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What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, commonly known as OCD, is defined by the International OCD Foundation as a mental health disorder which occurs “when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions.” The IOCDF goes on to define obsession and compulsion: “Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease his or her distress.” More about obsessions and compulsions below.


It is common for most people to experience obsessive thoughts or compulsive behavior in the course of their lives, so having occasional obsessions or compulsions does not necessarily mean you have OCD. Instead, you might have some OCD tendencies rather than a full OCD diagnosis. In order to be diagnosed with OCD, your obsessions and compulsions are so extreme that they disrupt your life, consuming a lot of time and energy. If this sounds like you, I’m happy you’re here to learn more about OCD and some steps you can take to address this part of your life.

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