Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder where people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). For the approximate 2.3% of the global population (1 in 40) who have met the criteria for an OCD diagnosis at some point in their lives, the disorder can have a highly impactful effect on their life, taking up hours of the person’s day, negatively interfering with work, family and social relationships.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is due to genetic and hereditary factors, and are often triggered by several factors and may be further influenced by stressful life events and/or hormonal changes. The obsessions are intense, disruptive, unwanted thoughts that do not go away, and the compulsions are learned behaviors that become repetitive and habitual as they serve to provide relief from the original anxious thoughts that occupy the individual.

The four major categories of OCD include: contamination and washing; doubts about accidental harm and checking; symmetry, arranging, counting and just right OCD; and unacceptable taboo thoughts and mental rituals. Quite often, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is compounded by other illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. If left untreated, OCD can worsen to the point where the person is unable to function, or they experience suicidal thoughts. Approximately 1% of OCD sufferers die by suicide.

One Mind is providing hope for those affected by OCD. Through our One Mind Rising Star Awards grant program, One Mind has supported the following scientists in their important and influential OCD focused research.