Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Law and Legal Definition

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental disorder characterized by obsessions or compulsion, often both, that are time consuming or distressing. They interfere with a person's daily routine, relationships with others, or ability to function. Obsessions are persistent impulses, ideas, images or thoughts that invade a person's thinking and cause anxiety. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts performed to relieve or prevent anxiety.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is treated by cognitive-behavior therapy and medication. Cognitive therapy seeks to change distorted thinking and beliefs. Behavior therapy teaches the skills needed to gain better control over one's behavior.