OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by irrational thoughts and fears leading you to do unwanted repetitive behaviors. You may be able to realize that your obsessions are unreasonable and you may even try to stop them like you would once you get help for depression. However, your attempts would increase your anxiety and you would end up performing compulsive acts to alleviate your stress and anxiety. OCD usually starts during childhood or teenage.
What Causes OCD
The exact cause of OCD is not known. However, changes in your body chemistry and brain functions may contribute to this disorder. It may also run in families. Environmental factors may also lead to this disorder. Inadequate serotonin level may also cause obsessive compulsive disorder. If you react to stress strongly, you are more likely to develop this disorder.
Obsessive compulsive disorder cause both obsession and compulsion symptoms. If the obsessions are recurrent and persistent and you have impulsions involuntarily, it may be one of the OCD symptoms. In order to be diagnosed with this disorder, your obsessions must be repeated and intrude while you try to think about or do some other things. Obsession symptoms include
• Fearing about contamination while touching objects that have been touched by others or while shaking hands.
• Unwanted thoughts or images of hurting your child
• Avoiding situations that could trigger obsessions
• Imagining pornography in your mind repeatedly
• Skin lesions due to picking at your skin
• Hair loss or patches due to hair pulling
Compulsions like washing and cleaning, checking, demanding reassurances, counting and performing the same actions over and again are some of the OCD symptoms. Counting in some patterns, washing hands until your skin becomes pink, checking doors several times to ensure they are locked or arranging your things to face the same way are some of the examples of OCD.
When to seek Medical Help
Being a perfectionist and having OCD are different. Keeping your home so clean does not mean that you have obsessive compulsive disorder. OCD is severe and consumes a lot of your time. With OCD, the quality of your life will be affected. If you try to stop your urges, you may feel stressed. If OCD starts disrupting your day to day life, you need to seek the help of your doctor. OCD treatment can help you get rid of the symptoms and get back control over your life.
Medications and psychotherapy are the major OCD treatment options that can help ease the symptoms. Antidepressants and antipsychotic medications are usually prescribed to keep your symptoms under control effectively. If you take some other medication or vitamin or mineral supplements, you need to tell your doctor about them, because some medications and supplements could interact with OCD medications and cause side effects.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a safe and effectual OCD treatment option. It involves changing your negative thought patterns and making you realize that obsession and compulsive behaviors are not at all necessary. Making some lifestyle changes like avoiding alcohol and drugs and learning some relaxation and stress management techniques can help you get relief from OCD symptoms and lead a normal life.