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Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of a type of mental illness. People having OCD have either obsessive thoughts or compulsive, repetitive behaviours. In this article, we will be discussing about the causes, symptoms and signs of obsessive compulsive disorder.
You may think that biting your nails or always thinking negative thoughts is an OCD, but it isn't. Examples of OCD include thinking that your family members might get hurt if they don't put their clothing on in the exact same order every morning. And a compulsive habit might be to wash your hands 7 times after touching something that might be dirty.
OCD is a type of mental disorder that can affect your job, school and relationships, because your thoughts and actions are beyond your control.
Causes Of OCD
Doctors do not know the reasons of people having an OCD. Certain areas of the brain may not look normal in people with OCD, but further research is needed. OCD is common in women than men.
People are more likely to get this disorder if you have:
- A parent, or a sibling with OCD.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Experience with trauma.
- A history of physical or sexual abuse as a child.
Symptoms Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
People with OCD want to stop thinking or doing these repetitive, compulsive habits but, they might feel powerless to stop. They know that these habits don't make any sense, but they can't quit.
Obsessions and compulsions can include many different things like a need for order or cleanliness, intrusive thoughts about sex, religion, violence and body parts.
Obsessions are persistent thoughts, and impulses that cause distressing emotions such as anxiety or disgust.
The obsession thoughts can include the following:
- Fear of germs and getting dirty.
- Things to be placed in the exact same order.
- Worries about getting hurt or others being hurt.
- Constant awareness of breathing and blinking.
- Belief that certain numbers or colours are good or bad.
- Unfounded suspicion that his or her partner is unfaithful.
Compulsions are repetitive behaviours or mental habits that a person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession.
Compulsive habits can include the following:
- Need to count things, like steps or bottles.
- Washing hands many a times.
- Doing tasks in a specific order every time.
- Repetitive checking on a locked door and other things.
- Putting items in an exact order like things with labels facing front.
- Fear of touching doorknobs, using public toilets or shaking hands.
- Mental compulsions in response to unwanted obsessive thoughts. Like some people pray or say phrases to reduce anxiety or prevent a dreaded future event.
Diagnosis Of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Steps to help diagnose OCD include physical exam, lab tests, psychological evaluation, and diagnostic criteria for OCD.
It is often difficult to diagnose a person with OCD because symptoms can be similar to those of obsessive compulsive personality disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia or other rare mental health disorders.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatments
Obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD treatment will not result in a cure, but it can aid in bringing symptoms under control. The two primary treatments for OCD are psychotherapy and medications.
- Psychotherapy: It is a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is effective for people with OCD. It involves slowly exposing yourself to a feared object or obsession, such as dirt and having yourself learn the healthy ways to cope with it. This therapy takes effort and practice, but you may enjoy a better quality of life, once you get a hold of your obsessions and compulsions.
- Medications: Certain psychiatric medications can help control the obsessions and compulsions. These include clomipramine (anafranil), fluoxetine (prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, and sertraline.
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