OCD – an overview of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD - an overview

If you are someone who is constantly checking switches, cylinder knob, door locks; washing hands and feet over and over again for fear of contamination; or if you do a ritualistic behavior for a certain number of times…then this blog post is for you. OCD, the full-form of this acronym is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is an anxiety disorder in which repetitive obsessive thoughts compel you to do repetitive behavior, termed as compulsion. The medical definition of OCD is: “a psychoneurotic disorder in which the patient is beset with obsessions or compulsions or both and suffers extreme anxiety or depression through failure to think the obsessive thoughts or perform the compelling acts.”

OCD starts with a small anxiety then slowly and slowly it intensifies and interferes in your daily life functioning. For some, the ritualistic behaviors become so automated that they don’t even realize that they have OCD. Following are some of the core signs and symptoms of OCD:

Obsessions Compulsions
Feelings of fear and apprehension that something might go wrong Getting compelled to perform certain ritual behaviors to avoid the things from going wrong
Fear of contamination from germs, other people, diseases, etc Constantly washing hands, checking door locks, etc
Constant fear of harming self and others Excessively checking for one’s safety and safety of near and dear ones
Getting highly superstitious and under the influence of blind beliefs Performing ritual behaviors again and again, many times a day
Excessive striving for order, symmetry and perfection Keeping things in perfect order, getting anxious or reacting even in a slight deviation in things

For some people OCD can be a minor case to handle but for some it is a very hard issue to handle on an everyday basis. It literally churns you to the core. The frustration of performing the compulsions is very grueling. The worst sufferers are the persons themselves and their care-takers too. OCD can arise due to genetic factors, situational variants, neurochemical disturbances in the brain, faulty coping to life’s stressors and pressures and so on. There are certain categories of OCD behaviors. They are as follows:

  • Washers: Constantly wash or clean their hands/legs for fear of contamination.
  • Checkers: Keep on double checking, rechecking doors, locks, switches, etc for fear of impending danger.
  • Doubters: Keep on doubting whether or not everything is OK. If not, they can go to any limits to make everything OK.
  • Sinners: They fear that they will be punished if something goes wrong.
  • Arrangers: Keeping everything in a well-arranged manner, in certain numbers or unique patterns are the main characteristics of arrangers. If something goes amiss in the arrangement they will keep on arranging things over and over again.
  • Perfectionists: They strive for perfection in anything and everything.
  • Hoarders: Hoarders never throw anything. They fear that if they throw away certain things then something bad will happen.

So folks from the above examples it is quite obvious that the root of OCD is anxiety. If this basic anxiety is rooted out from the thoughts then more than half of the battle against OCD will be won. If you or any of your near and dear ones experience OCD symptoms then please don’t ignore it. OCD can aggravate into more acute as well as chronic phases if not treated in a timely manner. Just don’t overlook it or take it carelessly.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

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