About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions).1 OCD affects 2% of the population and it is estimated that for patients with chronic, severe treatment-resistant OCD, more than 1,000 patients per year could benefit from Reclaim DBS in Western Europe

Definition and Symptoms

OCD is a psychiatric disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions, such as cleaning, checking, counting, or hoarding. These actions are irrational, distressing, and extremely difficult to overcome. OCD is a potentially disabling condition that can persist throughout a person’s life.

For most people, OCD is a chronic illness requiring lifetime management. For some, OCD symptoms produce extremely severe anxiety and distress. Severe OCD symptoms can be time-consuming and impact all areas of a person’s everyday life, including relationships and the ability to work or study.


Only a trained healthcare provider can diagnose a person with OCD. The severity of the disease is typically measured on a numerical scale gauging the impact thoughts and actions have on daily life.


  1. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD. Available at: www.nimh.nih.gov Accessed March 9, 2009
  2. About OCD. Available at: http://www.ocfoundation.org/ Accessed March 9, 2009

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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