Patients with OCD have recurrent obsessions and compulsions which are severe enough to be time consuming or cause marked distress or significant impairment socially, occupationally and interpersonally. Patients realize that their obsessions and compulsions are irrational and disproportionate as well as inappropriate. However, they are unable to control them.
An obsession is an intrusive, recurrent thought, feeling, sensation or idea. Compulsions are recurring patterns of behavior which are standardized and conscious, such as repeated hand washing, picking at body parts, checking, counting or avoiding. Obsessions tend to increase anxiety and carrying out compulsive rituals tends to reduce anxiety. OCD can be quite disabling and time consuming and can significantly impair a person’s capacity to function normally.
Successful treatment includes cognitive behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapy, as well as learning techniques to avoid negative consequences. Use of the medication Luvox can sometimes be helpful.