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Can OCD tendencies naturally decrease with age?

57 Answers
Last Updated: 03/04/2022 at 9:03am
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Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
July 8th, 2016 11:06pm
Yes. Even perfectionists fade with time. Specifically, when one starts to realize what really matters, and what never did.
Anonymous - Expert in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
November 3rd, 2016 4:29pm
I believe it can decrease with age. You can grow out of a lot of things and almost all mental disorders have cures. You will just need to think of ways to work around them and cope. It may not be easy but it will get easier with time. Everything needs time especially when it means you grow out of it. I personally experienced my OCD tendencies decreasing with age :)
- Expert in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
November 13th, 2016 6:12pm
Short answer is no, but the real question is can OCD be controlled with age? and the answer is yes. People with OCD learn to adapt and cope with it and eventually find a way to balance it in life.
Anonymous - Expert in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
November 24th, 2017 7:30am
OCD-like thinking is very common among teenagers. It is likely that when one gets older, those thoughts are milder or easier to deal with. It's as if you naturally develop better coping skills. Recognizing how common OCD thoughts are tends to already heal the pain.
September 9th, 2017 10:09pm
I personally found that, to the contrary, my OCD tendencies increased with age. Part of this was largely due to the additional stresses that come with growing up. For instance, my OCD began aged five, where my stresses beyond mental health were non existent. It occurred on and off throughout childhood and my teens but came back badly once I was at university with academic pressures, financial pressures, relationship pressures etc. Such triggers are clearly unhelpful for mental health problems. Not only this, but as a child I think there can be a certain element of having great trust in your parents and authority figures: when my parents told me that I would be ok if I didn't carry out a compulsion it was reassuring to the point of helping me resist it. But with my teenage years and adulthood came the realisation that maybe my parents don't know everything and doubts that they could be sure that everything would be ok if I didn't carry out a compulsion. Maybe people have vastly different experiences but this is definitely what I've found!
November 12th, 2017 5:18pm
OCD can present differently in people so how it changes over one's lifetime may also be different. My supervisor once mentioned that OCD which occurs children and adolescents are sometimes 'outgrown' or decrease as they get older whereas OCD that starts later in life (late adolescence or adulthood) may stay for a much longer time. Seeking treatment can also make a difference as a person who has been having treatment for longer (be in medication or therapy) could have their symptoms reduce over time as they learn to better manage them.
February 15th, 2018 12:27pm
Yes. There are studies that show that. But, if you have OCD you should take a therapy, because it will help you a great deal.
July 16th, 2016 10:44pm
In some cases, if you learn to deal with it. But normally the best ways to treat OCD is by some types of medications (I can't say specifically because it is determined on the person as well as the dose) and also CBT is very useful too: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This can be a process of questioning and also carrying out some things to help minimize and stop the OCD. Things like delaying the obsession for a certain amount of minutes can help. I hope this helped in some way :)
October 26th, 2016 2:08am
For some people OCD tendencies do decrease with age. That actually happened with me, I use to have a lot of OCD tendencies but I was able to slowly train myself out of most of them. A lot of that was just me learning about the anxiety that was the route of my tendencies, and then learning how to deal with that anxiety.
August 11th, 2016 5:11pm
It is difficult for OCD tendencies to decrease with age. With proper therapies their are chances of them decreasing gradually.
October 16th, 2016 6:37pm
OCD can't decrease with age if not dealt with it. It has nothing to do with age, it has more to do with how badly the person suffering wants to heal.
February 16th, 2017 3:18am
They can, but usually they just get worse over time. Either way, one should always look for ways to seek help in order to get better. OCD tendencies can even be helped with small exercises that you can do by yourself and for free!
March 10th, 2017 8:41pm
They can but in most cases people overcome them. Suffering from OCD is not something that just goes away over night. OCD tendencies are usually used when you are stressed out. You need to work hard to overcome them and realize you went years without doing these ticks
July 15th, 2017 7:32pm
Based on my personal experience, OCD tendencies do tend to decrease with age. As I've grown older, I've come to be in more control of my thoughts - but I think it can be different for everyone.
April 27th, 2018 6:24pm
From my personal experience, they can. It all depends on stress, what is going on in your life, and the severity of your OCD.
April 26th, 2018 10:59am
Most likely not, because it is just the way an OCD brain is wired. You can unlearn and cure OCD tendencies with the right help at any age.
