Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that, as the name implies, includes the presence of both obsessions and compulsions. People with OCD experience unwanted and repeated thoughts that they cannot control and that persist despite efforts to ignore them.
These obsessive thoughts make those suffering from OCD feel driven to perform compulsive tasks or rituals in an attempt to prevent the thoughts or make them go away. When left untreated, OCD is often a disabling illness that deeply affects a person’s ability to live a normal life. No one knows what causes OCD, but it sometimes runs in families and often starts in childhood. Seeing a mental health professional is an important part of treatment for individuals who have OCD.