OCD and Muscular Dystrophy

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is largely characterized by obsessions and compulsions which can overtake a person’s life. While previously labeled as an anxiety disorder, it is now listed in the DSM 5 under the heading of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

While not technically an anxiety disorder, the majority of people with OCD deal with anxiety issues and might even be diagnosed with a specific anxiety disorder, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or social anxiety disorder. Indeed, comorbid conditions with OCD are not unusual, and OCD can often be seen with depression and, to a lesser extent, with Bipolar Disorder and schizophrenia.

Now researchers have found that compared to the general population there is a higher than average prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder in those with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). DMD is a genetic illness that leads to progressive deterioration of muscle fibers. It usually only affects males but females can carry the mutated gene.

The study was published in May 2018 in the Journal of Child Neurology and was conducted by researchers from the University of Iowa. They worked on characterizing the clinical signs of OCD in those with DMD as well as its impact on patients and their families. The participants’ response to treatment was also studied.

The team reviewed the medical charts of 107 male patients aged 5-34 who had been treated at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics between 2012 and 2017. The study focused on a final group consisting of thirty-nine patients with DMD.  These patients, on the whole, exhibited higher levels than average of anxiety, depression and OCD, with symptoms of the disorders often overlapping. A total of fifteen subjects ranging in age from 5 – 23 exhibited signs of OCD. The mean age at onset was 12.1 years, but the study reported evidence of symptoms starting as early as age five.

The researchers said:

“Common initial symptoms included difficulty with changes in routine, repetitive behaviors, and organizational compulsions. Many patients required a very specific bedtime routine.”

“Our data affirm that internalizing disorders [OCD] are prevalent in the Duchenne muscular dystrophy population, warranting clinical attention and screening, as generally early diagnosis and treatment are associated with greater symptom improvement.”

Not surprisingly, the lives of families and patients with DMD are often negatively affected by the presence of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Distress and irritability in those suffering with both DMD and OCD significantly disturbed family routines and quality of life. Symptoms also tended to worsen as patients grew older, but treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) resulted in consistent improvements over time. While medication did not completely resolve OCD symptoms, patients and their families reported they helped ease anxiety and improved their quality of life.

What I find particularly interesting about this study is that while psychotherapy (I’m hoping in the form of exposure and response prevention therapy) was recommended to all fifteen participants with OCD, only five were actually getting this treatment. In contrast fourteen of the fifteen subjects were taking SSRIs. The researchers attributed these statistics to a lack of access to qualified therapists as well as financial constraints felt by the families.

Once again, we see how difficult it can be for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder to get the proper treatment. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy is the recommended, evidence-based psychological therapy for the treatment of OCD, but it is often out of reach for so many people. Those with DMD and OCD are likely to face unique challenges in terms of family accommodations and dynamics, and could benefit greatly from expert care and advice.

At the very least, this study brings OCD awareness to the forefront for those with DMD and their families. If OCD is recognized early and properly treated, its effect on lives can be minimal. And for those already living with the burden of DMD, that would surely be a good thing.

Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids May Ease Anxiety

Treatment with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may help reduce symptoms of anxiety, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open.

The review and meta-analysis tapped data from 19 clinical trials which included 2240 participants (1203 treated with omega-3 PUFAs and 1037 without) from 11 countries. Participants had a wide range of psychiatric and physical conditions, including borderline personality disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, test anxiety, acute myocardial infarction, and premenstrual syndrome. Others were from the general population and had no specific clinical conditions.

“Although participants and diagnoses were heterogeneous, the main finding of this meta-analysis was that omega-3 PUFAs were associated with significant reduction in anxiety symptoms compared with controls,” researchers wrote. “This effect persisted vs placebo controls.”

The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Mental Health Care

Researchers also discovered daily dosages higher than 2000 mg were linked with a significantly higher anxiolytic effect, compared with lower dosages. In addition, supplements with less than 60% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were significantly associated with reduced anxiety symptoms, but supplements with 60% or more EPA were not.

