Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder that can cause unwanted repeated feelings or thoughts (obsessions) or cravings to do things again and again (compulsions). Sometimes people suffer from both obsession and compulsion behaviors.

What is OCD?

OCD stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and this is a psychological condition that involves primarily two kinds of symptoms. You have obsessions and these are unwanted thoughts, ideas, or images that a person doesn’t want to have. You can’t stop them coming to mind and you create a lot of anxiety and stress.

And compulsions, are the things that a person tries to get rid of the obsessional thoughts or the associated anxiety. Sometimes, these behavior takes on rich unrealistic and composite quality.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD isn’t just about thinking negative thoughts or biting your fingernails. Some people may consider certain colors or numbers “good” or “bad.” Due to compulsion, some people wash their hands seven times after touching anything that may be dirty.

Despite the fact that you don’t want to think or act on these things, you just can’t help yourself.

We all have repetitive thoughts or behaviors sometimes. But, the following thoughts or actions are characteristic of people with this mental illness:

  • Consuming a lot of time during the day.
  • Are out of your control
  • Totally depressive
  • Conflict with your social life, work, or personal life

Check: Depression and Everything about it

OCD symptoms and types

There are many forms of OCD, however, most cases fall into four broad categories:

Checking

For example, checking door locks, alarm systems, kitchen stove, ovens, or light and appliances switches or thinking about a mental illness like schizophrenia, or checking pregnancy (through strips)

Contamination

It can be a fear or a compulsion to clean things that can be dirty. Feeling contaminated in the mind is the feeling of being treated like dirt.

Organized and symmetry

Everything has to be arranged in a certain order

Ruminations and unwanted thoughts

An obsession with an idea. Thoughts of violence or distress could either come from these ideas.

Obsessions and compulsions

OCD patients are often aware that their habits and thoughts don’t make sense. The reason behind they do is not because they enjoy them, but actually, they are not able to quit. Stopping makes them feel bad enough to start again.

Symptoms of obsessive thinking

  • Worry about yourself
  • Worries about hurting other people
  • Persistent awareness of body sensations such as blinking or breathing
  • Doubt that a spouse is unfaithful , without any reason to believe it

Symptoms of compulsive habits

  • Hand-washing again and again
  • Counting the items in particular patterns
  • Making sure the doors are locked repeatedly
  • Ensuring the kitchen stove is off repeatedly

Everything you should know about: Obsession and Compulsion

Obsessice compulsive causes

Doctors are unsure about what causes OCD. OCD can get worse if you are stressed. Females are affected more than males. Teens or young adults are often affected by these symptoms.

OCD risk factors

  • A child or sibling with OCD or a parent who suffers from OCD
  • Physical abnormalities in some parts of your brain
  • Tics, Anxiety or Depression
  • Having experienced trauma
  • An abuse history as a child

The streptococcal infection may sometimes become the cause of OCD in kids. This is referred to as PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders caused by streptococcal infections.

OCD diagnosis

If you think something else is causing your symptoms, your doctor may perform a physical examination and blood tests. Doctors will also discuss your feelings, thoughts, and habits.

OCD treatment

OCD is incurable. But you can control the symptoms by using a combination of medicines, therapy, and other treatments that affect your daily activities. Treatments are:

Psychotherapy

Changes in your thinking may occur when you undergo cognitive behavioral therapy. The doctor will engage you in a situation meant to trigger anxiety or excite compulsions, which is called exposure and response prevention.

You’ll learn to control OCD thoughts or behaviors and later stop them.

Relaxation

Stress can be mitigated through simple things such as meditation, massage, and yoga.

OCD Medication

Most obsessions and compulsions can be controlled with psychiatric medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It may take 2 to 4 months for them to start working.

There are many prescription medications that help with depression, such as sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine, paroxetine (Paxil), escitalopram (Lexapro), and citalopram (Celexa).

but, if you still experience symptoms, your doctor might prescribe antipsychotic drugs like risperidone (Risperdal) or aripiprazole (Abilify).

Check: Strategies To Control Overthinking

Neuromodulation

There are few cases, however, when therapy and medication do not work enough to make a noticeable change. In these cases, your doctor might refer you to a therapy that involves devices that alter the electrical activity in a specific brain area.

There is one type of stimulation FDA-approved for OCD treatment that is called transcranial magnetic stimulation. It stimulates nerve cells using magnetic fields.

Another procedure is such a complicated technique for treating OCD is to implant electrodes in the brain.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

The TMS machine is a non-invasive device that induces a magnetic field above the head for treatment. The aim of this meditation is to control OCD symptoms by targeting a specific brain part.

Check: Substance Abuse DIsorder

OCD related conditions

There are many separate conditions that resemble OCD. It involves an obsession for things like:

  • Your looks (body dysmorphic disorder)
  • An orderly collection of things (Hoarding Disorder)
  • Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania)
  • Skin picking (Excoriation)
  • Physical illness (Hypochondriasis)
  • How you smell or Body odor (Olfactory Reference Syndrome)

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