We will try to answer the following questions: What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD? What does it mean? Is it a mental disorder? How is it caused? Who is vulnerable to it? What are the symptoms? Are there any treatments available?
What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or as it is commonly known as OCD. It is defined as, “A mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts. But this only provides short-term relief. Not doing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety and distress.” (MedlinePlus.gov)
OCD in children is recognized by the parents, teachers, or adults in the child’s life. In adults it is most common that OCD presents itself around the ages 19 to 30.
Known Causes of OCD:
There are no exact known causes for OCD. Certain factors may contribute such as:
- Head injuries
- Abnormal function in certain areas of the brain
- Genetics (family history) – which seems to actaully play a strong role
- A history of physical or sexual abuse appears to increase the risks for OCD
There is a study that shows that if a close family member like a parent of a sibling, it increases the likelihood of getting it, for more information follow the link to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. (NCBI)
Symptoms of OCD:
People who have OCD suffer from “obsessions,” they include: repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. Examples can include:
- Excessive fears
- A need for order
- Forbidden thughts related to sex, religion, or harm to others or self
- People with OCD may also perform repeated behaviors as a response to their obsessions or thoughts, including:
- Checking and rechecking actions
- Excessive counting
- Orderng things in a certain way
- Repetition of words or actions
- Praying over and over
Some OCD patients may also have a tic disoder, like:
- Eye blinking
- Facial grimacing
- Shoulder shrugging
- Head jerking
- Repeated clearing of the throat, sniffling, or grunting sounds
OCD is a long-term chronic illness that comes with severe symptoms at some periods, while at other times teh patient may be completely symptom-free. OCD is traditionally treated sung a combinaton of both medicen and behavioral thearapy. Medications may include: antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. Behavioral therapies include: Talk therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy; CBT) has proven successful at treating OCD. Therapy has also been promising at reducing stress and anxiety and resolving inner conflicts.
Support groups have also been effective at helping those suffering from OCD to feel supported and having a commuity to share common expirences, problems, and battling feelings of loneliness.
For more information about what treatments Embracia Health offers, follow the link. (Embracia Health)