Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Epidemiology and Course

The lifetime prevalence of Obsessive-compulsive Disorders (OCD) is about 2-3%, the point prevalence is approximately 1%. Most patients (80%) suffer from a combination of obsessions and compulsions. Only a small proportion are only affected by obsessive thoughts.

The Obsessive-compulsive Disorders often develop in adolescence or early adulthood. Men and women are affected about equally. Most sufferers experience fluctuations in the severity of their OCD-symptoms, that are often associated with the degree of stress in their daily life.

Obsessive-compulsive disorders have a high rate of comorbidity with depressive disorders. It is quite common, that those affected initially had a “pure” OCD and later on developed depressive symptoms due to the burdens associated with OCD. Anxiety disorders and so-called cluster C personality disorders are also common in OCD.

Without adequate treatment the course of OCD is unfortunate, because of a very high tendency for chronification.

Dr. Sandra Elze & Dr. Michael Elze