This page provides you with information about OCD in adults.

The psychiatric services in Central Denmark Region treat OCD in these teams:

What is OCD?

OCD is an abbreviation for obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is characterised by recurring compulsive thoughts and/or compulsive actions. Most children and adults who have OCD have both compulsive thoughts and actions. 

“I tried to control my compulsive thoughts, but the more I tried not to think of them, the more they filled my head. It was impossible to control my thoughts, and I became more and more convinced that I was going mad.”

Why do some people delevop OCD?

There is no straightforward explanation for why some people develop OCD. The cause is often a complex interaction of different factors, including genes, congenital susceptibility, and various types of stress and burdensome events.

Symptoms of OCD

“I was afraid that if I told someone about my thoughts to harm others deliberately, they would distance themselves from me. And I was afraid, too, about whether I really was a violent person when my thoughts kept focusing so much on violence and rape.”

Examination for OCD

Samtale i psykiatrien


There are two types of documented, effective treatment for OCD: Psychotherapy in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy, and medication.

Doctors, psychologists and others with experience of treating OCD can decide what type of treatment is most appropriate. Before dismissing any option, it is important to get sufficient information about medication and cognitive behavioural therapy in order to be able to make an informed decision. In addition, it is important to remember that there is always a choice. The person is never forced to go on medication or to undertake a course of therapy, and it is always possible to taper off the treatment.

Advice for people who have OCD

Advice for relatives

Text on this page updated August 2021.

Most recently revised by: Mikkel Arendt, Psychologist specialising in psychiatry, Clinic for PTSD and Anxiety Disorders, Aarhus University Hospital – Psychiatry.

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