Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: How to Spot the Signs

VIDEO: Therapist Jenifer Garrido helps patients manage this disorder.
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This morning on "Good Morning America" you saw a report about "Obsessed," the new A&E reality series that looks at the daily lives of people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The disorder, commonly known as OCD, is a debilitating illness that affects more than 2 million Americans.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, OCD is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviors.

VIDEO: Therapist Jenifer Garrido helps patients manage this disorder.
OCD: When Habits Become Obsessions

Sufferers are mainly treated through cognitive behavioral therapy, comprising talk therapy plus exposure and response prevention.

Click HERE to learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy.

Click HERE to learn more about "Obsessed" on A&E.

Signs of OCD

OCD has many symptoms. Here's a partial list from the Mayo Clinic:

Intense distress when objects are out of order.

Doing the same thing over and over again.

Fear of being contaminated by shaking hands or by touching objects others have touched.

Doubts that you've locked the door or turned off the stove.

Thoughts that you've hurt someone in a traffic accident.

Excessive neatness.

Excessive hand-washing, sometimes until skin is raw.

Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they're locked.

Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it's off.

Counting in certain patterns.

How to Get Help

Here's a list of resources you can use to cope with OCD:

The Mayo Clinic. Information, symptoms overview and treatment options.

National Institute of Mental Health: Information, overview of symptoms, and locating services.

International OCD Foundation: A nonprofit organization that provides awareness, education, advocacy and support for sufferers of OCD and related disorders.

Kid's Health: Provides information about obsessive-compulsive disorder in children.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Overview of OCD symptoms and treatments, including a list of common medications and side effects.

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.

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