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Overview

Ocd - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is OCD?

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental illness where patients with this disease, feel that they need to check on things repetitively. OCD patients ritualistically perform certain actions as a routine or have certain thoughts that they harbor repeatedly. Some of the most common activities that OCD people often do is like counting things, repeated hand washing or see if the doors and windows are locked. Some of the OCD patients all find difficult to throw unnecessary or old junks off. These activities happen to such a degree that most often they tend to jeopardize their normal life and their daily life gets negatively affected. Though most adult OCD patients realize that their strange behavior doesn’t make sense, but still they just can’t stop.

Experts Advice :

Experts on this disease, says that OCD affects about 2.3% of people around the globe, at some point in their lives. Generally the symptoms start after the age of 35, although there are many who even develop OCD symptoms even before 20. Male and female are equally affected with this malady.

If you have OCD, there are several ways you can help yourself to recover from this disease. One of the most powerful strategies to abolish the OCD rituals that make your obsessions going on.

More About OCD :

Don’t avoid your fears

It may seem to be a wise decision to avoid your obsessive thoughts, but in reality the more you do so, the scarier you shall feel. So, it’s best to expose yourself to your OCD triggers and then try to delay or resist the urge to complete your relief-seeking OCD ritual. If resistance on your part gets too hard, try to lessen the amount of time you spend on doing them. It has been noticed that the more number of times you expose yourself to your OCD triggers, your anxiety should also lessen and you shall soon realize that you have started to understand that you are in more control of your OCD rituals than you think.

Refocus your attention

When you are experiencing your OCD urges and thoughts, try to shift your attention to something else instead.You can go for a walk, do exercise, surf the web, and make a phone call, play video games and others. The important thing is, whatever that you do, enjoy doing something for at least 20 minutes, in order to delay your responses to the compulsive thoughts.

Anticipate OCD urges

By anticipating your obsessive and compulsive urges, even before they arise, you can help yourself to get rid of your OCD. Whatever the compulsive thoughts be, pay extra attention to the job the very first time. So that when the urge to do or check arises later, you will find it easier to re-label the thought as an obsessive disorder.

The cause for this mental disease is unknown. However, according to doctors both genetic and environmental factors are believed to play a role in developing this malady.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
Symptoms
Fear of getting contaminated by dirt or germs or get distressed thinking about contaminating others. Double-checking of things excessively, such as appliances, locks and switches. Praying excessively or participating in religious rituals- which are triggered by fear. Accumulating junk and not disposing them off. Intrusively thinking of sexually explicit, violent thoughts and images. Repeatedly checking on the family members and loved ones to see that they are safe.

Popular Health Tips

What Causes OCD?

Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, United Kingdom (MRC Psych), MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Ghaziabad

OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder.
Obsessions are repetitive thoughts, ideas, images which the person knows are wrong but cannot stop them resulting in marked anxiety and unease.
Compulsions are repetitive acts either imaginary or physical done in response to an obsession eg repetitive hand washing, cleaning, detail to symmetry, hoarding etc.

Many factors might play a part:

Ocd is sometimes inherited, so it can run in the family. Stressful life events bring it on in about one in three cases. Life changes - when you have to take on more responsibility, such as puberty, the birth of a child, or a new job, if you have ocd for a long time, some experts think that an imbalance of a brain chemical called'serotonin' (also known as 5ht) may be involved. You are a neat, meticulous, methodical person – but go too far. If you have particularly high standards of morality and responsibility, you may feel bad when you have unpleasant thoughts. So, you watch out for them – which makes them more likely to happen.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, United Kingdom (MRC Psych), MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Ghaziabad
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

An obsession is a recurrent theme, idea, thought, an image which just does not go away and makes us uncomfortable or anxious. Eg. Hands are dirty, obscene thoughts regarding deities whilst praying etc.

A compulsion is a recurrent act done to overcome or neutralize the obsessive thought and the accompanying anxiety, guilt, bad feeling.

