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Do you feel trapped in a pattern of unwanted and upsetting thoughts?

Do you feel trapped in a pattern of unwanted and upsetting thoughts? Do you feel you have to do the same things over and over again for no good reason? Please put a check in the box next to any problems you have.

[] I have upsetting thoughts or images enter my mind again and again.

[] I feel like I can't stop these thoughts or images, even though I want to.

[] I have a hard time stopping myself from doing things again and again, like: counting, checking on things, washing my hands, re-arranging objects, doing things until it feels right, collecting useless objects

[] I worry a lot about terrible things that could happen if I'm I'm  

Contraction of I am.

Our Living Language Speakers of some scattered varieties of American English sometimes use I'm instead of I've or I have in present perfect constructions, as in
 not careful.

[] I have unwanted urges to hurt someone but know I never would.

If you put a check in the box next to some of these problems, you may have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder obsessive-compulsive disorder

Mental disorder in which an individual experiences obsessions or compulsions, either singly or together. An obsession is a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an unreasonable idea or feeling (such as of being contaminated through shaking
 (OCD OCD obsessive-compulsive disorder.

obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 

OCD is a real illness that needs to be treated.

It's it's  

1. Contraction of it is.

2. Contraction of it has. See Usage Note at its.

it's it is or it has
it's be ~have
 not your fault if you have this illness, and you don't don't  

1. Contraction of do not.

2. Nonstandard Contraction of does not.

A statement of what should not be done: a list of the dos and don'ts.
 have to suffer.

Read this booklet and learn how to get help. You can feel better and get your life back!

1. What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a real illness. It can be treated with medicine and therapy.

If you have OCD, you have repeated, upsetting thoughts. You do the same thing over and over again to make the thoughts go away. You feel like you cannot control these thoughts or actions.

The upsetting thoughts and images are called "obsessions." Examples include a fear of germs, a fear of being hurt, a fear of hurting others, and disturbing religious or sexual thoughts.

The actions you take over and over again to make the thoughts go away are called "compulsions." Examples of these repeated actions include counting, cleaning, and checking on things.

Many people with OCD know that their actions are not normal, and they may try to hide their problem from family and friends. Some people with OCD may have trouble keeping their job and friends because of their actions.

2. When does OCD start and how long does it last?

For many people, OCD starts when a person is a child or teenager Teenager
See also Adolescence.

Ah, Wilderness!

high-school senior has problems with girls and his father. [Am. Drama: O’Neill Ah, Wilderness! in Sobel, 15]

Aldrich, Henry

teenaged film character of the 1940s. [Am.
. If they do not get help, OCD can last for a lifetime.

OCD may run in families.

3. Am I the only person with this illness?

No. You are not alone. In any year, 3.3 million Americans have OCD.

4. What can I do to help myself?

[] Talk to your doctor about about your unwanted thoughts, fears, and repeated actions. Tell your doctor if these thoughts and repeated actions keep you from doing everyday things and living your life. You may want to show your doctor this booklet. It can help you explain how you feel. Ask your doctor for a checkup check·up
1. An examination or inspection.

2. A general physical examination.

checkup See Yearly checkup.
 to make sure you don't have some other illness.

[] Ask your doctor if he or she has helped people with OCD. Special training helps doctors treat people with OCD. If your doctor doesn't does·n't  

Contraction of does not.
 have special training, ask for the name of a doctor or counselor who does.

[] Get more information. Call 1-88-88-ANXIETY to have free information mailed to you.

5. What can a doctor or counselor do to help me?

[] The doctor may give you medicine to help you get rid of your unwanted thoughts and repeated actions. Medicine can also help you feel less anxious and afraid. But it may take a few weeks for the medicine to work.

[] Talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
lecture, speech

rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to
 a specially trained doctor or counselor helps many people with OCD. This is called "therapy." Therapy helps you learn to stop doing the repeated actions. Therapy also teaches to you ways to lower and cope with your anxiety.

OCD can appear in many different ways. Here is one person's story:

"I couldn't could·n't  

Contraction of could not.

couldn't could not
 touch any doors or countertops in public areas. I knew it didn't make any sense, but I was terrified ter·ri·fy  
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.

2. To menace or threaten; intimidate.
 of getting germs that could kill me. I almost couldn't go out in public, I was so afraid. If I thought I had touched anything, I would have to wash myself for hours. Sometimes I washed so much that my skin would get red and raw and bleed Printing at the very edge of the paper. Many laser printers, including all LaserJets up to the 11x17" 4V, cannot print to the very edge, leaving a border of approximately 1/4". In commercial printing, bleeding is generally more expensive, because wider paper is often used, which is later .

"At first I was too embarrassed to get help, but a friend told me to call the doctor. I'm so glad I did. I took medicine my doctor gave me. I also worked very hard in therapy with a counselor. I learned to cope with my fear of germs and to stop washing so much.'

Remember -- you can get help now;

[] Talk to your doctor about your unwanted thoughts and repeated actions.

[] Call 1-88-88-ANXIETY (1-888-826-9438). It is a free call. You will get free information about OCD mailed to you.

The National Institute of Mental Health The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is part of the federal government of the United States and the largest research organization in the world specializing in mental illness.  (NIMH) is part of the Federal government. NIMH conducts medical research to find new and better ways to prevent and treat mental illnesses. NIMH also provides free information about mental illnesses.

To get free information about other mental illnesses, write to NIMH at:
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663

You can also find free NIMH information online at:
COPYRIGHT 2000 National Institute of Mental Health
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Pamphlet by: National Institute of Mental Health
Article Type:Pamphlet
Date:Mar 22, 2000
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