What are the advantages and disadvantages of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)?    

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dcbiostat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which sufferers experience unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. A behavior is usually done in order to try to get rid of the thoughts and/or feelings. However, the thoughts and/or feelings persist even after the behavior is completed. This leads to a vicious cycle in which the thoughts and/or feelings consistently instigate the behaviors.

A disadvantage to OCD is that the routines that accompany an individual’s obsessive compulsive disorder can become all-consuming. Sufferers of obsessive compulsive disorders may have a poor quality of life because the ritualistic routines that accompany the disorder consume all their time. As a result, relationships with their loved ones may suffer.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is also thought to have an evolutionary advantage. Being obsessive about order and cleanliness is seen to be advantageous in a primitive world were disinfectants were nonexistent. Such behaviors are thought to have kept individuals clean and helped them live longer and produce more offspring.