obsessive-compulsive disorder

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterised by recurrent obsessive trains of thought or compulsive acts or commonly both (1).

  • patients often recognise that the thoughts and behaviors are excessive or unreasonable and hide their OCD, even from their own family
  • this secrecy together with lack of recognition of OCD symptoms by health care professionals causes a long delay in diagnosis and treatment of the condition (1,2)

It is the fourth commonest mental disorder after depression, alcohol/substance misuse, and social phobia (1)

According to the WHO, OCD is one of the 10 most handicapping conditions by lost income and decreased quality of life (1) 

These pathological thoughts and actions may become so distressing and time-consuming that the patient's everyday functioning is impaired.


Last reviewed 11/2020