OCD Chicago

Overcoming OCD
Information for College Students

OCD Then and Now - Why You May Not Have Heard of OCD

OCD is not new.  But today, thanks to ongoing research, much more is known about this neurobiological anxiety disorder than ever before. 

Years ago, doctors didn’t have the resources they do today to help them diagnose OCD.  There were no consumer books written about OCD until the late 1980s.  Information has only been available on the Internet since the 1990s.  And just decades ago, medical research of OCD hadn’t even begun.

Given all this, few tools were available in the past to help doctors understand OCD—or to help parents of a child who had OCD.  Many families never asked their family physician for help, and also did not have access to mental health professionals. And many families just tried to cope and hid the symptoms as best they could so as not to be “different.”

Experts now believe that while OCD was present in similar numbers of adults and children in the past as it is today, the number of OCD cases was very much underreported giving the impression that today OCD is a “new” disorder.

A number of news reports and articles have surfaced in recent years as more has become known about OCD.  Besides appearing in prestigious medical journals, stories about OCD (and people overcoming OCD) have appeared in popular news magazines and on network television news shows.

This has brought OCD into the mainstream in unexpected ways.  When you watch some TV shows or movies, you may have seen a character depicted as having OCD, or exhibiting the obsessions and compulsive actions recognizable as symptoms of OCD.  Unfortunately, this is often played for laughs.  While it does build awareness of the disorder, it may cause people to dismiss OCD as something funny.  People who suffer with OCD would tell you it’s just the opposite—they are very unhappy and wish they could stop the obsessive thoughts and the compulsive actions.

That’s why it’s important to get treatment—so you can overcome this disorder and get back to the life you want.

Effective treatment for OCD

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