“The depression literature supports the clinical benefits of EPA-enriched formulations (≥60% or ≥50%) compared with placebo for the treatment of clinical depression,” researchers noted. “This opposite effect of EPA-enriched formations on anxiety and depression is intriguing and possibly linked to a distinct underlying mechanism of omega-3 PUFAs.”

Researchers voiced the need for larger, well-designed clinical trials to further investigate high-dose omega-3 PUFAs, both as monotherapy and as adjunctive treatment, in patients with anxiety.

—Jolynn Tumolo

Reference

Su K, Tseng P, Lin P, et al. Association of use of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with changes in severity of anxiety symptoms. JAMA Network Open. 2018 September 14.

Carina draws from experience to write about mental illness

Carina McEvoy from Gorey was not yet 17 when her depression and anxiety disorder began. The outburst of tears on the way to school soon developed into a dangerous addiction of self-inflicted pain.

Now a successful novelist and tutor, and happily married with two girls, Carina has spent years battling the depression, anxiety, social phobia and obsessive compulsive disorder that controlled her life since her late teens. Throughout the years, Carina has learned about her condition and fought back with writing, talk therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy and hypnotherapy.

‘My background is in secondary school education teaching geography and business in Dublin,’ said Carina. ‘I took a career break when my second child was born and resigned after the five years so I could stay home and care for them myself.’

Carina also has a Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy from the Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy Ireland, a practitioners Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and will have one in Neuro Linguistic Programming in two weeks times.

‘During the career break I wrote a women’s fictional novel entitled “To have, Not Hold”,’ said Carina. ‘I love writing and it has always been one of the ways I seem to be able to manage my own anxiety. Writing is a great therapy.’

Carina, who has two new books on the way later this month as well as a series of workshops for parents, has always had an interest in adolescent mental health which led her to be a teacher. However, she also developed an interest in children’s mental health well being in particular children’s anxiety when her own were born. She came to realise how prevalent it is.

‘I suffered with mental health issues as a teenager myself and my eldest daughter had quite bad anxiety,’ said Carina. ‘With the techniques and knowledge I have gained throughout my own experiences of poor mental health and through my studies, I managed to help my daughter Anna overcome her anxiety.’

Children’s mental health is becoming an increasing problem in this country, according to Carina. Within the past five years alone, Children and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) has received a 50 per cent increase in referrals.

‘CAMHS is over stretched in terms of staff and resources,’ said Carina. ‘They are struggling to cope with the volume of children on their waiting lists, which received bad publicity of late.’

The fact Carina has heard of some parents waiting up to two years for an appointment and GPs having no other choice but to refer mental health issues for children to CAMHS because they are not trained to deal with mental health issues, has encouraged her to write children’s books and hold courses for parents.

‘I decided to write the children’s books and courses simply due to the amount of children I have heard of that are suffering from this epidemic,’ said Carina. ‘I feel there is no resources available for them and nothing seems to be coming down to these children.’

Carina believes the low level anxiety is manageable and also believes that if tackled now it will prevent any further serious mental health issues in the future.

‘If we are, as a country, not equipped to deal with issues now what will we be like in 10 or 20 years time?,’ added Carina.

Of the mental health issues among children, anxiety seems to be the major issue. Carina witnessed this as a secondary school teacher and then when she had her own children. ‘I could see anxiety was an issue beginning in children as early as four years,’ she added.

She fully believes from her studies and research that anxiety is a manageable issue and with some knowledge and low-level intervention it can be prevented from becoming a more serious complex mental health issue.

Mental Health Ireland reported that 80 per cent of adults who suffer with mental health issues today said they suffered with anxiety as a child.

‘That statistic alone should make us want to tackle the issue of children’s anxiety,’ said Carina. ‘Anxiety is part of life, it is a biologically pre-determined emotion that actually keeps us safe.

‘It is that over-protectiveness part of anxiety that we want to be able to manage. And it is something that can be controlled in a healthy and positive way.’

At the end of the month, Carina will be launching two books around the issue of anxiety in Gorey Library, on Tuesday, September 25, at 7 p.m.

The children’s anxiety books are entitled ‘Sometimes I worry…how about you?’ and the sister support book for adults ‘Sometimes my child worries…what do I do?’.

