Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by intrusive

upsetting thoughts and/or ritual that the sufferer feels compelled to engage in to relieve anxiety. Rituals

can be mental (e.g., counting or praying) or behavioral (e.g., handwashing or checking).  OCD is reinforced by the compulsive behaviors or rituals.  OCD is often called the "doubting disease" becuase it causes the sufferer to doubt him- or herself in many different ways.  OCD can occur throughout the lifespan.  No one knows what causes OCD, but it is generally accepted that there are may be a genetic predisposition for the disorder and that serotonin, a neurotransmitter, is involved.

OCD can be successfully treated using a specialized behavior therapy called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).  Medication can also be useful in conjunction with ERP.

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