Have questions
about OCD?
Whether it's for you or someone close to you,
we're here to help.
What's up with me?
Every day, from the time I wake up to the time I finally go to bed, I’m overwhelmed by disturbing thoughts that I don’t want to have. They're usually about things that matter a lot to me, and I’ve started doing specific things (sometimes over and over) just to make sure the thoughts won’t come true. I've also been avoiding situations that might bring the thoughts back. Why do I feel like this all the time?
What is OCD?
Obsession
Repetitive and unwanted image, thought, or urge
Distress
You feel like the thoughts must be significant, and they bother you
Compulsion
Behavior that you repeatedly perform to reduce distress
Temporary Relief
The compulsions only make you feel better for a little while





How is OCD treated?

Without treatment, OCD can take over someone’s life. But improvements in therapy and medication over the past few decades have made OCD a highly treatable condition. It’s useful to understand what types of treatment have been most effective, so you can get back to living the life you want as soon as possible.
Treatment Options
Exposure and Response
Prevention (ERP) and CBT
Learning to face your obsessions without resorting to any compulsions
Medication
Antidepressant medications at higher doses, and a few other options
Acceptance and
Commitment Therapy
Identifying your values and learning to be more mindful
Combination
The most effective treatment for many people involves both therapy and meds



Are there different types of OCD?
Sarah gets a lot of obsessive thoughts around kids, so she skips family events whenever her nephew will be there. Matt is so comfortable around kids that he works in a daycare, but the idea of taking out the trash brings him so much anxiety that his wife always ends up doing it. Sarah avoids kids, and Matt avoids the trash. Do they have the same condition? Should they be treated similarly?
In some cases, OCD symptoms can become so severe that people consider suicide. If you ever consider suicide, please call your local emergency number or go directly to a hospital. In the United States, you can also call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
These resources were developed with:
Michael A. Jenike, MD
Founder, OCD Institute at McLean Hospital
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD
Director, Yale OCD Research Clinic
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and in the
Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine