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OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Support Group & Information

OCD Introduction How Common is OCD What Causes OCD? Symptoms of OCD
Other Features of OCD Co-existing Illnesses with OCD Treatment for OCD Getting Help for OCD
Research for OCD Medications for OCD Side effects of OCD Medications Behavior Therapy and OCD
Psycotherapy and OCD Back to Home Page

OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Chat Support Group

How Common Is OCD?

Approximately 3.3 million Americans, have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in a given year. OCD affects men and women equally. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder typically begins during adolescence or early childhood. 

For many years, mental health professionals thought of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as a rare disease because only a small minority of their patients had the condition. The disorder often went unrecognized because most afflicted with it failed to seek treatment trying to keep it a secret. So the average was severely underestimated.

An NIMH survey showed that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects more than 2 percent of the population, meaning that OCD is more common than such severe mental illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or panic disorder. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder strikes people of all ethnic groups. Males and females are equally affected. The social and economic costs of OCD were estimated to be $8.4 billion in 1990.

Although Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms typically begin during the teenage years or early adulthood, recent research shows that some children develop the illness at earlier ages, even during the preschool years while others can develop OCD at any time from preschool age to adulthood, usually by age 40.

Studies indicate that at least one-third of cases of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in adults began in childhood. Suffering from OCD during early stages of a child's development can cause severe problems for the child. It is important that the child receive evaluation and treatment by a knowledgeable clinician to prevent the him/her from missing important opportunities because of this disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) tends to be under-diagnosed and under-treated for many reasons. People with this disorder may be keeping it a secret or lack insight on OCD.  Many mental health care providers are not familiar with the symptoms or are not trained in providing the appropriate treatments. Some people may not have access to treatment resources.

This is very unfortunate, because finding the right treatment and/or medication can alleviate the symptoms and make life so much more productive for people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and lessen the risk of more problems later in life; examples: family and marital problems, problems at work, depression, and agoraphobia.

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