Obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD, is a subversive and hard-to-treat condition that in extreme cases can have bizarre, disruptive, and even life-threatening consequences. You may have heard people refer to small idiosyncrasies as “being OCD,” but the real medical condition is quite serious. OCD is a psychiatric disorder in which people have obsessive thoughts and fears that cause them to act compulsively.[1. “Obsessive-compulsive disorder,” Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ocd/basics/definition/con-20027827.] While the disorder can consist of obsessive thoughts alone, the compulsive acts of OCD are what most people know, such as repeatedly washing hands or obsessively arranging household items. Many OCD sufferers are subject to high levels of anxiety, recurring grotesque delusions, and suicidal thoughts, making it difficult to live a normal life.
Due to its quirky and often morbid nature, the social stigma associated with OCD can make it difficult for people to be open about their condition and seek proper treatment. Even when treatment is sought out, people may be given powerful antidepressants or antipsychotics that have long lists of adverse side effects as disruptive as the condition itself. However, recent pioneering research is highlighting a powerful new way to manage the symptoms of OCD: the use of psilocybin mushrooms.