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How common is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

OCD is one of the most common mental health problems. About 1 in 100 adults have OCD, and 1 in every 200 children and adolescents. We know that a number of famous people in the past had OCD - including Howard Hughes, Samuel Johnson and Martin Luther. OCD usually starts in your early twenties, although some people develop it in childhood or as teenagers.

OCD can cause a huge amount of anxiety as well as shame, guilt and depression. It can create havoc in personal relationships and family life and affect your ability to work. The World Health Organisation has listed OCD in the top ten most disabling illnesses in the world. People with OCD may not seek help for their problem, either because they are embarrassed or afraid, or because they don't realise that it's a treatable condition.