Many live with certain disorders without being aware of it. It is possible that someone close to you is living with OCD, and knowing the symptoms is crucial to diagnose the problem accurately and the treatment can be started as early as possible.
OCD or the obsessive-compulsive disorder refers to excessive thoughts leading to repetitive behavior or erratic personal behavior. This long-lasting and chronic mental disorder induces recurring and uncontrollable thoughts in a person. These types of behavior are medically referred to as ‘obsessions' and ‘compulsions'.
Patients suffering from the disorder feel a strong urge to repeat certain actions over and over again. These actions may include compulsive cleaning of the immediate domestic environment, washing hands or clothes, checking on things, etc. These behavior patterns may lead to severe disruptions in the daily life of the affected individuals.
How do you know if you have OCD?
Some of the common symptoms of obsession are fear of dirt or physical ‘contamination’, a constant urge to properly arrange or re-arrange domestic objects, having aggressive and sexual thoughts, harboring a desire to harm oneself or others, etc. Common examples of such thoughts include an irrational fear of physical ‘contamination’, feeling depressed at the sight of a lack of symmetry, thinking about acting inappropriately, shouting obscenities, etc.
Some of the common symptoms of OCD include repeatedly washing hands, compulsive counting, checking again and again on certain things, etc. For instance, patients may frequently check whether doors and windows have been secured inside an apartment, or whether the oven is switched on or switched off, etc.
What can influence such behavior?
OCD is an outcome of imperfect brain structure or specific chemical abnormalities in the brain. Genetics is also a possible causative factor. No one single reason is found as the main cause of this psychological disorder. Therefore, the exact reason behind this mental disorder eludes science till date. Many studies indicate that environmental factors may trigger this mental condition. For example, sexual or physical abuse in childhood or infections like streptococcal can trigger the subsequent development of OCD.
How can OCD be managed?
OCD can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, and a combination of both. The ideal treatment is determined by the condition of the patient and to which mode of treatment he or she is most responsive. When opting for antipsychotic medication, one needs to discuss this with his or her doctor to understand the benefits and side effects before commencing the medication. When it comes to treating the children or the adults, psychotherapy offers the most effective results.
Patients and their caregivers must realize that OCD does not have a surefire cure. Therefore, it may last for years or sometimes even a lifetime. However, proper psychological evaluation, therapies, and treatment should prevent the condition from worsening. These interventions help in controlling and managing the symptoms to ensure a long normal life. Patients are advised to visit a psychologist in case they identify any signs of OCD because early detection is the first step to effective treatment. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!