Health

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Mental Health Condition

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is often referred to as OCD, is a disorder that disrupts the flow of good thoughts. The condition may be mistaken with other mental health problems, such as stress and anxiety, but definite factors separate it from the rest. Keep reading through the article to discover insights about the research findings and the signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Understand what OCD is by checking through real facts and why you can help someone w who suffers from the same condition.

What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder does fall in the category of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and stress. The disorder exposes the patient to have severe recurring thoughts, which are often unfavorable. The sensations make the patient feel driven to do unnecessary things repeatedly. If you keep doing repetitive practices like hand washing, cleaning, it significantly interferes with your daily routines. It is normal to have focus thoughts even if you repeatedly, but it becomes a disorder when it disrupts the way you work or somewhat disturbs the people around you. If you persistently repeat unwanted behaviors or thoughts, then you may be suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Notably, people suffering from the conditions feel that what they do is right, though some will unknowingly repeat even without noticing.

OCD Research and Findings

The results of the research and findings of OCD are still facing consistency imbalance. Many people believe that it results from how the brains connect the impulses, while others believe that it is a genetic disorder and often begins during childhood. The recent research attempts to assess the state of brain inflammation for people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. It was evident that patients had 32% higher brain inflammation than the rest. The patients suffer from fear of being hurt, contracting a disease, or even fearing being invested by germs. The obsessive-compulsive disorder often begins at the age of 19 years and can be burdensome since it impacts the sufferer’s day to day activities.

The Many Different Types of OCD

There are different types of OCD behaviors that affect several people. They include;

Fear of Germs

When you are suffering from the fear of contamination, you tend repeatedly doing the washing. You fear the contaminants so much, and your concerns broadly involve being careful with anything that may contaminate you. The pollutants you fear include dirt, germs, and chemicals. You may also be stressing about mental pollution. People suffering from this kind of OCD will start avoiding public places and even begin to avoid any situations that may trigger that feeling or make them feel comfortable?

Fear of Accidents

Patients are suffering from this type of disorder experience intrusive images and impulses that associate with possible harm. They fear the possibility of unintentionally harming someone or themselves being injured. It is an excessive thought of concern for people you care about, such as a loved one or even having illusions of hitting a pedestrian.

Perfectionist OCD

This is a perfectionism type of Obsessive-compulsive disorder. The patients are often concern about order, symmetry, and exactness. There are specific conditions that they must meet to achieve accuracy, forcing them to do the same thing repeatedly, even without caring about the time they take. They experience significant discomfort in instances where they don’t meet such requirements. The patients will only achieve completeness when they achieve exactly what they expect.

Unacceptable Taboo Thoughts and Mental Rituals

There are specific individuals with unacceptable thoughts and symptoms of obsession with religious and violent beliefs. The individuals tend to engage in covert rituals that attempt to seek reassurance. It often revolves around individuals experiencing intrusive thoughts that severely violate their moral values. The individuals’ attempts to control intrusive thoughts by engaging in mental ritualization, neutralizing, excessive prayers, and frequent checking.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of OCD?

When you are suffering from OCD, you will be displaying signs and symptoms of obsession and compulsion. Notably, the symptoms are very disruptive and disturbing all aspects of life, whether in school, work, or even personal relationships.

Obsessions

 If you experience repeated thoughts, mental images, and urges that will increase anxiety, it is an obsession disorder. The common obsessions include 

  • When you fear germs and any form of contamination 
  • You are obsessed when you always fear taboo thoughts or forbidden practices such as sex and religion. 
  • When you have things in a perfect order 
  • If you still have aggressive thoughts towards others or yourself.

Compulsions

 If someone experiences repetitive behaviors or is experiencing an urge to do something as a response to an obsessive thought, it is a compulsion. They include; 

  • Too much cleaning 
  • Too much concern about arrangements and symmetry 
  • Compulsive counting 
  • When you repeatedly check things to see if they are in perfect order.

Notably, it is a good thing to be focused or check things to ensure they are in order. But it becomes a disorder if;

  • You don’t get pleasure when you are doing it, but you get happiness in the thought of it. 
  • If you can’t control the thoughts or behaviors even when you do it excessively. 
  • When you experience significant problems due to the same thoughts 
  • If you spend most of your time doing it

Obsessive-compulsive behaviors will also display disorders such as eye blinking, facial grimacing, and shoulder shrugging. People suffering from this disorder will attempt to find ways to calm themselves by engaging in alcohol or drugs. Notably, patients often do not discover that their actions may be out of order.

How Is OCD Diagnosed?

You need to see a health care professional if you think you have Obsessive-compulsive disorder. When you see a specialist, you will then share your symptoms, and they will know if it will be necessary to see a specialist. In instances where the symptoms are severe, you may need to seek help from a psychiatrist who will then ask you several questions;

The most common questions you can expect from a psychiatrist are; 

  • Do you take a longer time to do your activities? 
  • Wash or clean your hands regularly.
  • Do you have thoughts that bother you so much? 
  • Is arranging things or instead of putting them in perfect order your general concerns? 

