Global Anxiety Disorders and Depression Treatment Market Research & Technological Innovation by Leading Key Players Up To 2028

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Leading Players Of Anxiety Disorders and Depression Treatment Market Are:

AstraZeneca PLC, Eli Lilly and Company, Forest Laboratories, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Lundbeck A/S, Johnson Johnson,, Merck Company, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Sanofi- Aventis

Global Anxiety Disorders and Depression Treatment Market Segmentation:

Global anxiety disorders and depression treatment market segmentation by drugs:
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors
Tricyclic antidepressants
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
Tetracyclic antidepressants
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
Atypical antipsychotics
Beta blockers

Global anxiety disorders and depression treatment market segmentation by indication:
Major depressive disorder
Obsessive- compulsive disorder
Traumatic stress disease

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The scope of this report centers on market drivers challenges, key market analyses, and competitive analysis trends. This report examines each market and its applications, technological innovations, Anxiety Disorders and Depression Treatment market projections, market sizes, regulatory scenario, and shares. Moreover, the Anxiety Disorders and Depression Treatment market report examines the most recent trends, pipeline products and developments in the Anxiety Disorders and Depression Treatment market. Complete profiles of leading companies in the market are also mentioned in this report.

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New medication being tested in Atlanta could help people with OCD

  • By:
    Linda Stouffer

    Updated: Feb 14, 2019 – 6:56 PM

ATLANTA – Crucial research underway in metro Atlanta could lead to relief for millions of people with a debilitating mental illness.

An estimated 2 percent of the population, or one in 50, has obsessive compulsive disorder.

UGA grad student Rachel Johnson realized something was wrong when she was 18.

“It was absolutely miserable, and I thought I was just losing my mind,” said Johnson.

OCD involves obsessive thoughts, then compulsive behavior to reduce the anxiety caused by those thoughts.

It can manifest itself in different ways. For some people, it’s excessive hand-washing, even to the point of their hands bleeding. Others repetitively flip light switches or check locks.

Johnson’s obsessive thoughts involved feeling the need to pray a certain number of times and in a certain way or her family and friends would die.

“Sometimes I would just spend hours and hours just praying. But it had to be, like, a certain way or I’d have to start all the way over,” said Johnson.

After a year of agony, Johnson searched her symptoms online, saw a therapist and was diagnosed with OCD.

She’s now managing her OCD through a combination of medications and therapy.

Now, there could be new help for Johnson and others with OCD.

iResearch Atlanta in Decatur is part of a clinical trial testing a new medication by Biohaven Pharmaceuticals.


Unlike current drugs on the market that are used broadly for depression, anxiety and OCD, the new medication being tested specifically targets OCD.

“It actually helps reduce the amount of glutamate that’s in the brain that may be causing a lot of the anxiety and the rituals and compulsions and obsessions that one is experiencing,” said iResearch Atlanta’s Dr. David Purselle.

Purselle told Channel 2 Action News 20 to 30 percent of the OCD patients who use the current medications on the market get very little benefit from them.

The hope is the new medication will reduce obsessive thoughts, compulsions and anxiety.

That could be life-changing for people with OCD in terms of overall happiness and productivity.

“It makes it very difficult to hold down jobs, to form good relationships, to have a good, active social life,” Purselle said.

The clinical trial will last two to three years.

For information on how to participate, click here:

Alyson Stoner Talked About What Led To Her Eating Disorder Recovery

On Feb. 13, actor and singer Alyson Stoner opened up about seeking treatment for an eating disorder and how being a child star impacted her health in an interview with PEOPLE. Stoner is known as the pig-tailed dancing kid in Missy Elliot’s “Work It” music video and acting roles like Cheaper by the Dozen, Step Up, and the Disney original movie Camp Rock, PEOPLE reports. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Stoner said working non-stop and becoming famous at such an early age affected her emotional and physical wellbeing, and she started developing health problems as early as six years old, including severe anxiety that caused heart palpitations, hair loss, and seizures. “As a kid, I learned to make fire out of fumes,” Stoner told PEOPLE. “It’s all I knew.”

