What You Need To Know About OCD

OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a mental health condition that usually causes intense anxiety and obsessive thoughts that interfere with daily life. While it's normal to worry about things from time to time, people with OCD have intrusive thoughts that are not easily controlled. These thoughts usually lead to repetitive behaviors, such as hand-washing, checking locks, or cleaning—in an attempt to ease the anxiety. October is OCD Awareness Month, so this is a great time to learn more about this condition and raise awareness on how to seek treatment.

Facts about OCD

About 1/3 of people with OCD first experience symptoms in childhood, though the symptoms may be mild and largely go unnoticed. The average age of symptom onset is 19, with women being around 3 times more likely to be affected than men. The most recent statistics show that OCD affects around 2.5 million adults in the United States. 

OCD is a debilitating condition and not something to joke about or take lightly. Self-diagnosing is harmful, as it often leads to additional anxiety and unnecessary stress. Self-diagnosing also prevents getting early and effective treatment. Professional diagnosis and treatment guidelines are the best ways to manage symptoms. 

There are many effective treatments, including therapy, medication, and self-care practices that can be implemented to supplement therapy and medication. The most common form of therapy for OCD is one called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). This therapy involves gradual exposure to fears and learning to resist the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors. Medication is sometimes also used to help reduce obsessive thoughts and anxiety. Supportive self-care practices can include things like relaxation techniques, exercise, and prioritizing sleep.

Signs and symptoms of OCD

How to help a loved one with OCD

If you have a loved one with OCD, there are some things you can do to help.

Getting help

If you think you or a loved one may have OCD, the first step is to see a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis. Proper assessments with a mental health professional will help rule out other possible causes of these symptoms and provide the best possible treatment options. Medens Health offers OCD screenings, as well as treatment services, in California and Nevada. Reach out to us by phone or text at (833) 624-5400, or by filling out our online contact form.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.