Plus, she will also be tutoring two separate adult courses in Gorey Adult Education Centre, beginning on Monday, September 24, at 7 p.m., and will run five-weeks and six-weeks consecutively. The first course is ‘An Introduction to Understanding Child Development and Children’s Anxiety’, and the second is an ‘Advanced Course to Understanding and Managing Children’s Anxiety’.

Both the courses and the books contain innovative and pro-active material based around cognitive behavioural therapy, neuro linguistic programming, mindfulness, mantra use and diaphragmatic breathing.

Carina said: ‘It is my vision that these aides and resources can be used by the parent and guardian in the home as pre-emptive way to dealing with children’s anxiety before it reaches a level where professional psychological help is needed.’

‘Going forward I think this could be a real game changer in aiding our young children develop and maintain a good foundation for mental well being,’ said William Arrigan, who is a tutor of child psychology and social care.

Minister Michael D’Arcy praised Carina on her next venture and said it is a very positive sign to see such an aide made available to parents and guardian who can work with their child in their own home.

Places on the courses are limited so booking is advised. Contact Gorey Adult Education Centre on 053 94 21791 to enrol.

‘I would love to campaign to the Government to put something in place in primary education to make sure children’s mental well being is being cared for,’ said Carina. ‘I suppose the course and books are a way the parent, guardian or even a teacher has some aides available to them as how to approach children’s anxiety. I am by no means saying they are a solution, they are an aide only but it has to be a start.’

Gorey Guardian

Youth Service Bureau can help line up mental health appointments

PRINCETON — Solutions Counseling, a program of Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley, continues its outpatient mental health-counseling services including individual, family and couple counseling in the communities of Princeton and La Salle. All therapists are licensed including the most recent addition to the staff, Nancy Carper, LCPC.

YSB offers treatment for a large array of mental health conditions to people of all ages including suicide prevention, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, grief and loss, marriage and family challenges, obsessions and compulsions, and more.

For details, call (815) 431-3051 or visit www.ysbiv.org.

How one woman dealt with the loss of her twin while fighting depression and OCD


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OCD is an anxiety disorder which caused people to have unwanted, intrusive thoughts – over and over again

OCD is an anxiety disorder which caused people to have unwanted, intrusive thoughts – over and over again



TUCSON, Ariz. – At just 15-years-old, Amy Frederick was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

OCD is an anxiety disorder which caused people to have unwanted, intrusive thoughts – over and over again. 

It’s a disorder Frederick believes her Grandmother battled, too. 

For Frederick, it meant grouping things and people in her head. 

People who do the following may have OCD:

  • Repeatedly check things, perhaps dozens of times, before feeling secure enough to leave the house. Is the stove off? Is the door locked?
  • Fear they will harm others.​ ​​​​​​Example: A man’s car hits a pothole on a city street and he fears it was actually a pedestrian and drives back to check for injured persons.
  • Feel dirty and contaminated. Example: A woman is fearful of touching her baby because she might contaminate the child and cause a serious infection.
  • Constantly arrange and order things. Example: A child can’t go to sleep unless he lines up all his shoes correctly.
  • Are ruled by numbers, believing that certain numbers represent good and others represent evil. Example: a college student is unable to send an email unless the “correct sequence of numbers” is recalled prior to using his computer.
  • Are excessively concerned with sin or blasphemy in a way that is not the cultural or religious norm for other members of their community. Example: a woman must recite “Hail Mary” thirty-three times every morning before getting out of bed and is frequently late for work because of this.

“My mother and my sister and grandmother are all manic depression. It’s weird that I don’t have manic depression because I have an identical twin- you would think that we would have the same thing. But I don’t – I’m mostly major depression.”

MORE: What is Mental Illness

Frederick was diagnosed with major depression when she was 15. Her worst symptoms came when her twin sister died 21-years ago at the age of 27. She says the pain of losing her twin sister was too much to bear. 

Major Depression symptoms:

  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Poor concentration
  • Loss of energy.
  • Lack of interest.
  • Low self-esteem
  • Hopelessness or guilt
  • Movement changes

MORE: Depressive disorders in children adolescents

“She was half of me. I just didn’t know how I was going to go on without her.”