Stoner told PEOPLE that she also experienced trust issues, difficulty socializing with others her age, and a “terrifying fear of failure.” Stoner says the mounting pressure led her to experience anorexia nervosa, exercise bulimia, and binge-eating disorder, according to PEOPLE. While in treatment for eating disorders, says PEOPLE, Stoner was also diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) tendencies, and alexithymia, a condition in which people have difficulty identifying and describing their feelings, according to a 2017 study published in Frontiers in Psychology.

You might think Stoner’s situation is not the norm because she’s a celebrity who faced an extreme amount of pressure and stress. But experiencing an eating disorder along with other mental illnesses is actually pretty common. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), mood and anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with eating disorders, but co-occurrence of mental illness with eating disorders is rarely talked about. Some of the mental health diagnoses that commonly can co-occur with an eating disorder include anxiety, depression, OCD, and PTSD, says NEDA, and those diagnoses can happen at any time — before symptoms of the eating disorder begins, after, or even during. It’s worth noting that eating disorder is itself considered a kind of mental illness, according to NEDA.

In a national survey of women with eating disorders, NEDA found that 94 percent of women had a co-occurring mood disorder and 92 percent had a co-occurring depressive disorder. The survey also found that there is a “markedly elevated risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder among those with eating disorders,” according to NEDA, with 69 percent of respondents with anorexia nervosa also experiencing OCD and 33 percent of respondents with bulimia also experiencing OCD.

Eating disorders are often so closely tied with OCD because both can cause intrusive and compulsive actions intended to relieve the anxiety of the person experiencing them, according to Walden Behavioral Care. But it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose whether the disorders overlap or are mutually exclusive from each other, says Walden Behavioral Care, which affects the treatment path. Either way, it’s important to talk about how eating disorders and mental health aren’t always mutually exclusive.

Leon Bennett/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Stoner communicated the pain her career was causing through her relationship with food and its connection to her mental health. “Some people are complimentary of me when it comes to maybe not acting out in ways that they see other child stars behaving,” Stoner told PEOPLE. “I was acting out, but I chose vices that were societally acceptable and praiseworthy.”

Conversations like these are so vital to creating greater awareness of how eating disorders and other mental illness are often so closely connected. After all, education and awareness are the foundation for better treatment options for those who might share similar experiences as Stoner.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder and needs help, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline at 1-800-931-2237, text 741741, or chat online with a Helpline volunteer here.

OCD CURES: New medication being tested in Atlanta could help people with OCD

Linda Stouffer

Updated: Feb 13, 2019 – 5:26 PM

ATLANTA – Crucial research underway in Metro Atlanta could lead to relief for millions of people with a debilitating mental illness.

An estimated 2 percent of the population, or one in 50, has obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.
OCD involves obsessive thoughts, then compulsive behavior to reduce anxiety.

It can manifest itself in different ways. For some people, it’s excessive hand washing, even to the point of their hands bleeding. Others repetitively flip light switches or check locks.


A doctor involved in the research told Channel 2 Action News that 20 to 30 percent of the OCD patients who use the current medications on the market get very little benefit from them, which is why they are now working to create a medication that specifically targets OCD.

The new clinical trial, how it works and how you could be a part of it, Thursday on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.

New Jersey Ketamine Center Provides Relief for Anxiety Disorder Patients – Press Release

This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire

Jersey City, NJ — (SBWIRE) — 02/11/2019 — Anxiety is now statistically the most prevalent mental illness found throughout adults in the United States, ranging from general anxiety disorders (GAD) to panic disorders, phobias, and even obsessive-compulsive disorders. Traditionally, those in the medical field have used anti-anxiety prescription medication as the primary means of managing anxiety and depressive disorders; that is until recent years, where studies have shown breakthroughs in the field of ketamine infusion therapy.

As the leading provider of ketamine infusion therapy in NJ, the team of highly-trained professionals at the New Jersey Ketamine Center devotes their careers toward providing their patients who struggle with anxiety disorders with an alternative means of treatment that has been proven in recent years to have immediate, positive impacts on their conditions. Their trained Anesthesiologists continuously aim to better understand the causes and alternative treatment methods of disorders involving anxiety and depression.

