- Mental disorder in which an individual experiences obsessions or compulsions, either singly or together.An obsession is a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an unreasonable idea or feeling (such as of being contaminated through shaking hands with someone). A compulsion is an irresistible impulse to perform an irrational act (such as repeatedly washing the hands). The two phenomena are usually, but not always, linked in the obsessive-compulsive person. Onset of the illness has been linked to malregulation of the neurotransmitter serotonin as well as to the ill effects of high stress.
* * *also called obsessive-compulsive neurosistype of mental disorder in which an individual experiences obsessions or compulsions or both. Either the obsessive thought or the compulsive act may occur singly, or both may appear in sequence.Obsessions are recurring or persistent thoughts, images, or impulses that, rather than being voluntarily produced, seem to invade a person's consciousness despite his attempts to ignore, suppress, or control them. Obsessional thoughts are frequently morbid, shameful, repugnant, or merely tedious; they are usually experienced as being meaningless and are accompanied by anxiety to a varying degree. Common obsessions include thoughts about committing violent acts, worries about contamination (as by shaking hands with someone), and doubt (as in wondering whether one had turned off the stove before leaving the house).Obsessions are accompanied by compulsions in approximately 80 percent of cases. Compulsions are urges or impulses to commit repetitive acts that are apparently meaningless, stereotyped, or ritualistic. The compulsive person may be driven to perform the act not as an end in itself but as a means to produce or prevent some other situation, although he is usually aware that the two bear no logical causal relation to each other. Most compulsive acts are rather simple—such as persistent hand washing, counting, checking (e.g., the turned-off stove), touching, or the repetition of stereotyped words or phrases. Occasionally, however, elaborately formalized and time-consuming ceremonials are necessary. The compulsive person usually knows the act to be performed is meaningless, but his failure or refusal to execute it brings on a mounting anxiety that is relieved once the act is performed. Should the sufferer be forcibly or externally prevented from performing the compulsive act, he may experience an overwhelming anxiety.Obsessive-compulsive disorders affect from two to three percent of the general population, occur equally in males and females, and can first appear at any age. The tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) drug clomipramine (Anafranil) and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine (Prozac) (Prozac) have been found to markedly reduce the symptoms in about 60 percent of cases and have thus become the treatment (therapeutics) of choice. Both drugs affect the brain's metabolism of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and this had led researchers to suspect that obsessive-compulsive disorders arise primarily from defects in the brain's neurochemical functioning rather than from purely psychological causes. A drug traditionally used for tuberculosis, d-cycloserine, has also been shown, when used in combination with behavioral therapy, to increase the rate of fear extinction in patients with OCD. The highest rates of the condition occur in high-stress groups, such as those who are young, divorced, or unemployed.
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder — (OCD) is a chronic anxiety disorder most commonly characterized by obsessive, distressing, intrusive thoughts and related compulsions. Compulsions are tasks or rituals which attempt to neutralize the obsessions. OCD is distinguished from other… … Wikipedia
obsessive-compulsive disorder — n a psychoneurotic disorder in which the patient is beset with obsessions or compulsions or both and suffers extreme anxiety or depression through failure to think the obsessive thoughts or perform the compelling acts abbr. OCD called also… … Medical dictionary
obsessive compulsive disorder — UK US noun [uncountable] medical a mental illness that makes you keep repeating an action such as washing your hands, in order to avoid painful thoughts http://www.macmillandictionary.com/med2cd/weblinks/obsessive compulsive disorder.htm… … Useful english dictionary
Obsessive–compulsive disorder — OCD redirects here. For other uses, see OCD (disambiguation). Not to be confused with Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder. Obsessive–compulsive disorder Classification and external resources Repetitive handwashing is a common OCD sym … Wikipedia
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder — Physicians and non physicians alike have always recognized the existence of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior. Across the ages, examples are common in religion of praying compulsively or dwelling obsessively on salvation or damnation … Historical dictionary of Psychiatry
obsessive-compulsive disorder — An anxiety disorder in which a person has intrusive ideas, thoughts, or images that occur repeatedly, and in which he or she feels driven to perform certain behaviors over and over again. For example, a person may worry all the time about germs… … English dictionary of cancer terms
obsessive-compulsive disorder — N UNCOUNT If someone suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, they cannot stop doing a particular thing, for example washing their hands … English dictionary
obsessive-compulsive disorder — noun an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent and persistent thoughts and feelings and repetitive, ritualized behaviors • Derivationally related forms: ↑obsessive compulsive • Hypernyms: ↑anxiety disorder … Useful english dictionary
obsessive-compulsive disorder — noun A form of anxiety characterised by an obsessive compulsion to repeatedly perform trivial or meaningless actions … Wiktionary
obsessive-compulsive disorder — /əbsɛsɪv kəmˈpʌlsɪv dɪsɔdə/ (say uhbsesiv kuhm pulsiv disawduh) noun a disorder of the mind in which the sufferer has intrusive irrational thoughts and engages in repetitive rituals to find temporary relief … Australian English dictionary