After her sister’s death – Frederick checked into the hospital to deal with her depression. She was released but says the thoughts of suicide continued.

MORE: Mental Illness in older adults

“When I came home from cottonwood I was laying in my bed thinking – how can I kill myself.”

Fast facts about Suicide Ideation

  • Most people who have suicidal thoughts do not carry them through to their conclusion.
  • Causes of suicidal thoughts can include depression, anxiety, eating disorders such as anorexia, and substance abuse.
  • People with a family history of mental illness are more likely to have suicidal thoughts.

Suicide ideation symptoms: 

  • feeling or appearing to feel trapped or hopeless
  • feeling intolerable emotional pain
  • having or appearing to have an abnormal preoccupation with violence, dying, or death
  • having mood swings, either happy or sad
  • talking about revenge, guilt, or shame
  • being agitated, or in a heightened state of anxiety
  • experiencing changes in personality, routine, or sleeping patterns
  • consuming drugs or more alcohol than usual, or starting drinking when they had not previously done so
  • engaging in risky behavior, such as driving carelessly or taking drugs
  • getting their affairs in order and giving things away
  • getting hold of a gun, medications, or substances that could end a life
  • experiencing depression, panic attacks, impaired concentration
  • increased isolation
  • talking about being a burden to others
  • psychomotor agitation, such as pacing around a room, wringing one’s hands, and removing items of clothing and putting them back on
  • saying goodbye to others as if it were the last time
  • seeming to be unable to experience pleasurable emotions from normally pleasurable life events such as eating, exercise, social interaction, or sex
  • severe remorse and self criticism
  • talking about suicide or dying, expressing regret about being alive or ever having been born

Seven years ago, Frederick ended up in the hospital again after her mother passed away. She says, her mother was the only person who understood what she was going through because of she dealt with a mental illness as well. 

It took another tragedy to seek grief therapy – Fredericks father died in 2017. 

“I just learned to deal with it. You need to deal with your grief and get help if you’re having a tough time,” says Frederick. 

In therapy, Amy wrote goodbye, forgiveness, and apology letters to her family. She says that treatment along with medication helped her focus on the happy thoughts and not the sadness. Amy says, managing her depression is still an everyday challenge but says you can live a normal life with a mental illness. “If you’re having trouble with anything – there is help available.” 

The confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached toll-free on 1-800-273-TALK(8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For programs and services at the National Alliance on Metal illness Southern Arizona, click here.

Follow News Reporter Jennifer Martinez on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Brain Data Could Read Moods, Potentially Treat Depression

Roughly 16 million American adults have major depression and 42 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an advocacy group. About 20% of U.S. adults live with a mental illness, the equivalent of nearly 45 million people, according to 2016 government data. Mental health conditions are a leading cause of disability, resulting in productivity losses and lower quality of life, according to recent research.

“We need better treatments,” said Edward Chang, a neurosurgeon at the University of California, San Francisco’s Weill Institute for Neurosciences and a lead author of the study. “It’s a huge issue.”

In many cases, available medications and behavioral treatments don’t work. One early option for such patients was to create therapeutic brain lesions to alleviate symptoms. Eventually, neurosurgeons noticed stimulation could also improve symptoms for disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder, with some success. Scientists also noted these patients’ moods improved, which led to testing deep brain stimulation for depression.

Early studies of implantable devices that deliver electrical pulses to brain areas thought to be involved in mood and reward processing showed promise in helping patients with severe depression, but results from larger trials funded by

Abbott Laboratories

and

Medtronic

PLC were mixed, prompting psychiatrists and neuroscientists to try to develop more targeted ways of stimulating the brain.

So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only one deep brain stimulation device for obsessive compulsive disorder, according to the agency, though there are more ongoing clinical trials that seek to test whether deep brain stimulation can help patients with depression and anxiety.

Abbott is still “really committed to this space,” said Binith Cheeran, medical affairs director for Abbott’s neuromodulation business, but he declined to comment on specific ongoing work. Medtronic declined to comment.

