Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 3/28/2019

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder characterized by having irresistible ideas or images (obsessions) and/or specific rituals/behaviors (compulsions) that are often controlled or driven by the obsessions.

People with OCS show signs and symptoms such as adherence to rituals, repetitive behaviors, and unwanted and intrusive thoughts. Compulsive behaviors associated with the condition can include washing, checking, counting, ordering, and preoccupation with germs, dirt, or contamination.

Causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

As with many mental health conditions, there is no one exact cause known for OCD. It is likely to arise as a result of both genetic and environmental influences. People with a family history of obsessive-compulsive disorder have an increased risk of developing the illness themselves.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/28/2019

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