By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a major psychiatric problem where people have recurrent or persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that they find distressing, and they have compulsions in response to the obsession.

It is estimated that 2 to 45% of the population can experience it. Usually however, people experience it only for short period of time.

There are treatments available for the problem.

A combination of medication and psychiatric counseling can help. Some classic rituals are washing hands, repeating tasks again and again, counting to magical numbers, hoarding and constant reassurance.

Clearly, it has to be recognized and, if it is a problem, dealt with seriously.

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