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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which time people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). The repetitive behaviors, such as hand washing, checking on things or cleaning, can significantly interfere with a person’s daily activities and social interactions.

Many people have focused thoughts or repeated behaviors. But these do not disrupt daily life and may add structure or make tasks easier. For people with OCD, thoughts are persistent and unwanted routines and behaviors are rigid and not doing them causes great distress. Many people with OCD know or suspect their obsessions are not true; others may think they could be true (known as poor insight). Even if they know their obsessions are not true, people with OCD have a hard time keeping their focus off the obsessions or stopping the compulsive actions.

A diagnosis of OCD requires the presence of obsession and/or compulsions that are time-consuming (more than one hour a day), cause major distress, and impair work, social or other important function. About 1.2 percent of Americans have OCD and among adults slightly more women than man are affected. OCD often begins in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood; the average age symptoms appear is 19 years old.

                                                                  --American Psychiatric As

  • Stanford School of Medicine: Stanford University’s School of Medicine has an entire section of its website devoted to educational resources about obsessive compulsion and related conditions. The school’s stated goal with this section of its site is to “improve the diagnosis and treatment of obsessive-compulsive and related clinical problems in adults.” In addition to reading through credible information, visitors to the website can donate to research studies and learn more about efforts to understand OCD and treat it more effectively.

  • Intrusive Thoughts: Inspired by people who shared their experiences with OCD through online platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, the team at Intrusive Thoughts created the website to celebrate bravery, humanize the symptoms of OCD, and help people find effective treatment options.

  • Peace of Mind Foundation: This nonprofit organization was created to improve the quality of life both for people who experience OCD and their caregivers. The team behind Peace of Mind works toward this mission through education, research, support, and advocacy. In addition to offering training for professionals and caregivers, the Peace of Mind Foundation also provides treatment subsidies for those living with OCD

  • The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors: To help affected individuals overcome and heal from conditions such as trichotillomania, skin picking, and other body-focused repetitive behaviors, the TLC Foundation works to end isolation by providing a supportive community, offering information on treatment resources, conducting outreach and training, and funding research projects.

  • International OCD Foundation: In addition to helping people learn about their experiences with OCD, where to look for effective treatment options, and what they can do to help people with OCD live rich, full lives, the International OCD Foundation is dedicated to increasing access to treatment and eliminating OCD stigma.

  • OCDtalk: Created by a mother who experienced severe obsessive compulsion, OCDtalk is primarily a blog that discusses OCD treatments, such as exposure and response prevention, and advocates for better OCD awareness. It has an archive of the site’s top posts and all posts going back to 2010.

  • Help for Hoarders: Hoarding, a highly stigmatized obsessive compulsive-related condition, is estimated to affect 2%-6% of the U.S. and European populations. This site, based in the United Kingdom, was created by Jasmine Harman as a way to build a supportive online community of people who provide one another hope and understanding. In addition to connecting with others, the site provides many self-help resources and a place to share experiences with hoarding behavior.

  • OCD Action: Another U.K.-based website, OCD Action advocates for better OCD diagnosis and treatment, offers support and resources for those experiencing OCD and related conditions, and provides an online community where people can ask for help without shame. Support is readily available on the site’s homepage, and site visitors can get involved on its forums, share personal stories, and celebrate achievements while being treated for OCD.

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