As opposed to the traditional pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications which take weeks of dosage adjustments and monitoring before having a noticeably positive impact on those suffering from anxiety disorders, ketamine infusion therapy sessions are complete in less than an hour and have little-to-no side effects for patients while proving to be an effective means of relief.

Patients suffering from anxiety or depressive disorders who are looking for an immediate form of treatment should call the NJ ketamine treatment professionals at the New Jersey Ketamine Center today at 866-789-7627 for a free phone consultation or visit them at for more information about the many benefits of ketamine infusion therapy.

About New Jersey Ketamine Center
Built on the mission of helping to improve the lives of individuals with bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, suicidal thoughts, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and other mental disorders, New Jersey Ketamine Center is proud to offer a new, different form of treatment for residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

To learn more, visit

For more information on this press release visit:

Two Possible Reasons People with OCD Perform Compulsions

This is my second post in the series on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—a mental disorder associated with obsessions (recurrent intrusive urges) and compulsions (mental rituals or repetitive behaviors).¹ In my previous post, I described the nature of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the relationship between obsessions and compulsions, and the consequences of performing compulsions. I also explained the first of three aspects of OCD I was planning to discuss: The need for control.

In today’s article, I explore two other aspects of OCD:

  1. Compulsions appear to work.
  2. The person with OCD is motivated to believe compulsions work.

Compulsions seem to work

According to research, those with OCD—compared to other individuals—feel less in control and/or desire more control

One way people with OCD try to gain control is by performing compulsions.

For example, if an individual has obsessive thoughts about someone breaking into his home when he is asleep, he may conclude he has very little control over his safety. To feel more in control, he might try to check the locks fifty times before going to bed.

Why do compulsions appear to be effective in helping people with OCD feel more in control? To answer this question, I direct your attention to an exchange from the popular TV show, The Simpsons. Humor aside, the scene illustrates a common mistake. Like Homer, we sometimes mistake correlation (an association between two events) for causation.

We join Homer and Lisa in the middle of a conversation about safety.

Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.

Homer: Oh, how does it work?

Lisa: It doesn’t work.

Homer: Uh-huh.

Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock.

Homer: Uh-huh.

Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?

Homer (looking around, then): Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

The idea that a rock keep tigers away is a correlation: A (Lisa holding a rock) and B (there being no tigers around) are correlated. But just because A and B are true at the same time does not mean that one causes the other.

To see the relevance of correlation/causation distinction to OCD, consider someone who cleans compulsively because she fears getting ill. Her compulsions appear to work because for months she has not caught a serious illness. So A (excessive cleaning) and B (no serious illness) are correlated. Yet she is assuming one causes the other, an assumption that may be challenged if she gets ill.

People with OCD are motivated to believe compulsions work

Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder believe compulsions work perhaps not only because compulsions seem to work but also because people with OCD need compulsions to work. If compulsions do not work, one is back to feeling powerless, out of control, and constantly living in fear of something terrible happening. So compulsions have to work.

Let us return to our example of the woman who spends many hours doing her cleaning ritual. What happens if she gets ill? Will she give up her compulsion?

Not likely. She may come up with arguments in favor of keeping the compulsion. To illustrate, here are three such arguments:

  1. “Had I not done my cleaning ritual, I would have become more seriously ill or would have caught the illness a long time ago.”
  2. “I got ill because I did not do my ritual properly. I must have missed a spot.”
  3. “This illness is a wake-up call. I can see that my routine is not as good as it needs to be. I should spend more time cleaning.”

It is difficult to challenge these beliefs. Had this person’s beliefs been completely nonsensical, it would have been much easier to dispute them. But that is not the case; often what the person with OCD believes is possible; it is just not probable.

Concluding thoughts on compulsions

Compulsions are usually understandable but exaggerated reactions to fear; they are also related to the need for control. Compulsions waste a lot of energy and resources, and can never fully protect the person from feared events.

In my next couple of articles, I discuss an effective treatment for OCD. This treatment requires the person to stop doing her compulsion—yes, the very thing that appears to be helping manage her fears and obsessions. This may not be easy. She will have to face her fears and convince herself that the safety provided by compulsions is an illusion. I will say more about this in my next post.