To better target stimulation, experts are working to decode how the brain normally works and what goes wrong in disease, which includes figuring out what regions are involved in a particular patient’s symptoms. That can differ from person to person, even in patients with the same diagnosis, which complicates matters, psychiatrists said.

For the new study, which was published in Nature Biotechnology, researchers continuously recorded the activity of hundreds of neurons for multiple days in patients being monitored for epileptic seizures. They also had these patients rate their moods every couple of hours. They used these two sets of data to train software to understand what brain activity correlated with how a person was feeling. For each patient, the signature of brain activity—or the regions that lit up—that was predictive of mood was slightly different.

The new algorithm, developed by Maryam Shanechi, one of Dr. Chang’s collaborators at the University of Southern California with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense research arm Darpa, is a step toward reading and decoding mood-related brain activity reliably—a prerequisite for delivering more personalized care in the future, some psychiatrists said. They called the findings exciting, but preliminary.

“It sets the stage to think about how you move that mood around,” said Helen Mayberg, director of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics who wasn’t involved in the study. But first, she said, researchers need to figure out whether what they are measuring is pathological. General mood and depressive episodes may be related, but separate, signals, like two distinct instruments in an orchestra, she added.

Dr. Chang’s approach is one of several neuroscientists are taking to enable precision medicine for the brain. Some include uncovering, with the help of noninvasive imaging, what brain regions doctors should stimulate to increase the chances of improving patients’ health. Others seek to decode brain activity associated with behavioral deficits, including in learning and memory, impulsivity and emotion regulation that are common in various psychiatric disorders, including depression. These readouts are less subjective than mood and their brain circuitries better understood, according to Darin Dougherty, a Massachusetts General Hospital psychiatrist who is taking that approach and is also funded by Darpa.

Some researchers are making use of already available devices, while others like Dr. Chang’s and Dr. Dougherty’s groups, are aiming to develop novel algorithms for decoding brain activity, plus new hardware capable of recording and delivering stimulation. These would, in theory, read and decode brain signals in real-time with the help of machine learning and then deliver small electrical pulses to correct abnormalities associated with psychiatric conditions in an adaptive way.

Most commercially available devices can’t do that, which, some scientists say, may be why some of the early clinical trials failed.

For the foreseeable future, the type of machine-learning enabled brain interfaces these scientists are developing are unlikely to pose a big threat to privacy, said Hank Greely, a bioethicist at Stanford Law School.

“Until we get noninvasive ways to do this, it’s not going to be very common,” he said. “I don’t think we have to worry about Big Brother checking on our mood yet.”

Write to Daniela Hernandez at daniela.hernandez@wsj.com

OCD is difficult for individual’s family, friends – Midland Reporter

Obsessive compulsive disorder, otherwise known as OCD, can affect individuals of any age. It is considered an anxiety disorder causing unwanted excessive thoughts, ideas or sensations that are termed obsessions and repetitive behaviors that are called compulsions.

Living with OCD negatively affects a person’s daily life because the obsessions/compulsions impact day-to-day tasks. OCD also causes a significant level of stress because of the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that the individual believes must be performed in order to feel a sense of relief or calmness. Children and teenagers may not be aware of the excessiveness of their compulsions and obsessions. Although living with this disorder is difficult for the individual, it is also extremely difficult and frustrating for those who serve as the support system of the diagnosed individual.

It can be hard to comprehend why someone cannot stop the compulsions or stop obsessing over ideas and control their thoughts. Individuals diagnosed with OCD usually are aware that their thoughts are irrational and unrealistic. However, at times the main struggle comes from being aware that the obsessive illogical thoughts are just that; yet being overpowered when trying to transfer their thoughts/actions causes a cycle of confusion and guilt. Common obsessions can be related to contamination, harm and symmetry; the most common compulsions are cleaning, repetition, checking and arranging.

Helpful reminders for those who serve as a support system for individuals with OCD, according to Helpguide.org.

–avoid making personal criticisms,

–do not scold or tell them to stop performing rituals,

–be as kind and patient as possible,

–do not play along with the rituals,

–keep communication positive and clear,

–find the humor,

–do not let OCD take over family life.