We all at times are a bit obsessive or finicky eg cleanliness but if these thoughts (obsessions) or acts (compulsions) start affecting our day to day lives and cause hindrance, this could be OCD.

An Insight On Obsessive Compulsive Disorder!

DNB, Diploma In Psychological Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
An Insight On Obsessive Compulsive Disorder!

All or most of us have the habit of double checking if the house is locked before leaving home or cleaning the house extensively till it is spotlessly clean. But if such behavior becomes an obsession that you can't help doing it and go about it compulsively to the extent that it affects your normal life, it might be a case of OCD. OCD which is the acronym for obsessive-compulsive disorder, a chronic disorder in which a person has uncontrollable reoccurring thoughts and an unavoidable urge to perform a particular activity over and over.

How to know if it is OCD?

  • People affected with OCD have both, obsessional and compulsion symptoms. Obsessions are repeated thoughts, images and urges that create anxiety in human mind like fear of contamination or germs, expecting things to stay in perfect order, feeling taboo against caste, sex religion, and corresponding harm and so on.
  • Compulsions are repetitive actions performed by an OCD patient in response to his or her obsessional thoughts which may include excessive washing, cleaning, arranging things in a particular way, repeated checking out things or work done, counting things over and over again and more.
  • However, not all repetitive actions are signs of OCD. It's common to see a person checking a crucial work done by him twice. This becomes obsessive when a person is not able to control his thoughts and activities, gets distressed about not performing those activities and spends a significant amount of time in a day on these tasks.

Who are vulnerable to OCD?
The causes of OCD are not yet clearly known. However, people have higher chances of developing OCD when their first-degree relatives are affected by the problem. Moreover, the risk goes even higher when the first-degree relative was affected at his young or teenage. Researchers are still working to find the link between OCD and genes so that causes, diagnosis, and treatment of OCD get better in future.

Studies have also revealed that there might be some connection between OCD and abnormalities in some regions of the brain. People who experience traumatizing experiences in their childhood or during their life are highly susceptible to OCD. However, such ideas have not yet been proved.

How can the condition be managed?
OCD is treated with psychotherapy, meditation, or a combination of both. However, some medicines help to get over OCD and its symptoms. But the best way to help an OCD patient is if he can himself get his obsessions and compulsion under control. Medicines will always help OCD symptoms but might have some side effects.

The OCD symptoms may come and go, go easy over time or worsen. Patients might identify the problem themselves or might fail to understand the abnormalities in their lifestyle. If a person feels that he/she is being affected by OCD, there is a need to consult the doctor before it disturbs the normal life.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4405 people found this helpful

OCD - Understanding The Obsessive & Compulsive Behaviours!

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Bhopal
OCD - Understanding The Obsessive & Compulsive Behaviours!

OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental condition, which traps people in a cycle of repetitive thoughts that push them to do repetitive behaviors. As the name states, the obsession over certain things compels them to do it over and over again. These actions will only help you feel relieved for a short time and soon the cycle starts back again.

Symptoms of OCD

The symptoms of OCD are classified into two groups, one for the obsessive behavior and the other for compulsive behavior. Some of the common symptoms for these are mentioned below:

Obsessive behaviors

As the name states this means obsessing over certain things, which varies from person to person. Some of the things could be:

1. Being scared about making mistakes

2. The fear of being embarrassed in public situations

3. Constantly being scared about contamination by germs, microbes or dirt

4. Doubts about sure and simple situations and the need to be constantly reassured about them

Compulsive behaviors

The obsessions usually results in compulsive behaviors, which you may need to perform to reassure and relieve yourself of the anxiety temporarily. Some of these may include:

1. Trying to constantly arrange things in a certain way and still not being satisfied

2. Thoughts, words and images being stuck in your head throughout the day that may keep you disturbed and cause to lose sleep

3. You may even repeat specific words or actions multiple times as a measure of self reassurance.

4. Hoarding of items, which have no value

Causes of OCD

Biological factors: Certain chemical imbalances in the brain may lead to OCD, which may happen due to hormonal or biological changes. In fact certain infections are also known to trigger OCD in people.

