Obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD, is a mental illness that causes unwanted thoughts or urges to do something over and over again. Some people have both obsessions and compulsion. OCD is not a habit like biting your nails, but it is a habit of washing your hands repeatedly after touching something dirty, and you can get OCD treatment. It does not necessarily mean that you want to do it, but it is not in your control. Everyone has certain habits or thoughts that they repeat sometimes, but for people who have OCD, their habits include:
- Beyond your control.
- You don’t enjoy it.
- Take at least an hour a day.
- Disturb your daily routine or things that you used to enjoy doing.
Types of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
OCD has many forms, but generally, we can divide them into four categories.
It is a fear that things around you are dirty and need to clean them again and again. Mental contamination is also a form of this where you feel like you have been treated like dirt.
A fear that you left a lock, alarm system, or oven on. Continuously checking if everything is locked or is turned off. It might also involve you to think that you have a medical condition like schizophrenia.
The patient is always thinking about a certain thing, continuously. These thoughts are often disturbing or violent.
Keeping things in order
It is an obsession with keeping everything in a particular order and in a balanced way.
Obsessions or Compulsions?
People with OCD know that their thoughts don’t make sense, and neither do they enjoy it. But since it is not in their control, they can’t do anything about it. Even if they can stop those thoughts, they feel bad and start thinking about them again.
- Always being aware of your body sensations.
- Worrying about getting hurt or hurting others.
- A suspicion that your partner is unfaithful without having any evidence.
Compulsive habits include:
- A need to count things like steps or bottles.
- Fear of shaking hands or using public toilets.
- Doing tasks in a specific order every time.
Risk Factors and Causes
Doctors are unsure why some people have OCD, but stress can make those symptoms worse.
Risk factors include:
- Sibling, child, or parent with OCD.
- Depression, anxiety, or ticks.
- Physical differences in your brain.
- History of physical and sexual abuse.
- Experience with trauma.
- Genetics: OCD may have a genetic component.
- Learning: Some fears may develop over time or by watching others around you.
- Biology: OCD might result from specific changes in your brain or your body’s natural chemistry.
You should make sure that you visit a doctor; He might do a physical exam and run some blood tests to diagnose the problem. He will also talk about your feelings and thoughts and try to figure out the problem through therapy.
There is no treatment for OCD, but if you manage your symptoms, take medicines, and go to therapy, these will undoubtedly make a good impact on your OCD. Some treatments include:
Some psychiatric drugs may help to control your obsessive thoughts and control your compulsions. However, if even after taking medicines, your symptoms persist, talk to your doctor.
Things like meditation, yoga, and massage have proven to benefit patients with OCD.
Cognitive therapy can help you with OCD. Exposure and response are treatments where the doctor will put you in a situation to trigger your thoughts, and then you will learn how to lessen and then completely stop your OCD thought.
When therapy and medications don’t work, your doctor might suggest going for a treatment that changes your brain’s electrical activity. It uses a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells and is an approved method by the FDA.
Problems that might result from OCD may include:
- Health issues.
- Troubled relationships.
- Too much time spent in ritualistic behaviours.
- Difficulty attending school or work.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Poor quality of life.
Although there is no treatment for OCD, you can avoid certain factors. As soon as you see specific symptoms, it is better to avoid those behaviours or seek help immediately. If it runs in your family or anyone around you, make sure to seek help from a doctor and let your family know. In certain conditions, the more support you have, the better are the chances of recovering from the disease. Immediate help and attention is necessary for such patients, and don’t stop from seeking help right away.