A patient’s guide to obsessive -compulsive disorder (OCD)
know the basics on causes, risk factors, symptoms and treatment.
OCD is a mental disorder that causes repeated unwanted thoughts or sensations (obsessions) or the urge to do something over and over again (compulsion).
It is not about habits like biting of the nails or thinking negative thoughts. An obsessive thought might be that, certain numbers or colors are “good” or “bad.” A compulsive habit might be to wash the hands eight times or more after touching something that could be dirty.
People with OCD have thoughts or actions that take up at least an hour a day, interfere with work and social life and are beyond control.
OCD CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
The exact cause is not clear. OCD risk factors include :
- a parent , sibling or child with OCD
- experience with trauma
- physical differences in certain parts of the brain
- a history of physical or sexual abuse
What are the symptoms of OCD?
OCD symptoms include obsessions, compulsions or both. An obsession is an uncontrollable thought or fear that causes stress. A compulsion is a ritual or action that someone repeats a lot.
Obsessions often have a theme, such as these :
- theme : fear of dirt or germs
•symptom : being scared to touch things other people have touched like doorknobs. Or not hugging it shaking hands with others.
- theme : extreme need for order •symptom : feeling stressed when objects are out of place.
- theme : fear of evil or hostile thoughts including warped ideas about sex •symptom : imaging troubling sexual or disrespectful scenarios
Like obsessions, compulsions also have common themes and symptoms.
- theme : washing or cleaning
- symptom : hand washing , taking a bath over and over.
- theme : checking
- symptom : repeatedly checking to make sure appliances are turned off or doors are locked
- theme : counting
- symptom : saying numbers in a certain pattern out loud
- theme : order
- symptom : feel the need to eat certain foods in a specific order. Arrange clothes in a specific way.
There is no cure for OCD . It symptoms are only managed. Treatment management include :
- psychotherapy – this helps change one’s thinking pattern
- relaxation – simple things like meditation, yoga and massage help with stressful OCD symptoms
- medication – psychiatric drugs called selective serotonin help people control obsessions and compulsions. Common ones include; citalopram, lexapro, fluvoxamine, etc….
Leave a Reply