About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessions and Compulsions

About Obsessions

Obsessions are unwelcome and distressing ideas, thoughts, images, or impulses that repeatedly enter your mind. They may seem to occur against your will. They may be repugnant to you, you may recognize them as senseless or excessive, and they may not fit your personality.

About Compulsions

Compulsions, on the other hand, are behaviors or acts that you feel driven to perfom although you may recognize them as senseless or excessive. At times you may try to resist doing them but this may prove difficult. You may experience anxiety that does not diminish until the behavior is completed.

PET Scan

Diagnostic Criteria for OCD

PET scans indicate differences in brain activity of OCD patients versus normals


Factors contributing to underestimation of OCD prevalence

About Compulsions

Common Compulsions Incidence of Compulsions by Percentage

About Obsessions

Common Obsessions Incidence of Obsessions by Percentage

Obsession-Compulsion Relation

Compulsions may fall into any of the following categories:

OCD is Reinforced by Learning

The OCD Cycle

OCD Cycle

The picture above represents the typical cycle of a person suffering from OCD. Obsessions cause anxiety, causing the sufferer to engage in compulsions in an attempt to aleviate the distress caused by the obsessions. Carrying out these compulsions, or rituals, does not result in any permanent change, and in fact, the OC symptoms worsen.

Comorbid Conditions

Incidence of Comorbid Conditions

Effective Treatments for OCD

PET scan showing improvement

PET scans of OCD patients show the same reductions in brain caudate nucleus activity (center of brain) that occur following successful drug treatment are also produced by successful behavior therapy.

Announcements & Upcoming Events

Dr. Gorbis' interview on Body Dysmorphic Disorder available to watch at psychotherapy.net!

Dr. Gorbis talks about Body Dysmorphic order, its successful treatment methods, and resources for therapists. Go there now.

Credentials verified by Psychology Today

verified by Psychology Today