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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - What is it for

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by the presence of recurring, intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses known as obsessions. These obsessions are typically recognized as products of one's own mind and are often inappropriate and excessive. Individuals with OCD often feel compelled to perform repetitive behaviors or rituals known as compulsions to alleviate the associated anxiety or to prevent a feared situation from occurring. Obsessions and compulsions can be extremely distressing and may seem impossible to control.
Notably, compulsions offer only temporary relief and can be both time-consuming, often lasting over an hour a day, and significantly interfere with daily functioning. Refraining from performing these compulsions can lead to overwhelming anxiety. Some common examples of obsessions include concerns about contamination or harm, the need for symmetry or exactness, and forbidden sexual or religious thoughts. Typical compulsive behaviors include repetitive washing, checking, re-arranging things, counting, and hoarding. Some individuals may also have mental compulsions, such as silently praying repetitively in response to intrusive obsessive thoughts.
In Singapore, OCD is estimated to affect approximately 3 out of every 100 people at some point in their lifetime. It is particularly prevalent among adolescents, with an average age of onset around 19 years. While the exact cause of OCD remains unknown, it is believed that altered brain biochemistry and genetic factors may contribute to its development.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Symptoms

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - How to prevent?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Causes and Risk Factors

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Diagnosis

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Treatments

The main treatment options for OCD include:
  1. Medications: Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed medications for OCD. These drugs may require several weeks to become fully effective.
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT, particularly exposure-and-response prevention (ERP), is a highly effective therapeutic approach for OCD. ERP involves gradually exposing individuals to anxiety-provoking situations while simultaneously advising them to delay or refrain from engaging in compulsive rituals.
  3. Combination Treatment: In cases where neither medications nor CBT provide satisfactory relief, a combination of both treatments may be recommended. 
It's essential to consult with a mental health specialist to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific needs.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Preparing for surgery

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Post-surgery care