Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Experience

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Please describe your experience with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) facts

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by irresistible thoughts or images (obsessions) and/or rigid rituals/behaviors that may be driven by obsessions (compulsions).
  • OCD occurs in about 2% of populations worldwide across cultures and has been known to the field of medicine for at least 100 years.
  • The average age of onset of OCD is 19 years of age, and it usually begins by 30 years of age.
  • OCD sufferers are more likely than those who do not have the disorder to also suffer from other anxiety disorders.
  • While there is no known specific cause for OCD, the presence of the illness in other family members and an imbalance of the brain chemical serotonin are thought to increase the likelihood of OCD developing.
  • OCD is diagnosed by the practitioner looking for signs and symptoms of this and other emotional problems, as well as ensuring that there is no medical condition that could be contributing to development of OCD.
  • OCD tends to respond most to a combination of behavior therapies (exposure and ritual prevention), group or individual cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications.
  • Although not as effective in treating OCD as clomipramine, SSRIs are the group of medications that are most often used to treat this illness since the SSRIs tend to cause fewer side effects.
  • SSRIs are thought to work by increasing the activity of serotonin in the brain.
  • When the combination of psychotherapy and SSRI treatment is not sufficiently effective, neuroleptic medications may be added to improve the treatment outcome.
  • For some people with severe OCD symptoms, deep brain stimulation can be helpful, and the use of hallucinogen medication as a treatment modality continues to be researched.
  • Although the symptoms of OCD may last indefinitely, its prognosis is best when the sufferer has milder symptoms that have been present for a short time, and the person has no other emotional problems.
  • Without treatment, OCD can worsen to the point that the sufferer has physical problems, becomes emotionally unable to function, or experiences suicidal thoughts. About 1% of OCD sufferers complete suicide.
Return to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

See what others are saying

Comment from: pamela, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 20

I have suffered from what I consider a mild case of OCD since young childhood. I had Tourette Syndrome really bad with vocal tics and neck and shoulder movement. My mom was very upset with these things because it embarrassed her. It was so frustrating because I could not explain how I had to do these things or I would explode like a bomb. When I became an adult I found out that she was suffering from her own OCD such as she had always counted steps, tiles, bricks, etc. She apologized for losing her patience when I was a child, I grew out of the vocal tics but still do the shoulder and neck tic when stressed. I suffer from anxiety which my mom also suffered. Depression runs rampant on mom's side of family. I now know how my mom felt about my OCD since my younger son age 16yr has suffered since he was toddler. I was fortunate that I had my experience and knew how to get help for him. He has been off medications for 5 years now and recently going through adolescence his symptoms have returned so we are starting the drugs and therapy over again. His depression is great and he cannot shut his brain off. Fortunately, he is a very smart kid who expresses himself very well and can tell me what is going on in his brain. I thank God I have better resources and options than my poor mom had back then. I am 48 years old. God bless everyone who suffers from these often debilitating issues. Pam

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: rubyred24, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

When I was younger I had rituals and things I had to do. Everything has to be even (volume on a radio or TV, temperature, letters in a sentence) I had to touch everything I ate to my lips first. My teachers would call my parents often for disrupting classes. When I was older I noticed things were better when I was drinking or on drugs. I spent 10 years in addiction and alcoholism. I have been sober/clean for 16 months and it is back and worse than ever. I have to touch everything with my pointer finger last (I have some fear that if my middle finger is the last things that touches something that's bad so I have to touch it again with my pointer finger). I check locks, alarms, ovens and timers over and over. Nighttime and in bed is the worst. I'll be exhausted but get out of bed 20 times or more to check things or try to go to the bathroom when I've already been 2 minutes earlier. If my right leg itches I have to scratch my left too and then my right again because it itched first. I have Bonne Bell Lip Smackers chap stick in every room in my house, car and, office. I have to put it on every 30 minutes. They stopped selling that type of chap stick so I have to order in bulk online. I replay past situations or have fear of future ones nonstop until I end up in a panic attack or tears. I love being sober and clean but I can't sleep unless I'm drugged and it feels hopeless.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!