Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by a pattern of unwanted thoughts and anxieties (obsessions) that cause you to engage in repetitive actions (compulsions). Obsessions and compulsions create severe suffering and interfere with daily tasks.
You can try to ignore or stop your obsessions, but this will only make you feel worse. Finally, you feel compelled to engage in obsessive behaviors in order to relieve your tension. Despite attempts to ignore or eliminate troublesome thoughts or desires, they persist. This feeds into the OCD’s vicious circle of ritualistic activity.
What Are the Types of OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients who experience intrusive thoughts sometimes have unsettling or awful imagery in their heads. These ideas may arise as a result of an incident in the person’s life, or they may arise for no apparent cause.
sufferers OCD who feel compelled to check on persons or goods on a regular basis are usually afraid that something horrible will happen if they don’t. Someone with OCD, for example, may walk around their house continues to make sure all the doors and windows are closed because they are afraid someone will try to break in.
Obsessions are pictures, ideas, or thoughts that refuse to leave your mind. While it is natural for everyone to have unsettling ideas from time to time, people with OCD are unable to escape their thoughts no matter how hard they try. These recurrent thoughts are so intense that they can make someone with OCD unable to function.
Compulsions are acts that people with obsessions engage in in order to alleviate their uneasiness. OCD is characterized by obsessive behavior that is linked to excessive thinking. Someone who checks their money every hour, for example, may have an obsessive fear of losing it or having it stolen.
When you’re having obsessive thoughts, you might set up rules or routines to assist you to regulate your anxiety. These compulsions are extreme, and they’re often unrelated to the problem they’re supposed to solve.
As with obsessions, compulsions typically have themes, such as:
- Washing and cleaning
- Following a strict routine
- Demanding reassurance
What Causes OCD?
OCD is a condition whose causes are yet unknown. Medical specialists, on the other hand, feel that this condition has a hereditary component, as research has revealed that this disorder tends to run in families. This behavior can also be learned through habits formed during childhood or over a lengthy period of time.
What Are the Signs of OCD?
The symptoms of OCD include both obsessive and compulsive behaviors. Signs of obsession include:
- Repeated unwanted ideas
- Fear of contamination
- Aggressive impulses
- Persistent sexual thoughts
- Images of hurting someone you love
- Thoughts that you might cause others harm
- Thoughts that you might be harmed
Signs of compulsion include:
- Constant checking
- Constant counting
- The repeated cleaning of one or more items
- Repeatedly washing your hands
- Constantly checking the stove or door locks
- Arranging items to face a certain way
When to see a doctor
Being a perfectionist — someone who demands immaculate outcomes or performance, for example — is not the same as having OCD. OCD thoughts aren’t only excessive anxieties about real-life problems or a need to keep things neat or organized in a particular way.
Consult your doctor or a mental health expert if your obsessions and compulsions are harming your quality of life.
OCD Risk factors
The following factors may raise your chances of acquiring or causing obsessive-compulsive disorder:
- Family history: Having OCD-affected parents or other family members increases your chances of having the illness.
- Stressful life events: Your risk may arise if you’ve been through traumatic or stressful experiences. This reaction might, for whatever reason, set off OCD’s intrusive thoughts, rituals, and emotional anguish.
- Other mental health disorders: Other mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders, depression, substance misuse, or tic disorders, may be linked to OCD.
- Excessive time spent engaging in ritualistic behaviors
- Health issues, such as contact dermatitis from frequent hand-washing
- Difficulty attending work, school or social activities
- Troubled relationships
- Overall poor quality of life
- Suicidal thoughts and behavior
Obsessive-compulsive disorder cannot be completely avoided. Getting therapy as soon as feasible, on the other hand, may help avoid OCD from deteriorating and disturbing your regular activities.