwanted and invasive thoughts and ideas (this is the obsession) that make them feel driven to do something to relieve that anxiety (this is the compulsion).


Common urges (also called compulsions) are things like checking locks, washing hands, praying, counting. Common thoughts (also called obsessions) are things like thinking recurrently about germs, being hurt, or hurting someone.

Who Can Get OCD?

Anyone can develop OCD, it can be diagnosed in children, teens, and adults. Though OCD usually starts in the late teen years, it can start much earlier than that. Many children and teens with OCD also have other mental health issues and are at higher risk of suicide.

How OCD Changes Life

Many times, people with OCD avoid situations that would make their compulsions or obsessions worse (like avoiding places where they may have to touch things and contaminate their hands).


If you or someone you know are having these symptoms, please seek help from a psychiatrist. Many people with OCD do get much better with professional help.