1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

2. Moulding, R., Kyrios, M. (2007). Desire for control, sense of control and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 31, 759–772.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder | Being Beautifully Bipolar

One of the most annoying things I hear is when people say things like, “My kitchen has to be clean. I mean, I am so OCD.” A clean kitchen does not make one have obsessive compulsive disorder. Sure, some people with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) do have to have things spotless, but that is not a requirement. Take me for example, I am messy. My kitchen floor needs a good washing and my dining room table could use a thorough dose of organization. Yet, I have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder for more than a decade.

Obsessive compulsive disorder falls under the anxiety disorder tree. The National Institute for Mental Health states: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts ( obsessions) and behaviors ( compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.

For example, I once was obsessed with doing things in the “right” order. If not, I would run someone over. Putting on socks was a chore. What if I picked the wrong ones? What if I put them on my feet in the wrong order? Should it be left first or was it the right foot? It took so much of my time and then I would be so unsure of myself I could not leave the house for fear of running someone over. Was this at all logical? No, but I believed it so it was true to me.

I am also obsessed with numbers. I used to be able to do anything, like turn up the volume on the television, to a multiple of two. Then, somehow, that morphed into multiples of five. The radio can only play at ten or fifteen decibiles, and so on. I can only get out of bed at a time followed by a multiple of ten. Why? Because any other way is dangerous. I like the safety of my numbers.

I am also a hand washer. I love to wash my hands repetitiously. I have a method. First, start with very hot water. Next, soap up my thumb top on the inside of my palm and all the way around. Wash the nail bed. Proceed to the index finger. Continue to do all fingers, then do the same process to the back of the hand before giving the opposite hand a go. It is also important to clean the back of my hands and both wrists. I can go on like this for twenty-five to thirty times. It is comforting to me.

In graduate school I had to “check” everything. I had (and still do have) Hope, my Bernese Mountain Dog and part of my checking was to secure her safety. I had to check the outlets, making sure there were no fraying wires or the like. I had to check that the patio was locked, doors were shut, and no food was on the counter that Hope could get. I also had to wash my hands those many, many times before leaving. When it came to leaving and locking the door, I did it five times. This is part of the reason I left graduate school. My obsessive compulsive disorder was only getting worse. It was becoming harder to leave the apartment and definitely more time consuming.

I also have a tendency to line things up, especially under stress – that began in graduate school. I would open the fridge. Close the door. Then open it again to make sure all my condiments faced forward. I do that at home still in my house. If I can do it without getting caught, I do it at my parents’ house. I just feel like I am being ridiculous is the reason I don’t want them to catch me reorganizing their fridge. Everything – all the bottles of shampoos and conditioners and face wash – in the shower are spaced evenly on its appropriate shelf, moved to the edge where I can slip my finger down to the edge of the shelf.

See? It is a disorder and you minimizing it to a clean kitchen diminishes the vast disorder. So please, next time you think of using OCD to describe something, make sure you understand what you are saying.

Antidepressants Such as Prozac Can Cause Intestinal Bleeding

SSRIs are an interesting drug class.

While they’re one of the most frequently prescribed drugs to treat depression, the exact way they work isn’t understood.

It’s believed that they limit the reabsorption, or reuptake, of serotonin into a cell (hence their name), which increases serotonin levels.

Higher serotonin levels have been associated with a higher sense of well-being, so it may not be surprising that these drugs are often used to combat depression.

Other uses for these relatively low-cost drugs include treating anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, and certain sexual disorders.

But the list of side effects associated with SSRIs is long enough to make any prospective patient think twice.

One of the more common side effects of SSRIs — and a primary reason many patients discontinue their use — is sexual dysfunction in both men and women.

Other side effects include serotonin syndrome, which can, in rare and extreme cases, be deadly.

Finally, there are the ways that SSRIs affect bleeding. When combined with anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs (such as aspirin), there’s an increased risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.

Yuet said physicians and pharmacists are generally well aware of this risk, even if many patients tend to view SSRIs as benign.

“There are several over-the-counter medications known to increase bleeding risk, which are potentially dangerous when administered with SSRIs,” she explained. “Examples include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, and fish oil. Prescription medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) and clopidogrel (Plavix) will increase bleeding risk as well.”

The prevalence of SSRIs makes this research timely.

