Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

by Editorial Board on April 10, 2012 · 0 comments

in Mental Conditions

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder where people can have repetitive thoughts or impulses.  People who are affected with this disorder  may check a dozen times to make the sure the coffee pot is unplugged, or wash their hands until they’re  raw, or they may be afraid something bad will happen to them if everything isn’t done perfectly.  Obsessive behavior comes in varying degrees, some people have an abnormal fear of dirt, superstitions, food, weight, religion and repetitive rituals just to name a few.

These obsessions are involuntary, impulses or thoughts the person can’t control, and it happens over and over again.  People who have OCD want to control these thoughts, but are unable to. These obsessive thoughts are often disconcerting and distressing.

Compulsions are behaviors or routines that occur over and over again on a daily, sometimes as often as on a hourly basis. Usually, compulsions are performed in an attempt to make obsessions go away.  If a person is afraid of contamination they might develop bizarre cleaning rituals. Unfortunately, the satisfaction is short-lived and ultimately, the obsessive thoughts usually come back stronger.

Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) fall into one of the following categories:

  • Washers –are compulsive about washing their hands over and over again.
  • Checkers –check to make sure doors are locked, the oven is off, or the lights are turned off, over and over again.
  • Doubters and sinners fear that if things aren’t done perfectly, there will be some sort of negative repercussion.
  • Counters and arrangers are absorbed with organization and order.
  • Hoarders are overly concerned that something bad will happen if they throw something away.  They fear, they may need it in the future.

The Following are typical signs that a person with OCD may be exhibiting:

  • Having to double-check things, such as windows, plugged in appliances, and switches.
  • Repeatedly Checking on your family to make sure they’re safe.
  • Repetitive rituals such as tapping, counting, checking and rechecking small details.
  • Excessive amounts of time spent on cleaning and sanitation.
  • Ordering or arranging things repetitively so they are “perfect.”

People who suffer from OCD find that it can wreak havoc on their personal and professional lives.  Treatment is usually a combination of medicine and therapy.  The sooner the OCD is diagnosed the better. Early treatment of OCD is optimal, as with any illness, and the early treatment can greatly reduce symptoms and the interruption the illness can create in your life. 

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