OCD Overview – Sane People Doing Insane Things

Are you sure it’s obsessive compulsive disorder? What if it won’t go away? You better check.? (This is “OCD think.”)

Almost everyone has obsessive thoughts, worries too much, dwells too long on something, or has to do a task “just right.” Since most people don’t have OCD, where is the line drawn between normal and irrational?

People do not have OCD, OCD has them!  Thoughts and actions control the person instead of vice versa.  Addiction to compulsive rituals often results.  “Just one more time and I will stop!”  Some people have OCD symptoms that are secondary to a larger problem such as Post Traumatic Stress.  There are also different types.  Classic OCD and perfectionistic OCD have similarities, but in some ways are opposites.

OCD can overlap with other conditions.  Some of these include the following: Aspergers, Tourettes, Bipolar Mood Disorders, ADHD, and Social Anxiety Disorder. 

DSM IV Guidelines


  • Recurrent/persistent unwanted thoughts, impulses or images
  • Not simply excessive worries about real-life problems
  • Recognized as a product of one’s own mind
  • Attempts are made to suppress, control, or neutralize the worry


  • Repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the person must perform
  • Aimed at reducing distress or preventing a dreaded event

Behavioral and medical treatment combined is the most effective treatment in decreasing both obsessions and compulsions.  OCD treatment has more scientific validity than any other mental disorder.  Overall treatment success has proven to be very positive!

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