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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

What is obsessive compulsive disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a psychological condition where a person experiences uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and/or behavior that they feel the urge to repeat over and over. It is a common chronic and long-lasting disorder.

Those uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts are called as Obsessions and the behavior is called as compulsion.

Signs and symptoms

The effect of OCD seeps into almost all aspects of one's life Such as school, work, and personal relationships.

Obsessions

These are re-occuring thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety.

Some patients experience symptoms of obsession where as some experience compulsions and in some cases the experience both obsession and compulsions.
 
These thoughts, urges , images that occur over and over and cause anxiety. Examples include

  • To have things in a perfect order
  • Remain in a constant fear and worry about germs and contamination.
  • Getting aggressive thoughts towards others or self
  • Having repeated thoughts about Forbidden are Taboo items related to intimate relationships and religion.

 
Compulsion
compulsions are behavior that a patient exhibits over and over again in response to an obsessive thought.
Examples include

If someone is obsessed about gems or contamination, indulge in excessive cleaning and or hand washing.
They may Try to order or arrange things in a particular way to keep things in a perfect order if that is their obsession.
 
In day-to-day life everyone is seen to follow certain rituals and also carry habits that can seem like Compulsions. But in case of a person with OCD they take it to the extreme level and it can result in significant problems in their daily life due to their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior.

Statistically people suffering from OCD spend at least one hour a day on these thoughts or behavior. It is worth noting that people suffering with OCD do not take pleasure as they perform the behaviors In response to their obsessions.
 
Risk factors

While it is not known what causes OCD the following three factors may be considered.

Genetics

Studies have found that people whose parents, siblings, or a child has is OCD are at higher risk of developing OCD themselves. The risk is even higher if these relatives develop the OCD as a child or as a teen.
 
Brain structure and functions

Based on research it appears as if there is a connection between OCD symptoms and abnormalities in certain areas of the brain. This connection is not very clear. Scientific studies have found that there is a difference in the frontal cortex and subcortical structures of the brain in case of those suffering with OCD.

 

Environment

 It is seen in some children that they developers CD are OCD like symptoms after they get  infected with streptococcal.
 

Treatment

  • Most patients who suffer with OCD respond to treatment. The treatment includes medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. Even after treatment some patients may continue to experience symptoms.
  • Some people who suffer with OCD may also have other mental disorders such as anxiety disorder or depression. You need to work with your doctor and he needs to take these other mental conditions into consideration while making decisions and designing a treatment plan.
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