Obsessive Compulsive Disorder- Know all about it. - Seeker's Thoughts

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder- Know all about it.


Do you bite your nails repeatedly? Or do excessive cleaning house, washing clothes or body? Yes? Then you might be suffering from OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).
 It’s very normal, occasionally to double-check your work if it’s done or not.
                                                   

 But if you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors become so consuming they interfere with your daily life. 


OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and ritualized repetitive behaviors. These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress.


Even if you try to ignore and stop your obsessions, but that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts to try to ease your stress. 


Despite efforts to ignore or get rid of bothersome thoughts or urges, they keep coming back. This leads to more ritualistic behavior – the vicious cycle of OCD.



How can you recognize OCD?

The obsessive-compulsion disorder usually both obsessions and compulsions. But it’s also possible to have only obsession symptoms or only compulsion symptoms. 

You may or may not realize that your obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable, but they take up a great deal of team and interfere with your daily routine and social or functioning.


Obsessive Compulsion disorder categories

People who are suffering from OCD face several types of symptoms-

-       Some people are afraid of contamination. They usually have a cleaning or hand-washing compulsions.


-       Some people are checkers. They repeatedly check things (oven turned off, door locked, etc.) that they associate with harm or danger.

-       Sometimes people consider them doubters and sinners. They are afraid that if everything isn’t perfect or done just right something terrible will happen, or they will be punished.

-       Some people are very certain about counting and arranging things, they are usually obsessed with order and symmetry. They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colors, or arrangements. They are called counters and arrangers.

-       There is a condition called Hoarders' fear.  in this condition, people face several types of fears that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don’t need or use. They may also suffer from other disorders, such as depression, PTSD, compulsive buying, kleptomania, ADHD, skin picking, or tic disorders.

                             
 How severe it can be?

 Obsessive compulsion disorder usually begins in the teen or young adult years. Symptoms usually begin gradually and tend to vary in severity throughout life. 

Symptoms generally worsen when you experience greater stress. 

OCD, usually considered a lifelong disorder, can have mild to moderate symptoms or be severe and time-consuming that It becomes disabling.




Worldwide view of OCD

The worldwide prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is approximately 2% of the general population. Symptoms of OCD include fear of contamination by dirt or germs; constant checking; repetitive, intrusive thoughts of a somatic, aggressive, or sexual nature; extreme slowness; and an inordinate concern with orderliness and symmetry.

 Differential diagnosis is sometimes complicated by the overlap between OCD and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OPCD). The most common complication of OCD is depression.


However, while both serotonergic and nonserotonergic antidepressants are effective in treating patients with depression, only serotonergic medications are effective in treating OCD patients. 

Because OCD patients often attempt to conceal their symptoms, it is incumbent on clinicians to screen for OCD in every mental status examination, since appropriate treatment can often result in improved quality of life.


Myths and misconceptions about OCD

When myths drown out the voices of people with OCD, this diagnosis can be stigmatized. Jokes can be hurtful to people with OCD. They may create false expectations in family and friends. Stigma may even deter people from seeking treatment.

There is a myth about OCD that is a mental superpower that can make you a brilliant doctor, doctor, detective, or inventor.


But the fact is OCD is not a superpower. It often gives a person racing, uncontrolled thoughts rather than superhuman logic.

The second myth is – all people with OCD obsess about cleaning. While cleaning is just one of many OCD-related compulsion.

The third myth is – someone with OCD will have the same obsessions their entire life. While the theme of OCD symptoms can change over time.


The fourth myth is bad parenting causes OCD, whereas a complex interaction of factors causes OCD. Bad parenting is rarely the cause.

People with OCD are not picky and controlling but the fact is OCD is a mental health condition, not a personality trait.


There is also a myth that people with OCD are dangerous. The fact is people with OCD are not any more likely to commit crimes than anyone else.





What can be the causes of OCD?

The cause of OCD isn’t fully understood. There are several theories which include – Biological, genetics, and environment

OCD may be a result of changes in your body’s own natural chemistry or brain functions.

OCD may have a genetic component, but specific genes have yet to be identified. Some environmental factors such as infection are suggested as a trigger for OCD, but more research is needed.


What are the risk factors?

Having parents or other family members with the disorder can increase your risk of developing OCD. Other risk factors can be experienced traumatic or stressful events, your risk may increase, this reaction may or some reasons, trigger the intrusive thoughts, rituals and emotional distress characteristic of OCD. 


Treatments
Obsessive behaviors can often be dramatically reduced using behavior therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). 

Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac (fluoxetine), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride) or Zoloft (sertraline) may also be helpful.


Self-help too can be helpful in OCD prevention

It might seem smart to avoid the situations that trigger your obsessive thoughts, but the more you avoid them, the scarier they feel. Conversely, by repeatedly exposing yourself to your OCD triggers, you can learn to resist the urge to complete your compulsive rituals. 

This is known as exposure and response prevention (ERP) and is a mainstay of professional therapy for OCD.

ERP requires you to repeatedly expose yourself to the source of your obsession—and then refrain from the compulsive behavior you’d usually perform to reduce your anxiety. If you are a compulsive hand-washer, for example, that could mean touching the door handle in a public restroom and then not allowing yourself to wash your hands. As you sit with the anxiety, the urge to wash your hands will gradually begin to go away on its own. In this way, you’ll learn that you don’t need the ritual to get rid of your anxiety and that you have some control over your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

Building your fear ladder

Think about your end goal (to be able to use a public restroom without fear of contamination, for example, or to drive to work without stopping to check if you’ve hit something) and then break down the steps needed to reach that goal.

 Using the information you recorded in identifying your triggers, make a list of situations from the least scary to the scariest. The first step should make you slightly anxious, but not so frightened that you’re too intimidated to try it.
As you’re resisting your compulsions, focus on the feelings of anxiety
Instead of trying to distract yourself, allow yourself to feel anxious as you resist the urge to engage in your compulsive behavior. 

You may believe that the discomfort you’re feeling will continue until you engage in the compulsion. But if you stick with it, the anxiety will fade. And you’ll realize that you’re not going to “lose control” or have some kind of breakdown if you don’t perform the ritual.
Practice

The more often you practice, the quicker your progress will be. But don’t rush. Go at a pace that you can manage without feeling overwhelmed.

And remember: you will feel uncomfortable and anxious as you face your fears, but the feelings are only temporary.

 Each time you expose yourself to your trigger, your anxiety should lessen and you’ll start to realize that you have more control (and less to fear) than you thought.



Stay connected to family and friends.

Obsessions and compulsions can consume your life to the point of social isolation. In turn, social isolation will aggravate your OCD symptoms. It’s important to invest in relating to family and friends. Talking face-to-face about your worries and urges can make them feel less real and less threatening.
Join an OCD support group

You’re not alone in your struggle with OCD, and participating in a support group can be an effective reminder of that. OCD support groups enable you to share your own experiences and learn from others who are facing the same problems.




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