What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic mental illness in which a person gets persistent thoughts of unwanted routines or behaviors. If they avoid doing this, they get distressed. There are several types of OCD, depending on the symptoms a person is showing.

OCD is something beyond than a person just checking something or practicing an unwanted daily ritual. In severe conditions, the individual gets an excessive urge to do certain actions, and if that doesn't happen, they get irritated, and might cause physical damage to themselves.

Sometimes a person having OCD is well aware of the fact that whatever they are doing doesn't make any logic at all, but they are unable to stop it.

OCD effects the daily life routine, below-given are symptoms of OCD you must know:

Symptoms:

  • Fear of germs and dirt
  • Addiction to arrange things properly
  • Increasing violent thoughts
  • Fear of losing things
  • Hypervigilance
  • Meaningless repetition of a statement or word
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Ritualistic behavior

Types:

  • Contamination: In this condition, the individual gets a fear or worry obsessionally of being dirty and contaminated. They feel to shake hands or hold public doors, and avoid doing any of them. As they often clean a single thing multiple times, their physical health is impacted adversely.
  • Checking: In this condition, the individual will keep on checking the alarm systems, light switches, and ovens. Sometimes, they often doubt their medical condition, like pregnancy, mental illness, etc.
  • Symmetry: In this condition, the individual desires everything lined up in the right or symmetrical way. They have an obsessive fear of neatness, and spend a lot of money to get the symmetry, 'just right.' In most situations, the sufferer avoids going to public places, as a result their relationship gets affected.
  • Rumination: In this condition, the individual gets obsessional intrusive thoughts of being unproductive. They often question everything negatively, even after things are going right. For example, a person ruminating about what would happen to them after death, etc.

Treatment:

Treatment for obsessive-compulsive includes several therapies, medication, and sometimes both, depending on the severity. There is no exact cure for OCD, but it can be managed effectively through a combination of treatments. Firstly the therapist will go for exposure and response prevention to lessen your OCD thoughts and actions.

In severe cases, doctors even recommend selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to get over obsessions and compulsions. In the end, if any of the treatments don't work well, then you can go for neuromodulation.

  • CBT
  • REBT
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Self-help tips for OCD:

  • Get enough sleep: Proper sleep is important for having sound physical and mental health. If you don't get enough sleep while in OCD, you might worsen up your situation. Plan a schedule that suits your work well, and do as much self-care as possible. A sleepless night will make you feel more irritated, and it can trigger your OCD.
  • Try exercising: Exercise not just maintains individual physical health, but also it has lots of benefits for mental health. You can let go of your frustration and anxiety quickly by being physically active. Moreover, you can have good control over your thoughts and actions with exercise, which is very important in OCD.
  • Reduce the intake of caffeine: Caffeine adversely affects the nervous system and increases the chances of getting anxiety or depression. Hence, you should limit your caffeine intake if you are suffering from OCD. Even though, you will feel relaxed for a while after taking caffeine, but when the effect wears off, the chances of depression increases.
  • Avoid alcohol: Many individuals feel that consuming alcohol will reduce anxiety or depression, but in reality, it's just for a while. It acts as a powerful stimulant, and increases stress drastically.
  • Practice mindfulness: It's essential to accept the present moment and get out of the past to overcome OCD. Mindfulness is a useful technique in itself for anxiety. It usually works on doing everything with your mind present. This will help you get over the obsessive thoughts, and you can easily alter, or ignore them.
  • Educate yourself: Accepting the situation and the fact should be your main motto while overcoming OCD. There will be many people around you who will just deny that you are doing good, and nothing is wrong with you. Accept OCD and learn what better you can do about it. Talk to your peers about the problem if they are supportive.

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