Complications of OCD include anxiety with panic symptom, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Roughly 80 percent of people who suffer from OCD experience depression. These people typically have a hard time maintaining relationships, do not marry as often as others, and have occupational and school problems. Though suicidal obsessions are common in OCD, less than 1 percent of people with OCD commit suicide. In fact, people with OCD rarely become completely incapacitated.

OCD is associated with other disorders that often involve excessive attention to the body and distorted perceptions of it. About 13 percent of people with OCD suffer from eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Slightly more, about 15 percent, suffer from trichotillomania, which is the irresistible urge to pull out one's own scalp, facial, or body hair.

Between 10 and 15 percent experience Tourette's syndrome, which causes involuntary muscle movements and tics, and repetitive uncontrollable speech that is often disruptive and profane. Tics are apparent in some people, especially during childhood, before OCD is diagnosed. Although its prevalence is not known, some people are affected by body dysmorphic disorder, in which they fear a certain body part is abnormal or misshapen, regardless of what others tell them.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Jan 2001

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2015