Dr. Helen Blair Simpson explains if obsessive compulsive disorder/OCD is a progressive disease.
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Question: Is obsessive compulsive disorder a progressive disease? Dr. Helen Blair Simpson: You know usually what happens is the symptoms come on sometimes in childhood, adolescence the symptoms can be mild or then usually there are some sort of life event where really sort of if you will really disrupts the person's life. Then once they have them, for most people, it waxes and wanes. There would be periods where they might have fewer symptoms and periods where they might have more. It often seems triggered by what's going on in their life. There is a subset of patients who've had episodic OCD, they have the symptoms, they stop, they are completely free of them for a while. Then there is even smaller subset who get OCD symptoms and then have a downward course and can end up really very debilitated and quite ill or even end up psychotic. That's a very subset of the OCD patients that we see.

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