In her review, Yuet notes that almost 13 percent of Americans aged 12 and older take an antidepressant of some kind.

Prevalence has also increased. In 1999, less than 8 percent of people in the United States took antidepressants. By 2014, that percentage had increased to more than 12 percent.

Dermatillomania: meet the people who can’t stop skin picking

For Connor, an overwhelming desire to get to the nearest mirror is one of the first signs. “Usually, I would have already begun picking or scratching other parts on my body if I can’t control the urge,” he says. Connor, like many others, lives with compulsive skin picking: an irresistible urge to pick at or scratch one’s skin that can have disastrous effects on body and mind.

“When I begin picking, I completely zone out,” he says. The aftermath of a session can last for up to 45 minutes, the result not only of the sore, red skin on his face, but also the rush of “self-loathing and hatred” at what he has done to his appearance.

Skin-picking disorder, also referred to as excoriation disorder or dermatillomania, is believed to affect as many as one in 20 people. It is among a group of behaviours (along with trichotillomania – compulsive hair-pulling) known as body-focused repetitive behaviours (BFRBs) and was recently recognised as a distinct entity in psychiatric classification systems.

Those who struggle with this disorder might scratch, pick, rub or dig at their skin with their fingernails or sometimes tools such as tweezers, resulting in wounds, sores and, eventually, scarring. Dr Daniel Glass, a consultant dermatologist at London North West University Healthcare NHS trust, says patients’ skin “can be quite deeply damaged” by the behaviour and can present anything from one or two lesions to more than a hundred. The impacts can be psychological as well: “If we have problems with our skin, it may make us feel low and reluctant to face the world.”

Although it is growing, awareness of the condition is still fairly low. “These are disorders of shame and isolation,” explains the psychologist and BFRB expert Fred Penzel, who is based in New York. “That’s what keeps a lot of people from even seeking treatment – they’re afraid to reveal that they do this.”

After particularly bad incidences of skin picking, Connor has shunned social events, skipped gym sessions (which normally he loves) and hidden away in his room, he says. “I feel embarrassed by what I’ve done to myself.”

Common misconceptions about the disorder can make it very stigmatising, says Penzel, who is a founding member of the science advisory boards of the International OCD Foundation and the TLC [Trichotillomania Learning Center] Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors. Although it is classified as an “obsessive-compulsive and related disorder” in the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the condition is considered different from obsessive-compulsive disorder, as it is neither self-harm nor necessarily driven by a deeper issue or unresolved trauma.

Although skin-picking disorder can appear at any age, the onset is often in childhood or adolescence. Connor, now 24, was at secondary school when he noticed how much more he picked at his skin compared with his friends: “I didn’t seem normal,” he says. Holly Davidson, 38, also recalls picking avidly at her skin as a teenager. By the time she first undertook cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) four months ago to try to stop her compulsive habit, it had become such a part of her life that she burst into tears: “I said: ‘I don’t know if I can stop, because it’s been a part of me for 20 years.’”

Davidson has tried numerous potential solutions over the years, including expensive facials, hypnotherapy and wearing gloves; she says CBT – one of the most common psychotherapy treatments for the disorder – has been the most effective. But Penzel says treatment for compulsive skin picking can be complex, depending on the severity of the case and the likely cause.

Dr Anjali Mahto, a consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic in London, says she often sees cases of acne excoriée (a skin-picking disorder in which patients squeeze acne spots or even healthy post-acne skin). “When people come to the clinic, what you don’t see are the spots – you just see the areas of skin that people have gouged out because they’ve tried to get rid of the spots.”

Although Connor and Davidson report feeling anxiety, stress and frustration in relation to their skin picking, Penzel says it is a common misunderstanding that it is all down to stress. “People do these things when they’re either overstimulated, meaning stressed or even happily excited, or they do it when they’re understimulated, meaning when they’re sedentary or bored. So it provides stimulation when you’re understimulated and it reduces it when you’re overstimulated – it works either way.” Anxiety and depression don’t cause it either, he says. “They might aggravate or exacerbate the problem, but they’re not what causes it. That’s important to understand.”

Figures suggest that 75% of people affected by skin-picking disorder are female, but Penzel is wary of the picture this paints – women are more likely to seek treatment than men and there have been few comprehensive studies.

