Interesting Facts about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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  1. Hoarding and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The first of our interesting facts about obsessive compulsive disorder concerns hoarding. This is a form of OCD and is characterized by the amassing of mostly worthless items. These commonly include newspapers and magazines, margarine tubs, toilet roll inners, plastic bags and milk cartons. It may get to the stage where the mess takes over a person’s home and their self-esteem suffers as they are embarrassed to allow anyone to visit. If someone suggests throwing the items away, the sufferer may become agitated and angry as they believe that they will find a use for them one day.

  1. OCD and Demographics

Obsessive compulsive disorder is found on every continent and is no respecter of sex, social standing or economic class. It is estimated that approximately 2.3% of the population in the United States suffer from it at some stage of their lives. It typically appears during childhood, adolescence or young adulthood and is attributed to a complex interaction between environmental and genetic factors.

  1. People with OCD are Often Embarrassed by the Condition

Many people with obsessive compulsive disorder are ashamed of their behavior but feel powerless to control it. They may go to great lengths to conceal their obsessive routines and worry that if they are exposed, family and friends will reject them and they may end up being committed to a mental hospital. Living a secretive life can place a great strain on their physical and emotional health.

  1. OCD and Pure Obsessions

This form of OCD is often portrayed in movies and gives the condition a bad reputation. The sufferer experiences unwanted violent and sexually inappropriate thoughts. These may include thoughts of child molestation, fears of homosexuality, blasphemous images and worry of physically harming someone by assault or hitting them while driving a car.

These thoughts torture them and they try desperately to find a way to stop them. Methods include praying or repeating phrases, repetitive actions such as counting, and repeatedly confessing their thoughts to other people.

  1. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Quality of Life

OCD can consume hours in a person’s day as they perform rituals and try to keep their thoughts under control. This can have a negative impact on their relationships at home, their work performance, their ability to keep appointments and the ability to live out dreams and desires.

Seeing the emotional pain caused by their OCD can be a motivating force in a person admitting they have a problem and seeking professional help to overcome or manage their compulsions and obsessions. Sometimes families enable their behavior and this is not always a good thing in the long term.

There are many interesting facts about obsessive compulsive disorder and learning about them can help sufferers and their families and friends to gain some insight into what the condition involves. The process of seeking out facts may also prompt a desire to seek professional help to deal with OCD problems.


Coping with OCD, Bruce M Hyman and Troy Dufrene, New Harbinger Publications Inc, 2008