OCD Facts and Statistical Data
Statistics are helpful benchmarks to categorize and compare our own ideas against the observations of others. Knowing OCD facts can help keep irrational ideas in perspective. However, keep in mind as you read these OCD facts, seeking profession assistance is the most effective way to overcome obsessions and compulsions
Overall OCD Facts and Statistics
- It has been estimated approximately 2.3% of the population between ages 18- 54 suffer from OCD. Estimates are that one out every of forty to fifty people are affected by some form of obsession or compulsion.
- The current numbers in the US approximate 3.3 million people suffer from OCD, though some estimates have been as high as 6 million. The variance comes from how patients are diagnosed and categorized.
- OCD is found in all ethnic groups. Both men and women are equally affected, although in children, OCD seems to be more prevalent in boys.
- A third to a half of all people who suffer from OCD began noticing obsessive traits during childhood and a fractional percentage as early as pre-school.
- The average age for the onset for actual OCD symptoms is 19, though the awareness of OCD tendencies may have been prevalent at an earlier age.
- New cases of obsessive compulsive disorder after the age of 40 are less common
- According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders, like OCD, are more prevalent in developed countries than in developing countries, which indicates life style choices and environment to be factors leading to OCD
OCD Facts on Seeking Treatment
- In the United States, approximately half the diagnosed OCD cases are considered severe
- It is estimated that less than 10 % of those suffering from obsessions or compulsions will seek any kind of effective treatment.
- 3 out of 4 people who complete psychotherapy feel it helped, but 1 in 4 will get symptoms again and will need extra treatment. About 1 in 4 people are not able to cope with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Delaying treatment in the hope symptoms will alleviate is an ineffective strategy to overcome OCD.
- The average person with OCD will go 6 to 9 years before seeking any form of treatment. Many become obsessive in their research about OCD, to the point of prolonging help or treatment indefinitely.
- Other reasons for delayed treatment are due to the perceived embarrassment or shame regarding what others may think about their OCD. Some have negative connotations about getting professional help.
- While medications can impact the symptoms; most people will require other forms of intervention or therapy. Typical OCD treatments involve pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately the relapse rate of only using pharmaceuticals can be as high as 90%, which is why other therapies are required.
- About 6 out of 10 people notice improvement with medication if they stay on the medication. This can be challenging if the medication produces side effects.
- There is no cure for OCD since it is a disorder, not a disease or illness. That doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Diseases are cured. Disorders require treatment which change, reorganize or restructure aspects of how the person processes thoughts and emotions. This allows them to begin operating more effectively or even stop obsessive tendencies.
- People with OCD are often diagnosed and misdiagnosed with other conditions, such as social anxiety, phobias, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, tourettes, Bi-polar, trichotillomania, generalized anxiety disorder, ADHD, ADD, Asperger syndrome, etc.
OCD Facts – Symptoms and Affects
- Social and economic costs for OCD were estimated at $8.4 billion in 1990 OCD need not be a consistent condition and can change over time. There may be periods the symptoms minimize or disappear before they return. Others will notice a steady increase of intensity or frequency as time passes.
- In England, the mean length of stay for hospitalization for OCD in 2002-03 was 50 days
- OCD can impact the quality of life in many ways, including the pursuit of education, employment status, financial independence, ability to socialize, and self esteem.
- OCD affects everyone differently, even when certain symptoms are more common.
- Up to 60% of suffers of OCD will have no overt compulsions. This is often referred to as “pure-O”
- The possibility of actually following through on an intrusive thought is extremely unlikely. This concern is one those with OCD can put aside
- Those with compulsions perform tasks to temporarily relieve stress from mounting anxiety and urges
- Those suffering from anxiety disorders tend to have a higher risk of substance abuse and addiction. It’s their way of coping with the general stresses of and intrusive thoughts.
- OCD symptoms worsen with stress and fatigue.
- There is no definite scientific evidence as to the cause of OCD. It used to be attributed to hereditary, others viewed it as a chemical imbalance and there are those who believe a big part of obsessive tendencies revolve around an inability to effectively cope with numerous types of stress as the real underlining issue
Leave a comment below on OCD facts or find more OCD information at:
What you need to do to stop OCD
Specific Symptoms of OCD (the most common symptoms pertaining to OCD
General OCD symptoms OCD facts and statistic were derived from US and British sources.Wang PS, Lane M, Olfson M, Pincus HA, Wells KB, Kessler RC. Twelve month use of mental health services in the United States. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;62(6):629-640.