Keeping it real. Close up of my skin showing spots, scars and pigmentation. I have picked my skin for many years now and as I age I can see the damage I’ve caused. When I’m stressed, nervous or bored I can pick at my skin for hours. Not just my face but also my arms, legs and back. I will pick at scabs and create spots when there is nothing there. Obsessive skin picking is an actual disorder called dermatillomania or excoriation (I only found that out a few years ago) and is said to be related to OCD. It’s something that I’ve researched a lot and have tried many different techniques to help me combat it. Wearing gloves, covering mirrors, hypnotherapy, facials, skin creams, meditation, mindfulness (to name a few). What I’ve realised is, I don’t recognise when I’m stressed and this can build up until my only outlet to de-stress is to pick. It’s an on going battle but is much better than it used to be (maybe that’s why I can talk about it now). I wanted to share this with you incase you struggle with a smiler thing. Stress, anxiety, OCD can show its self in so many different ways and sometimes we are unaware how its effecting our mind and bodies. As a personal trainer I dedicate my life to my body keeping it fit, strong and healthy and making sure I’m eating the right things. But what I easily can neglect is my mind and my emotions and what is going on on the inside. : : : : : : #keepitreal #skinpicking #OCD #stress #anxiety #anxietyhelp #stressrelief #spots #pigmentation #scaring #emotional #realtalk #dermatillomania #CBT #skinpickingdisorder #realvsfake

A post shared by Holly Davidson (@hollyactive) on Apr 7, 2018 at 9:07am PDT

Jacqueline Kilikita, 26, recalls an incident last year when she picked at the flaking skin on her lips so severely that she ripped off a large piece of skin, causing her bottom lip to bleed heavily. “I also pick the skin on my cuticles and sometimes my scalp, so I researched my symptoms and every single one of them was consistent with dermatillomania.”

In her role as beauty editor at the website Refinery29 UK, Kilikita published an account of her experience. “After I wrote the article, a colleague mentioned that she suffers, too. The comments also showed me that lots of people are in the same boat. One said it was a relief to know that they aren’t alone.”

Reflexology has been helpful for her, she says, but it is expensive; keeping lip balm and moisturiser on hand is a cheaper way to reduce the compulsion: “If the skin is moisturised or covered in product, I’m less likely to pick.” Trying CBT is next on her list.

Penzel advocates a comprehensive BFRB-specific approach to behavioural therapy that falls under the umbrella of CBT. “We try to look at the entire clinical picture, everything surrounding the problem that feeds into it, because if you don’t do it comprehensively you’re not really going to get it under control,” he says.

Another key issue is a lack of understanding of the disorder and how to treat it within the psychological and medical communities. “A lot of people get some very bad reactions from health professionals – unfortunately, a lot of it is passed off as bad habits, but it really isn’t,” says Penzel. “This can rise to a great level of seriousness and it should be taken very seriously.” At extreme levels, he has worked with people who have needed plastic surgery or have contracted secondary infections such as flesh-eating disease (necrotising fasciitis) as a result of severe skin picking.

Connor and Davidson say stigma can be a barrier to getting treatment. Of the “handful” of men to whom Connor has spoken who also experience skin-picking disorder, only a few have told their family, friends and doctors, he says. “They just don’t feel people will understand their situation, which I completely get.” In fact, he made the decision to share his account of living with skin-picking disorder on Instagram in the hope of creating a support network.

Davidson says that, for years, she had no idea that she was suffering from a psychological disorder: “It was just something I did.” She thinks this lack of awareness is very common. “A lot of people don’t realise that you can get help – a lot of people do really think they’re strange, that they’ve got this weird thing that nobody else has.”

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact Anxiety UK’s national Infoline service on 03444 775 774 or the US-based TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors at

The 2 Major Types of OCD—and How to Recognize Them

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that involves compulsive recurring thoughts and/or behaviors. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders doesn’t classify OCD into subtypes, so there aren’t formally agreed upon categories of OCD. However, many psychologists can agree that there are two broad types of OCD from the perspective of what drives the disorder.

