APA Blog

Category : OCD

Athletes’ Superstitions and Rituals

Rituals and superstitions among athletes, and non-athletes, are very common and are typically harmless. In fact, they are at times helpful for athletes facing unpredictability in their sport and these rituals and superstitions can help them feel more in control. People may jokingly or offhandedly refer to these behaviors as OCD-like, referring to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, they are not the same as OCD, a potentially debilitating mental health disorder.

Kleptomania

Most people are familiar with the term kleptomania, a real, but rare, mental health condition. The key feature of kleptomania is the repeatedly acting on impulses to steal items even though the items are not needed. A person with kleptomania does not usually preplan the theft and does not work with others. The stolen objects typically have little value and the person often gives or throws them away.  Kleptomania is different from ordinary theft or shoplifting.

Improving Treatment for Common Phobias

Specific phobias are a type of anxiety disorder affecting between 3 and 15 percent of the population. While effective treatments are available, most people don’t seek treatment; an estimated 10 to 25 percent of people with a specific phobia seek treatment.

Trichotillomania: Potentially Debilitating yet Often Unnoticed

Trichotillomania, or compulsive hair-pulling disorder, involves repetitively pulling one’s hair out to the point of causing bald patches. Many people twist and play with their hair, but that is not the same as trichotillomania.

Online Mental Health Screenings: A Potential First Step

Several organizations provide brief online screenings for depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health conditions. More than one million people took screenings through the Mental Health America site alone in 2016.