Note for Health Care Providers: There are comprehensive and validated screening instruments for quantifying and tracking signs and symptoms of OCD.One example is the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), which you can find on the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)* website OCD is a common disorder that affects adults, adolescents, and children all over the world.People with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both.
In some cases, children may develop OCD or OCD symptoms following a streptococcal infection—this is called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS).
For more information, please read this fact sheet on PANDAS.
Most people are diagnosed by about age 19, typically with an earlier age of onset in boys than in girls, but onset after age 35 does happen.
For statistics on OCD in adults, please see the NIMH Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Among Adults webpage.
If symptoms do not improve with these types of medications, research shows that some patients may respond well to an antipsychotic medication (such as risperidone ).
Although research shows that an antipsychotic medication may be helpful in managing symptoms for people who have both OCD and a tic disorder, research on the effectiveness of antipsychotics to treat OCD is mixed.Research shows that certain types of psychotherapy, including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and other related therapies (e.g., habit reversal training) can be as effective as medication for many individuals.Research also shows that a type of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP) is effective in reducing compulsive behaviors in OCD, even in people who did not respond well to SRI medication.The causes of OCD are unknown, but risk factors include: Twin and family studies have shown that people with first-degree relatives (such as a parent, sibling, or child) who have OCD are at a higher risk for developing OCD themselves.The risk is higher if the first-degree relative developed OCD as a child or teen.Ongoing research continues to explore the connection between genetics and OCD and may help improve OCD diagnosis and treatment.