“In the broadest sense, I think about OCD in terms of types that involve fear versus types that involve nervous system discomfort,” Kristin Bianchi, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in treating obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders like OCD, tells Health.

Here’s what to know about those two major types of OCD—and how they might manifest.

RELATED: 15 Things People With OCD Want You to Know

OCD driven by fear

With fear-driven OCD, obsessive or compulsive behaviors, called rituals, are performed because the person strongly believes that if they don’t do them, the things they fear will actually happen. For example, someone whose OCD manifests as obsessions with harm may constantly fear that harm will come to them or their loved ones, and may therefore check things repeatedly.

“It could be the fear that if they don’t check all of their appliances and light switches, the house will catch fire while they’re at work,” Bianchi says. “And before they leave the house, they will do things like turn the stove and light switches on and off repeatedly until they’re certain they are off.”

Other people with OCD may have obsessions with health from a fear of sickness. These folks are frightened that they or people around them will fall ill if they don’t take certain actions. Obsessive fears of contagion like this are often accompanied by compulsive cleaning of surfaces because of the belief that the germs on it could make people sick.

Still other people with fear-driven OCD battle intrusive thoughts that constantly occupy the mind. “Intrusive thoughts that involve harming others or oneself or breaking rules are common,” Bianchi says, as are “upsetting thoughts and doubts revolving around romantic relationships.” A person with OCD may have intrusive thoughts involving “deviant sexual themes like incest, bestiality, pedophilia, and sexual aggression,” she adds.

Anyone can have these thoughts fleetingly, but with OCD, there is a strong fear that these thoughts represent who a person truly is.

To gain relief from their distress, people with intrusive thoughts will sometimes engage in certain actions repeatedly like people with harm obsessions. Other times, they’ll take up mental rituals, like counting or repeating certain words in their heads. Cases like these, when there are no overt behavioral rituals, may be referred to as “primarily obsessional” OCD or “pure” OCD, Bianchi says.

RELATED: How to Deal With OCD—From 4 People With the Diagnosis

OCD driven by nervous system discomfort

In 2005, researchers from the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington observed that there are people with OCD who have some symptoms related to those of Tourette syndrome. With Tourette syndrome, problems with the nervous system make the people who have it experience involuntary tics—sudden, short, and often repetitive movements or sounds.

So they hypothesized that Tourettic OCD, as the researchers called it, could also be driven by the nervous system. People with this type of OCD may feel the need to do some rituals over and over without there being any particular reason why—other than it’s really, really uncomfortable not to do them.

“People with this kind of OCD usually don’t know why something bothers them, and they’ll often describe it as just feeling not quite right,” Bianchi says. “It’s not so much that they’re afraid that something bad will happen.”

RELATED: 6 Thoughts People With OCD Have—According to Women Diagnosed With This Mental Health Condition

How these OCD types show up

No matter what drives a person’s OCD, there are some common ways in which OCD obsessions and compulsions are expressed.

  • Checking compulsions: The need to constantly and repeatedly check things.
  • Orderliness and symmetry compulsions: The need to constantly arrange and rearrange objects until they are perfectly in order or symmetrical.
  • Cleaning compulsions: The need to clean or wash things or surfaces over and over.
  • Counting compulsions: The need to count to certain numbers or to count items or steps.

The rituals involved in these compulsions are done to relieve feelings of distress, whether that distress is from a fear that something bad will happen otherwise or because it feels really uncomfortable not doing it.

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What is ‘Pure O’, the form of obsessive compulsive disorder at the centre of Channel 4’s Pure?

Marnie, the 24-year-old woman at the centre of Channel 4’s new comedy drama Pure, suffers from intrusive and distressing sexual thoughts.

At her parents’ wedding anniversary, her head is invaded with visions of her own family having sex. On the tube, she imagines all the passengers naked and writhing together. She tries to blink away the images, but they won’t leave her mind.

Marnie is suffering from ‘Pure O’, a form of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Channel 4’s strikingly bold new series is a fictionalised adaptation of Rose Cartwright’s memoirs about her experience of a very real, but little-known, condition.

Find out more about the illness below – and discover why Cartwright described the adaptation of her book as the “best therapy” she’s ever had.

What is Pure O? 