The answers you will give will guide your health care professionals in determining if you have the disorder or not.

Treatments and Therapies for OCD 

OCD can get treatment through medication. Many patients do respond to therapy from medication or psychotherapy. Not all patients react positively to treatments. Some will keep showing the symptoms. Notably, evidence links people with OCD to have other issues such as anxiety, depression, and dimorphic disorder. It is, therefore, essential to take note of other diseases when suggesting a treatment for OCD.

Medications

SRIs, often known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are the common medications that will help with Obsessive-compulsive disorders. SRIs are usually administered in daily doses. The dose can take 8 to 12 weeks to start effectively working though some patients can experience more rapid functioning.

In some instances, the symptoms may not rapidly improve even after taking the antipsychotic medication. When you are under medication, ensure that. 

  • You do not stop taking the medication unless under the instruction of your doctor. People who stop taking medications will experience a rebound or cases where the situation worsens. 
  • You can also talk to a pharmacist who will enlighten you on taking medications’ risks and benefits. 
  • In instances where you experience side effects, it will be wise to report any physician concerns, suggesting if it will help change the dose.

You can get more information about other medications for OCD. You can check out for necessary information about this medication on NIMH mental health educations webpage.

Psychotherapy 

Psychotherapy is also an effective treatment for people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, especially in adults. The types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy and other related therapies, benefit people suffering from OCD. It is a treatment process where the specialist will be guiding the individuals to touch things that trigger obsession while keeping them from performing the compulsive activities. People will spend time on activities that trigger the disorder. When this is effectively achieved, patients learn how to control it with time.

Patients’ treatment is often personalized, and the specialist can opt for psychotherapy or medication depending on whichever will bring the best results. Other treatment options that the patients can opt for include Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and deep brain stimulation.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

What Risks and Complications Can OCD Cause?

There are many challenging situations that Obsessive-compulsive disorder can expose you. First, the condition is time-consuming, hence disrupting your work and personal relationships with other people. When you repeatedly check things, you waste more time that could have otherwise be useful in doing other things. When you have a fear of contamination, you waste most of your time doing the cleaning. You tend to spend so much on detergents or anything that will help you maintain the cleanliness that you expect.

The need to repeatedly do cleaning may also interfere with your physical appearance, and you may be very disturbing when you are with people. OCD also will lead to problems such as Hoarding. Hoarding becomes quite a problem for you since it interferes with the comfort that you want in your house. People living with Obsessive-compulsive disorder find it quite challenging to leave a clinic or even go to a clinic. When you experience this, it will be wise to seek a specialist’s attention through a phone or call him to visit you at home.

How to Help Someone With OCD

People living with OCD symptoms do need help. How you react to them has a more significant impact on how they will recover from the disorder. You can always try to be positive while trying as much as possible to shun any comments that may negatively impact them. Notably, when you have a negative attitude towards the patients suffering from Obsessive-compulsive behavior, it worsens their situation and elongates their recovery times. It would help if you gave them a supportive environment that will motivate them.

First, shun anything that may appear to them like a personal criticism. OCD patients are sensitive to those, and you should understand that it is a symptom and not a character. Scolding people with OCD is something that must never cross your mind if you intend to help them. Notably, these people will never comply with what you expect them to do, and any attempt to scold them will worsen the situation. Kindness and patience are essential traits that you should possess to help people with signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Appreciating the little efforts they put while focusing on the positive elements they admire in their lives will significantly influence their first healing.

Now you don’t need to participate in their rituals. Doing this will even strengthen them. All you should focus on is to help them overcome the compulsions and not work with them in doing the same things that are unfriendly. Your communications with people suffering from obsessive-compulsive behavior should always be positive. It is through communication that you can find a balance between your loved ones. Please support them by consistently engaging in a lively conversation. You can always try to find humor in what they do in a way that won’t hurt them. Doing this will relieve them from the symptom, and they may easily avoid. Ensure that you do this in a way that will make them feel loved and respected.

OCD symptoms must never influence your entire family. You can always set as a family and find out the best ways possible through which you can help your loved one overcome the symptoms. Your family life should remain as normal as possible.

The Bottom Line

To conclude, Obsessive-compulsive behavior is a severe condition that influences many people. It is evident that the treatment only lies solely on what you do. Whether you are experiencing these symptoms or your neighbor has it, it will always be wise to understand how to handle it. It may not be easy getting rid of it, but you can be sure to get the best results when you put much effort and adherence to all the stipulated guidelines. Do not allow this disorder to be a challenge. Learn ways to handle it and get back to your everyday routines. 

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