Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or obsessions that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions).

Symptoms of OCD

  • Distressing obsessive thoughts that are intrusive
  • Repetitive behaviors (compulsions) as a result of the obsessive thoughts
  • Inability to make a decision
  • Loss of focus or concentration
  • Interference of daily activities and social interactions

Often, a person with OCD can recognize that these obsessive thoughts followed by compulsive behaviors are not necessary, yet still feels out of their control. OCD can cause both frustration and exhaustion due to the constant back and forth of obsessive thoughts. The internal dialogue typically consists of loud, racing thoughts which can lead to mental fatigue. The obsessive thoughts often times lead to an unnatural desire (compulsion) to take action. This need to act out a certain behavior in a way that is not appropriate can trigger other related mental health illnesses such as anxiety or depression.

What living with OCD looks like:

  • Doing the same activity multiple times to be sure it is not only done, but done right, and becoming frustrated when someone disrupts these compulsions
  • Reviewing and replaying mental scenarios with extreme unlikely outcomes often
  • Uncontrollable constant obsessing, overthinking, and over analyzing leading to compulsive behavior
  • Needing reassurance to feel safe, secure and stable
  • Being forgetful due to constant racing thoughts

What is an obsession?

An obsession consists of recurring and persistent thoughts, impulses or images in a person’s mind. Obsessions typically cause distressing emotions that lead to a conclusion on a certain action they must take (compulsion).

What is a compulsion?

A compulsion consists of repetitive behaviors or mental thought processes that come as a response to a person’s obsessive thoughts about a specific person, situation, or activity.


A true diagnosis for OCD would require the obsession and/or compulsions to be time consuming, cause significant distress, impact relationships, and affect work or social functioning. OCD can be triggered by, or a trigger for, other mental health disorders such as Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders, Bipolar or other Mood Disorders.


OCD is treatable. With the proper diagnosis and commitment to a comprehensive supervised treatment plan, a person can manage their symptoms and live a happy and productive life.


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Our team's expertise and caring nature is the recipe for success in each patient's path to mental wellness and recovery. You can rest assured our Raleigh Psychiatrist and mental health providers at Medpsych Integrated will help you improve the quality of your life.

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