Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a serious but treatable mental health condition. As the name implies, this disorder is characterized by both obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive and disturbing thoughts that one has over and over again, even though they try to stop or suppress them. Obsessions often lead to anxiety, distress, or discomfort. Compulsions are an attempt to alleviate the negative emotions brought on by the obsessions. For example, as this video explains, compulsions such as repetitive hand washing in response to a fear of contamination can take up many hours a day, and be quite debilitating.