Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterised by intrusive thoughts or images (obsessions), which increase anxiety, and by repetitive or ritualistic actions (compulsions), which decrease anxiety.  The most recent revision of the diagnostic criteria for obsessive-compulsive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) emphasises that compulsions can be observable behaviors or mental rituals

The most frequent symptoms in obsessive-compulsive disorder are contamination concerns with consequent washing, or concerns about harm to self or others with consequent checking.  Additional research indicates that other concerns may include problems with symmetry, arranging rituals, and hoarding.  Many obsessions and compulsions have been identified, including sexual, religious, musical and somatic symptoms.  Obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms have varied little by time or place.  Similar symptoms are seen in other cultures.  Although a person's predominant symptoms can change with time, typically symptoms do not change by much.

Treatment

One of the best books on obsessive-compulsive disorder is Brain Lock, by Jeffrey Schwartz, M.D.  His explanation of cognitive-behavioral group therapy for OCD is clear and compelling.  You can look at this book and purchase it through The Anxiety Network's Bookstore.

 

Links to Additional Information

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation

National Institutes of Mental Health

 

Our History and Our Mission

The Anxiety Network began in 1995 due to growing demand from people around the world wanting help in understanding and overcoming their anxiety disorder.  The Anxiety and Stress Clinic and its website, The Anxiety Network, received so much traffic and requests for help that we found ourselves spending the majority of our time in international communication and outreach.  Our in-person anxiety clinic has grown tremendously, and our principal internet tool, The Anxiety Network, has been re-written and re-designed with focus on the major anxiety disorders.  

The Anxiety Network  focuses on three of the major anxiety disorders:  panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder,  and social anxiety disorder.

In 1997, The Social Anxiety Association, a non-profit organization, was formed and has its own website.

The Social Anxiety Institute, the largest site on the internet for information and treatment of social anxiety, has maintained an active website since 1998.  Continuous, ongoing therapy groups have helped hundreds of people overcome social anxiety since 1994.  Major changes in design will be occurring in 2014.

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