What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder, specifically, an anxiety disorder. OCD is manifested in a variety of forms, but is most commonly characterized by a subject’s obsessive drive to perform a particular task or set of tasks, compulsions commonly termed rituals.

The phrase “obsessive-compulsive” has worked its way into the wider English lexicon, and is often used in an offhand manner to describe someone who is meticulous or absorbed in a cause.

People who suffer from the separate and unrelated condition obsessive compulsive personality disorder are not aware of anything abnormal with them; they will readily explain why their actions are rational, and it is usually impossible to convince them otherwise.

Although obsessive-compulsive disorder commonly occurs in many patients with Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome, little is known about the obsessions and compulsions of Tourette’s syndrome and whether they differ from those seen in pure obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It is for this reason there is some overlap between this category and our Famous People with Tourettes Syndrome list.

The tic disorder Tourette’s Syndrome (T S) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are genetic and/or autoimmune neurological syndromes1,2,3 which are comorbid (In medicine, comorbidity describes the effect of all other diseases an individual patient might have other than the primary disease of interest) in 40-75% of patients initially diagnosed with either disorder, with comorbidity (In medicine, comorbidity describes the effect of all other diseases an individual patient might have other than the primary disease of interest) likeliest to occur in their childhood-onset forms.

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