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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Originally posted as part of our PhD Stronger Together Module - Mental Health Conditions (December 2020).

This month's Stronger Together content is focused on Common Mental Health Conditions! Today we are talking about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):


Graphic - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Definition, signs and Symptoms. All text in post.

OCD is characterized by obsessions and compulsions that are very time consuming and cause significant distress and/or functional impairment.

Common manifestations include contamination, symmetry, “just right”, taboo thoughts, harm, relationships, etc.

Related disorders include body dysmorphia, hoarding, hair pulling, and skin-picking.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Obsessions: recurrent and intrusive thoughts or images

  2. Compulsions: repeated behavioral patterns intended to reduce the distress caused by the obsessions that must follow rigid and arbitrary rules unique to the individual

Graphic - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Stats, Demographics, and Disparities. All text in post.

Stats, Demographics and Disparities

  • OCD affects approximately 2% of people worldwide

  • One study indicated that 5% of college students report clinically significant OCD symptoms

  • Although prevalence rates are similar, BIPOC individuals are less likely to receive treatment

  • Racial discrimination and stereotypes may exacerbate OCD symptoms

  • Higher (around 8%) prevalence among transgender individuals

Graphic - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Treatment and Care. All text in post.

Treatment and Care

  • Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)

  • Habit Reversal Training (HRT)

  • Cognitive therapy

  • Prescription medication

Graphic - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Resources. All text in post.


General Resources:

  • International OCD Foundation

  • Not Alone Notes

  • Beyond OCD

  • TLC Foundation for Body-Focused

  • Repetitive Behaviors


  • NOCD for therapy, self-guided therapy exercises, and community support


  • The OCD Stories


*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, therapist or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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