Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Have you ever heard of O.C.D.? Many people joke around about O.C.D. without knowing the real struggle of having it. People with O.C.D. often have a nagging voice in their head that always tells them that they have to do certain things or complete certain tasks a certain way or else they can’t move on with their day, and they’re just stuck on that thought until they complete that task. Most people think it’s just organizing things that are out of place, but it can also be seemingly random things that don’t help the person doing the act in any way, such as: washing your hands a certain way, or brushing your hair a certain amount of times each day. If the person of the disorder doesn’t complete it in their specific way, then that voice comes back and tells them that they must fix it. Most people who say they have O.C.D. don’t really have O.C.D. In fact, only 2% of the population has O.C.D. People who have O.C.D. live day-by-day feeling like someone, or something, else is controlling them.  Can you imagine not being in control of yourself constantly, and being forced to spend hours every day just trying to quite that nagging voice?


O.C.D focuses on humans activity because the disorder stops the corticostriatal pathway from working. The corticostriatal pathway is the part of the brain that regulates repeated actions. This is why people with O.C.D rapidly repeat the same actions over and over again. People with O.C.D have low levels of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that communicates between brain structures and helps regulate vital processes such as angry, hunger, sleep, pain, body temperature, and impulsive control. This causes them to lose some control of the actions and become prisoner to their O.C.D.

Studies have shown that with first degree relatives like a parent sibling or child who have O.C.D. are at a higher risk of developing O.C.D. themselves. The risk becomes greater if the relative develops O.C.D. as a child or teen. Studies have also shown that people who have experienced abuse of any kind are more likely to develop O.C.D. and same is with any traumatic experience. O.C.D. is typically treated with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. Although most patients with O.C.D. respond to treatment, many patients continue to experience symptoms.


If you know someone with O.C.D and you want to help them the best thing you can do is just be patient with them and at the same time pushing them a little to break their habits. If you want to help them but don’t want to push them then you can try helping them with their actions and making sure they don’t hurt themselves in the process.