Obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD causes people to suffer in silence and .
secrecy and can destroy relationships and the ability to work. It may bring on shame, ridicule, .
anger, and intolerance from friends and family. Although it has been reported in children, it strikes .
most often during adolescence or young adult years. The illness can affect people in any income .
bracket, of any race, gender, or ethnic group and in any occupation. If people recognize the .
symptoms and seek treatment, OCD can be controlled. .
OCD plagues people with intrusive, unwanted thoughts or obsessions, which are rarely pleasant. .
People who have these obsessions recognize that they are senseless. Still, they are unable to .
stop them. They may worry about becoming contaminated by dirt or germs and believe they will .
be tainted by touching doorknobs or common objects. Others may fear becoming violent or .
aggressive, or they may have an unreasonable fear they will unintentionally harm people. Some .
may struggle with blasphemous or distasteful sexual thoughts, while others become overly .
concerned about order, arrangement or symmetry. .
In an attempt to ease the anxiety related to their obsessions, people often develop ritualistic .
behaviors, called compulsions. Often, these reflect the patient's obsessions. For example, an .
obsessive fear about contamination often leads to compulsive hand washing, even to the point .
where the person's hands bleed. Others repeatedly touch a specific object or say a name or .
phrase in response to an obsession. An extreme and intrusive fear of making mistakes on the job .
may result in a person completing tasks extremely slowly, even to the point that the job is never .
finished. Obsessions may also result in compulsive collecting of useless items such as .
magazines and newspapers until they clog entire rooms of homes and endanger occupants' .
The most common of many compulsions are washing and checking.