Environmental factors: Certain types of mental trauma have been known to trigger OCD as well, such as

1. Office, school, college or other work related stresses over a long period of time

2. The passing away of a near and dear one

3. Relationship problems

4. Repressed abuses from earlier in life

Treatments

Most treatments of OCD are categorized into two types:

Cognitive behavioral therapy: This is a counseling based therapy where you may be slowly asked to face your fears and overcome them over a period of time.

Medications: Antidepressants, inhibitors, or antipsychotic drugs or relaxants in various combinations may be used to treat OCD.

Electroconvulsive therapy: Only in the rarest of cases would doctors consider electroconvulsive therapy, if the patient is a danger to themselves or others around them. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2598 people found this helpful

Psychiatric Disorders: What You Need To Know?

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Psychiatric Disorders: What You Need To Know?

The risk of a mental illness increases if one or more of your family members have a mental disorder, but this increased risk doesn't guarantee that you will develop a mental illness. Not only have some mental illnesses been found to be hereditary in nature, but certain studies have found that some major mental illnesses can be traced to the same genetic variations.

Some hereditary psychiatric disorders are:

1. Obsessive compulsive disorder


Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a disorder of the brain and behavior. A person suffering from OCD has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behaviors they cannot stop repeating. Ocd also causes severe anxiety in such people. In 2000, a study conducted by researchers in Washington d. C. And Baltimore concluded that having one or more ocd family member (s) may increase the chances of you developing it too. In 2010, a study tracked down possible chromosomes that may be responsible for OCD.

2. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that affects and dictates how a person feels, thinks and behaves. Those suffering from schizophrenia may lose touch with reality and experience delusions, hallucinations, thought disorders and movement disorders. It has been seen that people who have an identical twin with schizophrenia are 50% more likely to develop the disorder and those who have one parent suffering from schizophrenia are 18% more likely to inherit the illness.

3. Depression

Major depression or clinical depression is a common though severe mood disorder. It is characterized by an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that last at least for two consecutive weeks. Those suffering from depression may feel helpless and worthless, lose all interest in daily activities or activities they used to enjoy and feel unable to take part in normal day-to-day activities. Other symptoms of depression also include sleep pattern and appetite changes, chronic fatigue, concentration or focus problems and physical discomfort. Some patients with depression may become suicidal.

In 2011, a study pinned down a specific chromosome that may trigger depression development. Research on the hereditary properties of depression within families shows that some people are more prone to develop the disorder than others. If you have a parent or sibling that suffers from depression, you might be 1.5 to 3 times more likely to develop depression than those who do not have a close family member suffering from this condition. You are also more prone to developing bipolar disorder in such a scenario.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I have been majorly dealing with obsessive unwelcoming thoughts for as long as I could remember. It manifested in the form of different themes through the years. Whenever I obese it takes up 90% of my waking hours and gets me into a state of panic and anxiety. After a while, I turn numb and stop fighting the thoughts. There are certain instances where I badly needed the support of a family member/therapist but I haven't opened up about it to anyone in fear of embarrassment. And my current obsession is taking a toll on my health and relationship. And I've been through various websites and forums looking for a cure. And that's when I stumbled across obsessive compulsive disorder. Everything I had been experiencing since I was a small kid, had been jotted down in the name of pure O ocd disorder (Counting obsession involving lucky and unlucky numbers when I was in primary school ; obsessions involving phobias - fear of losing emotions, fear of going insane ; Sensorimotor obsession involving breathing ; Religious intrusive thoughts while praying - my opposite wishes pop up in my mind when I pray and causing panic ; Relationship focused obsession ). All of these themes have ruled a decent period of my living and it keeps shifting to a new subject, anything that's close to my heart. I'm tired of fighting these thoughts and at times I get numb and detached for days together and there are days when I just cry it all out. Loss of appetite also occurs. And most days I live in my head. Like I analyse and fight with these thoughts right from the moment I wake up, till I go to bed. This really is having a negative impact on my day to day activities. And it feels like these obsessions define me and I don't have a separate identity, since I've been this way for years together (gotten more evident in the last ten years). I need an expert to look at into it and suggest if ocd might the case. So that I can look for treatment options. Kindly advise. Thank you.

