Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • James D. Helsley
Part of the Current Clinical Practice book series (CCP)


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is defined as the presence of either obsessions or compulsions. Obsessions can entail the following characteristics [1]:
  • Persistent/recurrent impulses and thoughts are inappropriate and intrusive and lead to severe anxiety.

  • The thoughts and impulses are beyond real-life concerns and worries.

  • The patient attempts to suppress or dispense with the thoughts by creation of another thought or neutralizing action.

  • The patient understands that the intrusive thoughts are generated in his/her own mind.

Compulsions can entail the following characteristics [1]:
  • Repetitious behaviors or actions are performed secondary to an obsession. The act follows a scripted course without deviation.

  • The behaviors and actions are performed as an avenue to prevent anxiety or to preempt a perceived future untoward event.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder usually develops in adolescence or early adulthood; 75% of cases have onset before age 30 [2]. Originally considered...


Eating Disorder Social Phobia Panic Disorder Intrusive Thought Fiscal Conservatism 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • James D. Helsley
    • 1
  1. 1.West Virginia University Student Health ServiceMorgantownUSA

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