Psychiatry Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Stephen Soreff, MD


December 01, 2016

The American Psychiatric Association defines OCD as the presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), obsessions are defined as recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced as intrusive and unwanted and that cause marked anxiety and distress. The person attempts to suppress or ignore them or to neutralize them with some other thought or action.

Compulsions are defined as repetitive behaviors that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly. The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or at preventing some dreaded event or situation. However, these behaviors or mental acts are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent, or are clearly excessive.

Twin studies support strong heritability for OCD, with a genetic influence of 45%-65% in studies in children and 27%-47% in adults. Some studies show group A streptococcal infections and neurologic insult as etiologic agents. Stress is not a precipitating factor.

For more information on the background of OCD, read here.


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