MAR 13, 2016 5:06 PM PDT

What are OCD and Anxiety Disorders?

WRITTEN BY: Julianne Chiaet

Being particularly neat and meticulous does not mean you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Those who suffer from OCD have intrusive obsessive thoughts that drive compulsive, often ritualistic, behaviors to relieve unbearable anxiety.

These obsessions (like being afraid your house will burn down) can take normal behaviors (like washing your hands) and turn them into compulsions (needing to wash your hands 30 times an hour).

OCD was previously categorized as an anxiety disorder but is now considered complex enough to be in a class by itself.

OCD is considered common, with over 200,000 cases per year in the U.S. It's a chronic disease that can last for years or even a lifetime. While it can't be cured, it can be treated.

Treatment options include therapy and medication. The specific therapies include, but are not limited to, cognitive-behavioral therapy and rational emotive behavior therapy. Medications include Effexor, Prozac, and Zoloft.

As the video stresses, OCD is not a description for someone who is meticulous and frequently cleans. OCD is a debilitating disorder, so the next time you're thinking about using it to describe a "neat-freak," think twice.
About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to
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