Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder


: What is OCD?
: Diagnosing OCD
: What Causes OCD?
: Treating OCD
: Get Help for OCD


Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder.

A person suffering from OCD has recurring intrusive thoughts which they cannot control. Individuals with OCD may also have compulsive behaviors to relieve the anxiety associated with their intrusive thoughts. Many people think OCD is connected to cleanliness or perfectionism, but this isn’t always the case. Depending on the obsessive thoughts, the person suffering from OCD may respond by:

  • Texting a loved one repeatedly within a short time to make sure they’re okay
  • Frequently cleaning self or surroundings
  • Arranging things precisely
  • Repeated counting
  • Repeatedly checking door locks, gas, and electric appliances or other safety measures

A person suffering from OCD feels that they are not controlling their intrusive thoughts or associated compulsive behaviors. Sometimes, the sufferer believes that it will place them or their loved ones in danger if they do not perform specific actions. OCD may be accompanied by feelings of guilt or a sense of excessive responsibility for the safety and welfare of others.


Statistics show around 1 to 3 percent of adults and one in 200 children in the U.S. have OCD. Women tend to be more affected by OCD than men. Individuals who suffer from OCD have varying symptoms and levels of impairment, ranging from mildly impaired to severely dysfunctional.


Many people repeat actions such as checking door locks or making sure the gas range is turned off. However, an individual with OCD can spend multiple hours managing intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. This affects their ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Individuals with OCD cannot control such thoughts and behaviors, even when they recognize that they are not helpful. Affected individuals do not get pleasure from performing the compulsive acts but feel that they must continue to control their anxiety level or combat a perceived threat.


Like most psychiatric disorders, OCD is usually caused by genetic vulnerability and environmental or psychological factors. Early childhood trauma such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse may contribute to the development of OCD. In some cases, children develop OCD following a streptococcal infection. This phenomenon is known as PANDAS.


OCD often responds well to treatment, including therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Individuals who receive appropriate treatment for OCD can often go on to live healthy lives. Seeking treatment early and staying connected with comprehensive, evidence-based approaches can increase the likelihood of sustained recovery. Treatment of co-occurring mental health or substance use disorders is also critical. Untreated OCD, and the resulting impact on one’s functioning, can, unfortunately, rob individuals of valuable time that could be better spent on relationships, work, and leisure.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be challenging to diagnose appropriately. As a result, it is critical to get a comprehensive evaluation from an experienced mental health professional. Steps to diagnose OCD may include:

  • A medical history and physical exam
  • Lab tests
  • A psychiatric and psychological evaluation

Treatment usually includes therapy, medication, or a combination of both. An experienced treatment team can help you identify the appropriate drugs and therapeutic approaches most likely to support your emotional recovery and sustained well-being.


At ASANTE, we are dedicated to helping each patient who comes to us for healing to go beyond symptom reduction to achieve a balanced, fulfilling, and joyful daily life. All individuals seeking treatment receive a comprehensive bio-psycho-social evaluation by licensed clinicians. We tailor your treatment strategy to your diagnosis, needs, and treatment goals.

ASANTE utilizes an integrative, evidence-based treatment approach. In addition to appropriate medications (referred) and therapy, you may participate in activities such as:

  • Mindfulness practices
  • Journaling
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Art

If you think you are experiencing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, it’s essential to understand that you’re not alone. Help is available.

For more information on how we can help you, we invite you to call ASANTE at 909.886.3322