There are calls for more research to be undertaken to monitor those in high-risk groups, such as pregnant women and young people leaving home, to ascertain triggers and and help prevent the illness.
One method to help recognise the symptoms early on may be to screen women in ante-natal classes.
Cognitive Beheavioural Therapy is currently thought to be the only way to help treat the condition.
Ashley Fulwood, chief executive of OCD-UK said: “Misdiagnosis and delays in diagnosis remain a real problem because there isn’t sufficient expertise at a local level. If we can get to the root of the initial trigger for OCD, that will improve awareness and help reduce the burden of this hugely disruptive condition.”
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