Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

Font Size

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - What Happens

With obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you develop disturbing, obsessive thoughts that cause fear or anxiety. In order to rid yourself of these thoughts and relieve the fear, you perform rituals, such as repeated hand-washing or checking that something has been done. Unfortunately, the relief is only temporary. The thoughts return and you repeat the rituals.

The rituals or behaviors become time-consuming and have a significant impact on your daily life. If your particular fear involves unfamiliar situations, it is possible for you to become so obsessed by the fears that you stop going outside of your home. Quality of life can be substantially lowered by OCD since it can greatly affect your ability to work and have relationships.

Recommended Related to Anxiety Panic

Understanding Panic Attack -- Symptoms

If you have the sudden onset of four or more of the following symptoms, you may be having a panic attack: Sudden high anxiety with or without a cause Heart palpitations Sweating Shaking A "smothering" sensation or shortness of breath A feeling of choking Chest pain or discomfort Nausea Dizziness or faintness A sense of unreality A fear of going crazy or losing control A fear of dying Numbness or tingling Chills or hot flashes An isolated panic...

Read the Understanding Panic Attack -- Symptoms article > >

Many people are too embarrassed by their symptoms to seek treatment, and they go for years before seeing a doctor. Symptoms of OCD can be reduced with treatment.

OCD can have a negative effect on those who care about you. Family members can become angry and frustrated at the strain the rituals or behaviors put on them. Talk to your doctor about ways your family members can help with OCD.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Understanding Anxiety Prevention
Article
Unhappy couple
Article
 
Couple walking outdoors
SLIDESHOW
Man texting
Article
 
Phobias frightened eyes
Slideshow
Antidepressants
Video
 
organize
Article
Stressed businessman
HEALTH CHECK
 
Distressed teen girl in dramatic lighting
Article
Quit Smoking
Slideshow
 
Teen with OCD
Article
Too Scared Social Anxiety Disorder
VIDEO