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pertaining to obsessions and compulsions, to obsessive-compulsive disorder, or to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
o.-c. disorder OCD; an anxiety disorder consisting of two symptoms, obsession and compulsion; although they are different, they are closely related and often occur in the same person. An obsession is a recurrent and persistent thought or desire. It is not voluntary and is distressing to the patient, but although the patient tries to suppress or ignore it, it is very difficult to eliminate from the mind. A compulsion is an uncontrollable urge to perform some repetitive and stereotyped action. This action is not an end in itself but serves as a substitute for unacceptable unconscious ideas and impulses. Although the patient does not know the reason for this action, failure to perform it leads to increasing anxiety, which can be relieved by giving in to the compulsion. Eventually, after repeatedly failing to resist the compulsion, the patient may lose the desire to resist it.

The mild forms of these three symptoms are familiar to most people. For example, most children play the game of avoiding the cracks in the sidewalk. As adults, they find themselves doing this occasionally, perhaps when thinking over a problem. Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder, however, might feel real anxiety if they step on a crack in the sidewalk.

In obsessive-compulsive disorder, the patient deflects, or displaces the unresolved conflict onto an external object or action as a substitute. By doing this, the person tries to control the conflict magically and eliminate anxiety. The obsession or ritual represents a smokescreen which the mind throws up to keep the inner conflict from becoming conscious. This is not the same as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, which is a personality disorder.
o.-c. personality disorder a personality disorder characterized by an emotionally constricted manner that is unduly conventional, serious, rigid, stubborn, and stingy, by preoccupation with trivial details, rules, order, organization, schedules, and lists to the point that the major point of an activity is lost or task completion is delayed, by reluctance to delegate tasks or work cooperatively unless everything is done one's own way, and by excessive devotion to work and productivity to the detriment of interpersonal relationships. This is not the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is an anxiety disorder.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


obsessive-compulsive disorder
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder, see there.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Abbreviation for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Disorder characterized by persistent, intrusive, and senseless thoughts (obsessions) or compulsions to perform repetitive behaviors that interfere with normal functioning.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Abbreviation for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about OCD

Q. What Is OCD? I have heard the term OCD on T.V and wanted to find out- what exactly is this syndrome?

A. OCD is a psychiatric disorder in which a person experiences obesessive thoughts and compulsions to do a ritual in order to "calm" these thoughts down. Obsessions can be recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced at some time during the disturbance. They are inappropriate and cause marked anxiety. Compulsions are defined by repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly. This disorder should be diagnosed only by a doctor.

Q. Is electric shock efficient for ocd? Is it dangerous? My husband has OCD for 15 years now. He was also diagnosed with mania-depressia. He takes so many medications and nothing really helps. We were offered to try electric shock and I'm scared. Is it dangerous? What are the chances of this method to work for him?

A. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is indeed considered effective for OCD, although it's not the first line of treatment. It does have its risks, including memory loss, disorientation and sort of confusion. There is also a change in the activity of the heart but it's rarely significant.

Generally it can be said that it's not an absolutely safe treatment, but it may help, especially if other drugs don't help.

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