M.B.B.S., D.N.B. (Psychiatry)
Psychiatrist, Panchkula
Hello, I can understand your problem. Its distressing to live with such a problem and not taking treatment. If the thoughts are repetitive, irrelevant, not under your control, causing distress so much that its hampering your day to day life and present for more than a hour you might have OCD. OCD can affect anyone and it can be treated with medication and behavior therapy. You should Contact nearby psychiatric clinic for help or contact me to get any further help. Learn how to get rid of these thoughts. Whenever these thoughts come try involving yourself in some other activity or start repeating in your mind 3 times go away. They will subside gradually. Best Wishes.
1 person found this helpful

I have been majorly dealing with intrusive thoughts for as long as I could remember. It manifested in the form of different themes through the years. I haven't spoken about it to anyone in fear of embarrassment. And now it's taking a toll on my health and relationship. And I've been through various websites and forums looking for a cure. And that's when I stumbled across obsessive compulsive disorder. Everything I had been experiencing had been jotted down in the name of pure O ocd disorder (Counting obsession involving lucky and unlucky numbers when I was in primary school ; obsessions involving phobias - fear of losing emotions, fear of going insane, fear of death ; Sensorimotor obsession involving breathing ; Religious intrusive thoughts while praying - my opposite wishes pop up in my mind when I pray and causing panic ; Relationship obsession ). All of these themes have ruled a decent period of my living and it keeps shifting to a new subject, anything that's close to my heart. I'm tired of fighting these thoughts and at times I get numb and detached for days together and there are days when I just cry it all out. Loss of appetite also occurs. And most days I live in my head. Like I analyse and fight with these thoughts right from the moment I wake up, till I go to bed. This really is having a negative impact on my day to day activities. I need an expert to look at into it and suggest if ocd might the case. So that I can look for treatment options. Kindly advise. Thank you.

MA - Psychology, PhD Psychology
Psychologist, Delhi
I would request you to meet a psychiatrist near you. For holistic recovery from any mental health issue it is essential to seek medications (if reqd) and psychotherapy. Get in touch with professionals for correct diagnosis and treatment.

How to get did of addiction of whitener /(thinner? Using or inhaling for more than 2 year.

BHMS
Homeopath, Hooghly
U need to consult with a counselor,,think positively,,do some yoga,some jogging regularly,,only positive thinking can change this,,

i've ocd from dust and anxiety. I'm currently taking prodep 20 mg on and off .but it helps little. Pls advise.

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Vijayawada
Hi user, for ocd you need to take medication regularly. If you use the medication on and off the medication will not work and more over you need higher dose of prodep for ocd. So,consult your psychiatrist at regular intervals / followups so, the doctor knows how you r improving and he will make necessary dose adjustments in your medication. But, once again your ocd and anxiety would not reduce if you use the medication on n off.
1 person found this helpful

My son is 4 years old but he is very adamant. He usually wear only one dress, always insist to keep himself untidy, if someone deny to act according to his wish he start crying till his wish fulfilled.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. I can understand. Your son is is an unique HIM. Whatever his behavior today, whatever his body language today are learned from his past experiences and social interactions. Whatever he has learned can be unlearned or over written. This is a continuous process happening throughout your life. I suggest cognitive behavior therapy for him online. Take care.

Table of Content

What is OCD?

Experts Advice :

More About OCD :

Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice