Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-Symptoms, Treatment, Causes

 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a form of anxiety disorder that is characterized by repetitive behaviors or actions (compulsion) due to uneasiness, fear and apprehension (obsession).

 

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Types of OCDs

People with OCD fall on either one of these categories:

• Checkers – they are OCD patients that tend to repeatedly check on things that impose harm or danger to them like door locks, ovens and many more.

 

• Washers – are individuals with OCD who have an obsession with cleanliness, like being afraid of being contaminated so they repeatedly wash their hands for several times.

 

• Doubters and sinners – are OCD individuals who are afraid that something might go terribly wrong or afraid of not doing the right thing and will be punished.

 

• Counters and arrangers – these are the persons obsessed with proper order and symmetry. They tend to have superstitious beliefs about certain colors, numbers, arrangements and others.

 

• Hoarders – are OCD patients who fear throwing their things away. They dread that something bad might happen when they let go of things.

 

 

Causes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

Obsessive compulsive disorder is most common in people in their 30’s. Several theories regarding the causes of OCD are discussed among researchers, some of which contend that this condition is caused by infections and head injuries. These are not yet proven though.

 

Much study is still going on relating OCD to Tourette Syndrome. Tourette Syndrome is a condition that causes uncontrollable repetitive movements, sound or action.

 

 

Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

Both men and women can be affected by OCD. And symptoms may begin to show at age 10. Most people suffering from OCD may or may not have both obsessions and compulsions together. Here are the symptoms:

 

Obsessive thoughts:

 

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• Fear of contamination of dirt and germs

• Fear of causing trouble or harm to others or even to self

• Intrusive violent thoughts or images

• Excessive focus on moral ideas

• Fear of losing something or not having all the things needed

• An idea that things should be placed in just the right order

• Excessive superstitious beliefs like being lucky or unlucky

 

Compulsive behaviors:

 

• Excessive double checking of things like locks, switches and appliances

• Repeated checking on loved ones, making sure that they are safe

• Repeating senseless words, actions like tapping and counting as a way of anxiety reducer

• Excessive washing and cleaning

• Arranging things repeatedly

• Excessive praying and joining rituals because of religious fears

• Keeping junk items like old newspapers and empty containers

 

 

Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be treated either by using medication, or therapy, or even both.

 

Early medications are usually anti-depressant pills called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) like citalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, and setraline. When these medications do not work, older anti-depressant pills would be prescribed like clomipramine. But this medication has its side effects such as urinating difficulties, dry mouth and sleepiness. Other medications include antipsychotic drugs and benzoidiazepines.

 

Therapy treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), electroconvulsive therapy (this therapy is for severe cases of OCD), family therapy, and group therapy.

 

Though stress is not a cause of obsessive compulsive disorder, stressful events can be a trigger. So learn some relaxation techniques and don’t let your disorder get to you. Have it treated right away since prolonged exposure can lead to depression which results to some other disorders too.

 

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