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Know Some Of The Habits Which Can Be Diagnosed As A Disorder

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Ashwani Kumar 88% (17 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Gurgaon  •  40 years experience
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Hi All, 

I am Dr. Ashwani Kumar. I am a psychiatrist and today we'll talk about some of the common mistakes that many families make in identifying the disorders which they think is just a habit but actually, they are identifiable diagnosable disorders. It's very common in our culture to think that if somebody is asking the same question again and again; if somebody is checking the amount of money again and again or somebody is washing hands repeatedly so this is probably the habit of cleanliness, maintaining orderliness. But, in spite of this habit leading to a lot of distress to the person who is doing it or even to the people around him or her. For a long time, this is taken to be just a habit and it keeps on increasing in many cases, not in every case but in many cases, it keeps on increasing and family keeps on ignoring it thinking that it's a habit and habits don't change.

Similarly, we see so many situations where somebody in the family is too much afraid of using the lift, using the elevator or living in a closed place like if somebody has to go to the washroom they would like to keep the door open, somebody is traveling in the car wants to keep the window pane lower all the time and even sometimes avoiding traveling in the air conditioned coaches or even traveling by air. So it is also taken to be a habit for a long time but actually, these are the diagnosable disorders where scientific intervention can make a difference. Another thing which is very commonly missed is somebody getting excessively worried, somebody is getting late in the family, all others are not so much affected but one particular person keeps asking about this person, why he or she is late, something bad may happen, keep checking about it and this is conveyed to all the family members and at times it also leads to a lot of distress in this person and also a lot of inconvenience to the other family members.

But it is again taken to be a habit and ignored that habits don't change. So my suggestion is that something which is just taken to be a habit but we know that it is causing distress, we know that it is leading to some degree of impact on other family members, it should not be just dismissed as a habit. If a proper evaluation is carried out many times this condition can be a symptom of some of the anxiety disorders. So, it's in our interest that in such situation if a family member is having any behavior like this it's in our interest to get this family member evaluated by a team of mental health professionals. If there is a diagnosable disorder the professionals will tell the family members that yes it is a diagnosable disorder and that this particular family member can be helped in behaving in a more composed and calm way rather than indulging in this kind of anxiety.

Thank you.

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