Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), formerly considered a type of anxiety disorder, is now regarded as a unique condition. It is a potentially disabling illness that traps people in endless cycles of repetitive thoughts and behaviors. People with OCD are plagued by recurring and distressing thoughts, fears, or images (obsessions) they cannot control. The anxiety (nervousness) produced by these thoughts leads to an urgent need to perform certain rituals or routines (compulsions). The compulsive rituals are performed in an attempt to prevent the obsessive thoughts or make them go away.
Although the ritual may temporarily alleviate anxiety, the person must perform the ritual again when the obsessive thoughts return. This OCD cycle can progress to the point of taking up hours of the person's day and significantly interfering with normal activities. People with OCD may be aware that their obsessions and compulsions are senseless or unrealistic, but they cannot stop them.
If you've decided to dress as a scary, creepy character this Halloween,
you're likely to have plenty of company. Witches, zombies, ghouls, vampires,
and werewolves are perennial favorites of young and old alike.
You should also know, however, that most of these characters have medical
and psychological "baggage," say the handful of experts who study
So don't just take along a vial of blood or some magic potion to make your
character more believable. Find out the possible medical and...