When most people think of obsessive-compulsive disorder, they think of someone who’s a total neat-freak or perfectionist. In reality, OCD is much more than a quirky tic, habit, or desire to be perfect. “Symptoms of OCD can range from what we’ve seen on television — like obsessive washing of hands or arranging and rearranging items until satisfied to obsessive prayer to prevent harm or constantly checking some part of the body,” said Mogali. “These obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors can cause deep distress in the individual suffering from the disorder.” The best treatment plan for someone with OCD is psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy, and certain medications.
Often confused with depression or schizophrenia, bipolar disorder is characterized by stark shifts in mood and energy. Those with the condition often experience periods of prolonged and profound depression that alternates with periods of excessively elevated or irritable mood. “Depressive symptoms may include depressed mood, shifts in mood states, decrease interest in activities, loss of energy, preoccupation with death or thoughts of suicide,” Mayra Mendez, Ph.D., licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed psychotherapist, and program coordinator for intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health services at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center in Santa Monica, California, told us. “Manic symptoms, on the other hand, may include a sense of exaggerated sense of self, decrease need for sleep, excessive talking and racing thoughts, and difficulty sustaining focus.”