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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Dr Satyajeet Singh, MD, AIIMS Patna Neuropsychiatrist (ex) - OCD

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder. It is a type of anxiety disorder in which the affected person experiences repeated obsessions and/or compulsions.

OCD significantly interfere with ability to function socially, occupationally or educationally.

A person with obsessive-compulsive disorder has unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead him or her to do repetitive behaviours (compulsions). Most of the young adult with OCD, complains that their mind keeps on thinking.

These thoughts do not belong to them & they don't want to bring them in their mind. Besides thought, ideas plans, images & many unnecessary things keeps on entering mind without permission. They loss significant amount of time daily in such unwanted thoughts & also they make mistakes in daily affairs as their mind remain busy. Their ability to function normally is affected because of the amount of time consumed by the symptoms, marked fear or other distress suffered by the person.


1. Aggressive, sexual, religious or harm-related obsession with checking compulsions; Ideas, thought, images & plans keeps on entering in mind

2. Obsessions about symmetry, which leads to arranging or repeating compulsions

3. Obsessions of contamination that cause cleaning compulsions

4. Symptoms of hoarding

The term obsession can be described as a thought, impulse or image that either recurs or persists and causes severe anxiety. Many people with obsessive-compulsive disorder understand that their obsessions are unreasonable and therefore, try to ignore them or stop them. Doing so leads to more distress and anxiety. In the end, the person does the compulsive act in an effort to ease anxiety and stress.


The exact cause of OCD is not understood. Some factors that probably have a role in OCD include family history, chemical imbalances in the brain and stress. According to experts, if you have a relative with OCD, it increases your risk of developing the disorder, however, many people with the OCD have no such family history. Some research suggests that specific chromosome/gene variation possibly increases the likelihood of developing OCD by almost two times.

Experts believe that imbalance of a neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain also increases the risk of OCD. Certain stressful events, such as that of being the victim of sexual abuse as a child or child abuse probably increase the risk of suffering from OCD as an adult.

Dr Satyajeet Singh, Aiims Patna


A person with OCD has signs and symptoms of both obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions and compulsions are often related to a specific topic or theme such as:

1.Fear of getting infected or becoming dirty & to get rid of this fear, persons cleans or take precautions excessively

2.Putting things in an orderly and symmetrical manner




1. Fear of getting infected by shaking hands, touching or using objects that some other person has touched

Dr Satyajeet Singh, Aiims Patna

2. Repeated doubts as to whether you've locked the door, switched off the heater or turned off the stove

3. Undue stress and anxiety when objects aren't kept in a orderly way

4. Ideas, thought, images & plans keeps on entering in mind

5. Craving for perfectionism in every domain of life

6. Religious Obsessions (Scrupulosity):
  • Concern with offending God, or concern about blasphemy
  • Excessive concern with right/wrong or morality

1. Washing hands until the skin starts to hurt or becomes sore
2. Checking doors repeatedly to confirm they're locked or checking the heater repeatedly to make sure it's off
3. Arranging objects in the cabinet, such as soaps, canned goods so that all of them face the same way
4. Repeated attempt to get rid of ideas, thought, images & plans that keeps on entering in mind


OCD is a life-long disorder that is not cured. Many patients with OCD may need treatment for a prolonged duration that may even be for the rest of their life. Although treatment may not cure OCD, it can help control symptoms so that they don't interfere with your daily functioning.

Treatment options for obsessive-compulsive disorder include psychotherapy and medications.

The commonly used medications for treatment of OCD are antidepressants.

Antidepressants approved for treatment of OCD are:

  1. Clomipramine
  2. Fluvoxamine
  3. Fluoxetine
  4. Paroxetine
  5. Sertraline

As a pre-teen, you may have started realizing yourself to be a potential candidate for OCD when you checked the door’s lock at least thrice before leaving home or imagined there was more dirt on a pen you shared with your classmate than on a toilet seat. Such is how OCD generally manifests, but sometimes, it can turn you into the most detested enemy you can ever have.

At its worst, you may literally begin to obsess over a pile of dust on your desk at the workplace that you saw two times in three years; you might begin to start hallucinating with the passage of time so much that the only resolve your parents would have is to get you therapy.

This surprisingly common medical condition that starts with quirks may indicate a more serious problem. Right when you put it off as general OCD, it would actually be more than that..


Dr Satyajeet Singh, Aiims Patna

OCD is a common anxiety disorder that is associated with many other, more serious medical conditions

OCD implies a higher risk of schizophrenic spectrum disorders.

2. Major depressive disorder is 10 times more common in OCD patients.

3. OCD goes hand in hand with alcohol and substance abuse.

OCD is treated with medications, cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychotherapy.

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