Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) produces intrusive thoughts or images that cause anxiety. The person then engages in behaviors or thoughts to reduce the anxiety, called compulsions. Most teens and adults recognize that their obsessions do not make sense, but feel compelled to do their compulsions anyway in order to feel less anxious or uncomfortable. Children as young as 2 years old can exhibit the symptoms of OCD. Some of the more common forms of OCD are:

  • fears of contamination with compulsive washing or cleaning
  • distress about disorder or lack of symmetry with arranging and ordering compulsions
  • fear of harming others or oneself with compulsive checking and reassurance seeking
  • perfectionism and “just so” rituals
  • intrusive sexual, homosexual, blasphemous or horrific thoughts with avoidance and reassurance seeking prayers, confession compulsions, or ritualistic religious behaviors
  • magic numbers, colors or sequences of movement with superstitious avoidance



Effective treatment of OCD involves exposure with response prevention therapy, cognitive therapy and possible pharmacotherapy, especially when the symptoms are more severe. The Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago specializes in offering intensive rapid treatment of OCD by meeting daily in the places where OCD disrupts your life. Staff will train you to gradually face the situations and thoughts that provoke your OCD while learning how not to respond with rituals, compulsions, reassurance seeking or avoidance. We will accompany you into the situations that OCD makes difficult and help you learn how to get used to it without giving in to the OCD. If your OCD hinders much of your daily life, then we will help you to undergo an intensive treatment program that involves 2-7sessions per week that may last several hours at a time. Research shows that this will give you the best chance to overcome OCD.

For More Information:

Globe1 International OCD Foundation
Globe1 Anxiety and Depression Association of America – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Globe1 Beyond OCD