The Pathophysiology and evidence-based practice of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.


ve disorder is an anxiety disorder, a compulsive ritualistic behavior driven by irrational anxiety such as fear of contamination, thereby repeated washing of hands and cleaning or articles is performed by the patient. The treatment of such disorders generally involves an amalgamation of psychological approaches as well as drug treatment (Katzang, 2009. Kaushik, 2011).

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OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is characterized by repetitive anxiety- provoking thoughts (obsession) or repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety (compulsions). If such thoughts or actions are prevented or interrupted, the patient becomes anxious. It is chronic, prevalent as well as disabling condition that persists throughout life, hampers normal life of an individual and those who are associated with the OCD patient (Katzang, 2009. Kaushik, 2011).

The disease is a chronic condition and no absolute reason could be formulated till date. Noteworthy contribution of studies involving OCD highlight the perception of the phenomenology and pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) prevalent both in children as well as adults, affecting 1-3% of the population (Torres et al, 2006).

Epidemiological understanding about OCD suggests that OCD has emerged as the fourth most common mental disorder across the world irrespective of cultural differences. Considering the condition to be of paramount significance, World Health Organization (WHO, 2001) has graded OCD as one of the most debilitating disorders. An estimation carried out in 2000, enumerated OCD amongst the top 20 causes of illness related disability of individuals belonging to the age between 15 years and 44 years. In most of the cases, symptoms onset around the age of 10 years, prepuberty onset is observed in boys while in girls onset of symptoms usually occur during adolescence phase (Tukel et al, 2006).

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