Pure obsessional OCD, nicknamed Pure O, is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder in which people experience obsessions without necessarily having external compulsions.

The condition manifests itself in distressing, intrusive thoughts or mental images, which tend to revolve around themes including: harm to self and others; worries about sexual orientation and relationship decisions; fear of doing something illegal; paedophilia; and over-concern for honesty or religious purity.

Although most people experience fleeting unwanted thoughts from time to time, they are able to dismiss them as uncomfortable and move on. Sufferers of Pure O, on the other hand, become anxious about these thoughts and can begin to obsess over them, unable to get them out of their head.

Pure O, therefore, is not the experience of having intrusive thoughts – but the reaction to them and the inability to make them go away.

Charly Clive as Marnie in Pure (Channel 4)

Rose Cartwright’s website, Intrusive Thoughts, further explains that many Pure O sufferers are perfectionists and have a high standard “for what their brain ‘should’ be thinking”.

Pure O sufferers “spend time analysing why they are having these thoughts and what the thoughts say about them as a person… failing to meet this standard of control over their own brain will lead them to conclude that they are a bad person or a monster”.

The writer of Channel 4’s Pure, Kirstie Swain, also refers to the anxiety that intrusive thoughts can create which leads sufferers to question who they really are and what their desires are. “Sometimes you don’t know where a mental disorder ends and you begin,” she says.

According to the mental health charity Mind, people with Pure O show “no external signs of compulsions” such as checking and washing, but they still experience mental compulsions: for example checking their emotions or checking whether they are aroused by a particular intrusive thought.

Is Pure O easily diagnosed? 

“This is something that people live with in secret, that they’re deeply ashamed of, that they feel they can’t talk about,” says Rose Cartwright. “When I was 15 and I first started experiencing this, this definition didn’t exist in the public eye.”

Because of the shame attached to intrusive thoughts and common misconceptions about OCD, many sufferers go years without seeking help, therefore not being diagnosed.

In the Channel 4 show, Marnie mistakenly presumes she must be a sex addict, even though the thoughts she is having are distressing as opposed to arousing.

She then discovers she has OCD, but the show’s writer Kirstie Swain says that “even if you get the label you’re looking for, that doesn’t solve your problem”.

“You still have to deal with the fact you have this mental illness,” she explains. “Marnie’s so sure that finding a label for herself is going to solve the problem but actually for a while it makes things worse….

“OCD is so repetitive: it doesn’t have a beginning, middle and end. It has a beginning and a middle and a middle and a middle and it goes on without an end in sight.” 

Is Pure O treatable?

Exposure therapy is “remarkably effective” in treating OCD, according to the Intrusive Thoughts site. This treatment involves purposefully provoking unwanted, distressing thoughts and images while simultaneously resisting the urge to seek relief.

Cartwright’s website also recommends medications such as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

What was it like for Rose Cartwright to have her memoirs adapted?

Cartwright, who still has OCD but has been through effective therapy so that she can “catch myself when I’m going down those compulsive spirals”, speaks abut the catharsis of making Pure.

She says: “Just being involved in a project like this has become part of my healing process. I’ve had a lot of therapy and this is definitely the best therapy I’ve had.”

Cartwright describes the experience of visiting the set of Pure while an intrusive thought sequence was being filmed with naked extras.

“It was the ‘Beast from the East’ so it was snowing, which is terrible for naked extras. And I was like, ‘What have I done?’ and I turned the corner in Shoreditch and I looked down the street and it was just floodlights, and 60 guys in high vis jackets. I was like, ‘Wow, this is incredible.’

“Then I got closer and they were actually shooting an intrusive thought, down the alley way, and I heard someone shout, ‘OK, we’re going to do the intrusive thought now.’ And they pulled up these big privacy screens and the guys in the salon down the alley had to be briefed that there might be some nudity happening outside just in case their clients got offended. It was like, ‘What is my life?’

“It was such a privilege, because people pay hundreds of pounds for that kind of exposure therapy and here I am, I had this thing I’d kept secret and was so ashamed of. But going down to set and just seeing it discussed so openly and for storytelling to be such a healing tool, I was just like, ‘This is alright, I don’t regret this.’”

Pure begins at 10pm on Wednesday 30th January on Channel 4