Here are a few tips when dealing with OCD, according to Helpguide.org.

–Resist rituals: do not avoid fears; anticipate urges; refocus attention.

–Challenge obsessive thoughts: write them down; create OCD worry period; relabel, reattribute, refocus, revalue.

–Make lifestyle changes that may ease anxiety: exercise regularly; get enough sleep; avoid alcohol and nicotine; practice relaxation techniques.

–Use a support system: stay connected to family and friends; join a support group.

— Professional treatment: individual, group, family therapy; medication.

OCD is difficult for individual’s family, friends

Obsessive compulsive disorder, otherwise known as OCD, can affect individuals of any age. It is considered an anxiety disorder causing unwanted excessive thoughts, ideas or sensations that are termed obsessions and repetitive behaviors that are called compulsions.

Living with OCD negatively affects a person’s daily life because the obsessions/compulsions impact day-to-day tasks. OCD also causes a significant level of stress because of the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that the individual believes must be performed in order to feel a sense of relief or calmness. Children and teenagers may not be aware of the excessiveness of their compulsions and obsessions. Although living with this disorder is difficult for the individual, it is also extremely difficult and frustrating for those who serve as the support system of the diagnosed individual.

It can be hard to comprehend why someone cannot stop the compulsions or stop obsessing over ideas and control their thoughts. Individuals diagnosed with OCD usually are aware that their thoughts are irrational and unrealistic. However, at times the main struggle comes from being aware that the obsessive illogical thoughts are just that; yet being overpowered when trying to transfer their thoughts/actions causes a cycle of confusion and guilt. Common obsessions can be related to contamination, harm and symmetry; the most common compulsions are cleaning, repetition, checking and arranging.

Helpful reminders for those who serve as a support system for individuals with OCD, according to Helpguide.org.

–avoid making personal criticisms,

–do not scold or tell them to stop performing rituals,

–be as kind and patient as possible,

–do not play along with the rituals,

–keep communication positive and clear,

–find the humor,

–do not let OCD take over family life.

Here are a few tips when dealing with OCD, according to Helpguide.org.

–Resist rituals: do not avoid fears; anticipate urges; refocus attention.

–Challenge obsessive thoughts: write them down; create OCD worry period; relabel, reattribute, refocus, revalue.

–Make lifestyle changes that may ease anxiety: exercise regularly; get enough sleep; avoid alcohol and nicotine; practice relaxation techniques.

–Use a support system: stay connected to family and friends; join a support group.

— Professional treatment: individual, group, family therapy; medication.

Early Signs of OCD to Take Seriously | Reader’s Digest

What is OCD?

Colorful fruit pattern of fresh watermelon slices on blue background. From top viewbaibaz/Shutterstock

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is relatively easy to understand, given the name. The obsession part is characterized by intrusive, repetitive, and unwanted thoughts. Compulsion comes in with actions or behaviors you engage in to try to control your obsessive thoughts, according to Psychology Today. These actions can give sufferers momentary relief, but the anxious thoughts usually return. Typically, the condition kicks in when sufferers are around 19 years of age. However, a third of adults first show signs in childhood; 25 percent of cases are diagnosed by age 14. This condition can be difficult to pick up in kids—parents may assume that the symptoms are a normal part of growing up, or that the behavior is part of a child’s personality. Both genders are equally likely to develop OCD.

8 Early Signs of OCD to Take Seriously

What is OCD?

Colorful fruit pattern of fresh watermelon slices on blue background. From top viewbaibaz/Shutterstock

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is relatively easy to understand, given the name. The obsession part is characterized by intrusive, repetitive, and unwanted thoughts. Compulsion comes in with actions or behaviors you engage in to try to control your obsessive thoughts, according to Psychology Today. These actions can give sufferers momentary relief, but the anxious thoughts usually return. Typically, the condition kicks in when sufferers are around 19 years of age. However, a third of adults first show signs in childhood; 25 percent of cases are diagnosed by age 14. This condition can be difficult to pick up in kids—parents may assume that the symptoms are a normal part of growing up, or that the behavior is part of a child’s personality. Both genders are equally likely to develop OCD.