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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. It is characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts, known as obsessions, and repetitive or compulsive behavior.
What are compulsions?
Compulsions are behaviors that are carried out according to specific rules. Compulsions are common in people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). A person with OCD may feel an intense need to carry out certain compulsions to try and relieve anxiety that builds up …
What is an obsession?
An obsession is a recurring and unwanted thought, idea, image or impulse that generally occurs in someone with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Obsessive thoughts are often intrusive and may be constantly on a person's mind. This can be distressing and lead to …
What causes obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?
It is not known exactly what causes obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). As with many mental illnesses, it is thought that chemical, structural and functional abnormalities in the brain may contribute to the development of OCD. It is also …
How is obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) treated?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for obsessive compulsive disorder. There are treatment options that are available to help people with OCD manage or eliminate their symptoms. The most effective treatment involves a combination of …
Is there a cure for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). There are medications and therapy treatments available that can help people manage their symptoms.
What is the difference between a worry and an obsession?
A worry usually involves a real-life problem, such as money or a job interview, while an obsession is usually something that reflects an unrealistic fear, such as being contaminated with germs.
How common is obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?
In Australia, it is estimated the around 2-3% of the population will be affected by OCD at some point during their lives.
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 26 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Votes: 517 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Obsessive compulsive disorder