Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Many people today are suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), an anxiety disorder that is featured with disturbing or obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that become so excessive that they interfere with your daily life. If you are feeling uneasiness, fear or worry of any kind, apprehension, by repetitive behaviors or a combination of thoughts and behaviors, you might be suffering from this particular anxiety disorder. 

Some of the signs and symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Hoarding or fear that something bad will happen if you discard things.
  • Repetitive hand washing.
  • Excessive checking of door locks, checking the oven to see if it’s turned off, etc. in other words behaviors that are associated with harm or danger.
  • Preoccupation with aggressive impulses.
  • Dislike to odd numbers or obsession with order and symmetry. 

If you open and shut the door many times after some one enters your home, this too could be a sign of this disorder.  

OCD is a mental disorder which is pretty commonly seen in people today. This anxiety disorder is diagnosed as regularly as asthma or diabetes. It is observed that 1 in 50 adults suffer from such a mental disorder and the rate is increasing. Children, adults, and adolescents are the groups generally affected by this particular disease. Both biological as well as psychological factors play a lead role in this disorder. 

On the other hand, you may have obsessive thoughts or you might perform compulsive behaviors but these behaviors do not necessarily mean that you have OCD.  If these thoughts and behaviors cause tremendous distress, take up a lot of time, and interfere with your job, responsibilities or relationships, then you’re probably suffering from this disorder. 

Diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder 

As soon as you discover that you have any of the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder you may want to get it diagnosed by your doctor. There are various ways to deal with OCD once you properly diagnose the problems.  

Most people with obsessive compulsive disorder have both obsessions and compulsions, but some people experience just one or the other, so in order to get the diagnosis done for OCD, you need to have either obsessions or compulsions or both of them. 

Ways to deal with OCD  

When obsessive compulsive disorder is your problem you need to take up suitable treatments ranging from therapy to self-help and medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the treatment for OCD with the most favorable research. The two major components of this type of treatment are exposure and response prevention and cognitive therapy. 

In exposure and response prevention you are basically presented with the source of your obsessions and then asked to refrain from the compulsive behavior you’d usually perform to reduce your anxiety. For example, if you compulsively check that the doors are locked, you might be asked to lock the door once and not to check the lock again. As you sit with the anxiety, the impulse to check the locks will gradually begin to go away on its own. You will 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. 

The cognitive therapy component for obsessive compulsive disorder focuses on the catastrophic thoughts and exaggerated sense of responsibility you feel. A big part of this therapy is teaching you healthy and effective ways of responding to obsessive thoughts, without resorting to compulsive behavior. 

Medication treatments in the form antidepressants are sometimes used in conjunction with therapy for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. However, medication alone is rarely effective in relieving the symptoms.  

If children are suffering from this disorder, therapeutic treatment is supposed to be the last and effective treatment. Appropriate behaviors and symptoms are to be found out in order to take up suitable treatment towards OCD.  

There are number of ways to deal with OCD and you need to consult your doctor to take up the best suitable one.