Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health problem characterized by recurrent intrusive, anxiety-provoking and disturbing thoughts (obsessions) that are often accompanied by performing repetitive behavior or mental rituals (compulsions) to relieve anxiety. Oftentimes, these compulsions are excessive and unreasonable; leading to a marked impairment of the patient’s daily functioning. It is the fourth most prevalent mental disorder in the United States, equally affecting both men and women. Most cases are diagnosed when the patient is going into puberty or in the fourth decade of life.
A class of antidepressants called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) has been used to manage the symptoms of OCDs. A trial of high-dose SRIs for 10-12 weeks is standard treatment regimen but usually, only alleviation of symptoms is achieved, not remission. OCD patients also receive some form of psychotherapy like behavioral therapy, where the patient is exposed to the anxiety-provoking stimulus until the anxiety decreases.