January 3rd, 2019 11:16am
I think maybe yes. I don’t think it’s quite so natural. You will have to force yourself to stop some tendencies and that should help, but naturally I think, as a person with OCD, some of my my tendencies do tend to decrease in a way that, I don’t feel as much need to do stuff, or the stuff I do do doesn’t bother me to do as much as it use to. Scientifically I do not know the answer sorry but speaking from experience I think partly yes, but in order to fully see a decline it must be partly unnatural
January 24th, 2019 3:56am
As I have grown, I have noticed that my OCD has changed. When I younger, it was more of having rooms and big areas organized and everything needed to be in its place. Now that I am older, my OCD has transferred into smaller, less conventional things that people wouldn't usually think of. When I eat any sort of candy or gummy where anything that has multiple flavors or colors, I have to eat them in a certain order. Whether it’s by color or flavor I can't physically eat-or in general-pick up a different colored of flavored item. I do believe that OCD tendencies can decrease as you get older.
July 27th, 2016 9:56pm
My mother used to experience OCD as a young adult. now that she is in her 50s it is manageable.
August 13th, 2018 4:20pm
I believe everyone is different so I am not speaking for anyone but in my personal experience, over time my OCD tendencies have decreased. I still have it but it is much less than how it used to be. I'm still very young and I am already able to control it better so I believe it does decrease with age :)
February 1st, 2020 6:58am
Age honestly has nothing to do with increasing or decreasing OCD. In time you have better coping skills for it or replace some of the OCD activity with something new or productive. OCD can be useful and even helpful if you find a positive outlet for it. With age maybe comes new ways of coping and making OCD work for you instead of it making a mental prisoner of you. Not everyone has found that happy in between and there are those still who heed the call of the obsessive but have hope because with OCD also comes a super focus. Focus on what you can do positive with your OCD.
July 3rd, 2020 9:03pm
As a victim of OCD myself, I can only state my opinion. It varies from person to person. But you have the power to control it. It's definitely not easy but also not impossible. There are good days then there are some bad days. We need to be there for each other and for ourselves. I do understand that it is very difficult and challenging but getting out of it is such a great reward. You need to remember that you are not alone, don't be afraid to reach out. We're all in this together. Be kind and helpful to each outer.
October 8th, 2016 10:21am
OCD varies a lot from each individual - and its affect on you can change over time. If you have been experiencing OCD for a while, it could be that you've naturally learned how to cope with the feelings.
March 12th, 2017 4:37am
OCD is an interesting condition that comes with challenges and benefits. Over time these tendencies can certainly change. They may change in frequency but that will differ from one individual to the next.
April 14th, 2017 5:18am
OCD symptoms can change over time, in terms of intensity or the specific symptom itself. There can be better stages and worse stages. It can decrease with age, but it depends on the person and the severity of their OCD. Some people may feel it getting better, but not going away completely. It's important to get treatment for OCD if you feel it is too hard to deal with.
July 13th, 2017 4:39am
I do not think that they decrease with age, but I do think that it is possible to know how to better manage the tendencies with age.
May 25th, 2018 1:19pm
OCD tendencies worsen when they are continually being fed with compulsive behaviours and rituals. Hence why of course, the concept of natural decrease with age is hard to measurr as it depends on how much time we are preoccupied with feeding the fear and guilt by performing said rituals. I believe that it is less to do with natural passing of time, but more to do with learning managing techniques here and now. OCD can really destroy the quality of life one has when they follow through with the instructions and urges which this condition causes them to experience. When we practice OCD management with tools such as mindfulness and CBT techniques, we may notice a decrease in the rate at which OCD interferes with our every day life. Theories currently suggest that OCD is a biological process/chronic disease, however personally, and through researching people's personal experiences, I've found that a lot can be done to regain more control over our everyday lives.
May 31st, 2018 2:18pm
For my personal experience, OCD needs to be cured properly. You may help yourself by trying some exercises but therapy is the best way to learn how to handle it.
July 4th, 2018 6:05pm
It all depends on the person some people find it better with age while others it doesn't You can't really give a specif answer as everyone's different.
June 8th, 2019 6:44pm
Tendencies that occur when we are young can sometimes intensify as we age. This is what I have experienced, and see in my friends the same age as I due to hormonal changes. Hormones help us keep on a even keel, and when they are gone we are more helpless than ever. We need more support than ever as we age, and it is very difficult to find. The younger people are not much help, as they have very little resources to draw from. Older people can draw comfort from each other, as we understand the problems each of us face. Problems concerning our future that the younger generation doesn't give much thought to.