Somewhere between 2% and 3% of the population between the ages of 18 and 54 suffer from OCD (UOCD). This number seems to be very low, but it is actually a large percent and even out ranks other mental disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or panic disorder (UOCD). About 3.3 million people in the U.S. alone have OCD. Anyone from ages as early as 18 months old to ages 50 and above (UOCD). It is safe to say that most everyone knows someone or has seen someone on TV who has OCD. I personally have met a few people in my life that have different levels of OCD. My mother actually has a very mild form of OCD and I think it is safe to say that I myself have had my fair share of OCD-like moments.


What is OCD?

OCD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, is a very common, chronic condition where a person will have uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and behaviors that they feel the need to repeat over and over (NIMH). There are many normal times where someone could experience something like this happening, like double checking to make sure you really did lock your car or unplug your curling iron before leaving. In these cases, it is not out of the ordinary to repeat over. Some people may think that this would mean you have OCD when in fact, you were just taking a precaution. People who do suffer from OCD will do the same things, except their thoughts and behaviors can actually be so severe that it takes over their entire lives. Those who have OCD can recognize their irrational urges but still are not able to control them since they cannot resist.


Categories of OCD

Those who suffer from OCD can have different types of obsessions and behaviors and can be put into different categories (Smith). The “washers” of OCD are those that are basically germaphobes and feel the need to constantly wash themselves or clean. “Checkers”, are those who constantly check things to make sure no harm can be done, for example making sure the car door is locked. There are also “doubters and sinners”, these are the ones who need to make sure that everything is done perfectly. “Counters/ arrangers” need to make sure that everything is in order and not out of place. And then there is also “hoarders, who feel the need to keep everything that they own. These are just the common categories of OCD, however their severeness of each person varies. Some people experience extreme symptoms while others may only experience subtle symptoms.


Signs and Symptoms

People with OCD can be put into any of the above categories based on how they physically deal with their urges. Some people could also have certain motions, or tics, such as blinking or making odd eye movements, twitching of any part of the body, or even making constant sounds or noises (Smith). However, sometimes certain symptoms can be confused with other disorders. Also reading a list of symptoms and realizing that you may be experiencing one of them does not necessarily mean that you have OCD. It is important though to seek help if you seem to have severe symptoms.


There are many different ways to help yourself if you have OCD. Being able to control you urges and obsessions is a very important part of recovery. Controlling it will help you live a better life, especially if OCD is taking it over. Self-help, according to this article  includes things like exercising, keep in touch with family and friends, sleeping regularly, and even just realizing you have a problem plus many more. It is good to try and teach yourself to not give in to your regular impulses. Aside from self-help, you could try cognitive behavioral therapy (Smith). Cognitive-behavioral therapy has two different parts to it. The first part is exposure and response prevention. In this part, the person with OCD will be exposure directly to the source of their disorder and then they must refrain from the obsessions or behaviors. Then there is cognitive therapy which focuses on how the person feels when they experience their compulsive symptoms. Other treatments do include medications and different types therapies. (Smith)

Eraser deleting the concept Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD.

Eraser deleting the concept Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD.


The number of people who suffer from OCD is surprising very large, but the level of severeness in everyone can vary widely. Sometimes it is hard to tell if someone even has OCD or if they just experience normal instances that do not seem out of the norm. There are many different ways to control OCD or help contain any symptoms which makes it somewhat easy to help reduce and eliminate obsessions and behaviors. Today there are tons of different clinical studies that are still finding different ways to discover, prevent, and treat OCD in people. This means that research will always constantly be involved in finding treatments and providing help to the 3% of the population who suffers from OCD.

Works Cited

NIMH. “NIMH » Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” The National Institute of Mental Health. N.p., Jan. 2016. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Smith, Melinda, and Jeanne Segal. “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Symptoms, Self-Help …” Help Guide. Helpguide.org, Oct. 2016. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

UOCD. “UOCD: Facts& Statistics on OCD. – Tripod.com.” UOCD. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

4 thoughts on “OCD

  1. Maria Jean Conti

    I actually have a friend who suffers from really bad OCD. He attends West Point right now and plays football there. He struggled a lot during training because obviously he couldn’t just tell the people in charge “sorry I’m late, I have OCD.” They don’t really take “sorry” for an answer. But having someone close to me with this issue has helped understand that it’s so much more complicated than just an issue where you “feel like you HAVE to do something.”

    1. Rachel Marie Aul

      I really enjoyed this post, mostly because a very close friend of mine suffers from an extreme case of OCD. Although I know he has this illness, until I read your post, I did not know what the illness was about. It is interesting to read about OCD in your post, because some of the things you mentioned describes my friend perfectly. He constantly paces around, checking on things to make sure they are in order. When he cannot control something, and something is out of his reach, he washes his hands. Sometimes, he washes his hands a dozen times within an hour. It’s sad to see how the illness affects him, not only physically (his hands are always cracked and bleeding because of how often he washes his hands), but also mentally (he is constantly in a state of severe anxiety). Luckily though, he has been receiving treatment for his illness, and he has been going to therapy to help him overcome his disorder. One thing I think is important to note is that we should take mental illness seriously – some people actually believe that mental illness is unimportant, and because I have had experience seeing the effects of mental illness, I can attest to the fact that the victims of mental illnesses suffer just like people with physical illnesses do. I found an article that gives us advice on how we can help people who suffer with OCD, and how we can make their struggle a little less of a burden. You should really check it out: https://iocdf.org/expert-opinions/expert-opinion-family-guidelines/
      Thanks for the information! Great post!

  2. sbm5465

    I really liked your article because before reading this post, I thought that OCD was a lot less serious than it actually is. My friend claims to have “OCD” when in reality, she just likes things neat and orderly. Based on articles and examples you provided, it was interesting to learn that OCD urges can be so strong that they are dangerous to that person’s physical health, not just mental. I think it’s a great idea to bring awareness to the class about what OCD really consists of. I also didn’t know that there were certain categories of OCD, such as people who are compulsive “checkers” and others who are compulsive “doubters/sinners.” Recently, a famous actress, Amanda Seyfried, opened up about her personal struggle with OCD to help raise awareness about mental health. You can check out the article here: http://www.allure.com/story/amanda-seyfried-ocd-mental-health-stigma

  3. Lauren Eve Ribeiro

    Personally, I have always found myself to have certain traits that may be related to OCD. For example, I cannot stand when the volume on the TV or radio does not end in a 5 or a 0. I also always have to color code all my notes and my agenda and everything in my room and apartment must be neat and organized. I have never known if this was something that I should get checked out or if it was me just being a control and neat freak. You mention that OCD can begin at the age of 18 months. I think this was the part that stuck out the most to me. How can someone at such a young age be so bothered by something? They can barely do anything themselves. I would be interested to see a study on babies of young ages and their results in relation to OCD.

Leave a Reply