Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is not thought to get worse with age, but it is a long-lasting disorder that doesn't usually go away by itself. While symptoms usually first appear in adolescence or early adulthood, they can fluctuate in severity throughout a person's life, appearing especially during times of stress. Most people who have OCD can recover with treatment, but relapse later in life is a common occurrence.
Sometimes, when a person learns more about their disorder and their own reactions, they can identify things that trigger their symptoms and avoid them. Some people also find relief with medication and therapy. Therapy can teach people the coping mechanisms they need to better deal with distressing thoughts. Support groups can offer those with OCD a place to discuss their symptoms with people who are also in recovery.