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A Comprehensive Guide On Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Types of OCD

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30-Second-Summary
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD) is a mental illness marked by irrational and uncontrolled thoughts.
  • Obsessions may cause anxiety and are then followed by repetitive acts, also called compulsions, to calm the anxiety and nervousness.
  • Numerous behaviors, such as often washing one's hands throughout the day or organizing objects in the correct sequence, are symptoms of OCD.
  • People of any age can suffer from OCD. It can start in childhood or early adulthood.
  • Patients with OCD respond well to serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs).
  • Physiotherapy, along with SRIs, has been found helpful in treating OCD.

Introduction

Mental health is something you should not take lightly. Mental health issues might affect your emotions and behavior. Your daily life might become terrible as a result of mental illness. Many times, medicines and therapy may also help control the symptoms.

Mental illness can affect anyone. Did you know that many famous people had to deal with OCD[1]? Mental health issues might strike anyone. Most cases start before 24. Today, mental health issues are common in teenagers.

Treatment is always available for boost mental health issues, and recovery is possible. Some mental illnesses are preventable. Productive habits, emotions, and ideas require maintaining good mental health.

Maintaining and working on mental health may boost productivity, improve self-esteem, and strengthen bonds with others.

Our psychological, emotional, and social well-being are all included in our mental health. It may indicate that it affects our daily feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Decision-making, coping skills, and relationships are all influenced by our mental health. Depression, eating disorders[2], and anxiety are a few examples of mental health disorders.

One of the most common mental health issues is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which can cause anxiety. In this article, we will talk about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of OCD.

What Is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a common and long-lasting mental illness in which uncontrolled thoughts are mostly negative or obsessions. The person has the urge to repeat his behavior over and over again. You cannot characterize OCD by behaviors like nail-biting, scratching, or negatively thinking.

Many people check to be sure the door is secured or the stove is off. Plenty of people have superstitions. Although these activities may increase your sense of security, OCD is not always signified by them.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may lead to weird obsessions and compulsive behavior. If you try to control or ignore your obsessions in the end, you engage in compulsive behaviors to reduce your stress and anxiety.

Compulsive behavior can be washing the hands over and over again after holding or touching something. They can also be counting numbers or words repetitively. There is a fear of contracting germs, so the person washes their hands or takes a bath more often until they are chapped to ease the fear of contamination.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

What Are The Top OCD Causes?

A number of things might combine to cause OCD to develop. Stressful life experiences, hormone changes, and personality qualities can be some of the reasons. The actual cause of OCD is unknown, but these can be the top OCD causes:

  • There is a larger likelihood that you may get OCD if someone in your family has had it in the past.
  • Irregular growth and damage in certain brain regions can also contribute to OCD.
  • Compulsions that develop habitual and repetitive when they are connected to anxiety reduction can cause or can be an outcome of OCD.
  • Genetic and inherited factors also contribute to OCD.
  • Brain chemistry and structure abnormalities might cause OCD.

Obsessions And Compulsions

The thoughts and actions of people suffering from OCD are nonsensical. With time people with OCD show obsessive and compulsive symptoms.

1. Obsessions

You must have undesired and unpleasant thoughts at some point in your life. The most common of them is forgetting to lock the door or violent images running through your head. But unpleasant thoughts in OCD are different. Obsessions are repetitive thoughts and desires that may cause anxiety.

A person’s obsessions can consume all of their thoughts. Various circumstances could bring them on, odor sounds on the radio or TV or conversing with someone. Obsessions are unpredictable, and mostly they do not make sense.

Obsessive anxiety produces a strong need for certainty. By engaging in compulsive activities, people try to ignore or control them. Obsessions interfere with your daily life.

These are some of the obsessions that are common in people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can:

  • Having doubts and finding it difficult to accept uncertainty.
  • It requires symmetry and order in everything.
  • Fear of contracting germs.
  • Unwanted ideas that are hostile or deal with sexual or religious issues.
  • Extreme attention to symmetry, accuracy, and order.
  • Worry about suffering harm from disease, mishaps, or demise.
  • Fear of losing something important.

People with OCD may be terrified of hurting themselves or others. They fear being held accountable for negative events or accidentally hurting others. OCD patients may have invasive, unwanted, inappropriate, or bizarre sexual ideas. These obsessions might manifest as visions or urges. In most cases, these are related to homosexuality, rape, or aggressive sexual behavior.

An OCD patient could think of specific words, colors, numbers, or phrases and consider them good luck or bad luck. If the latter is the case, they could go to great lengths to stay away from them. And if they are unable to do it, they develop compulsive behavior to reduce their anxiety.

2. Compulsions

Obsessive thoughts

When an OCD patient has an obsessional thought, they are driven to do repetitive activities known as compulsions. Compulsions can be seen as a reaction to obsessive thoughts. If you become aware of an obsession, you are more likely to act to stop the worry and pain it creates or to prevent the ideas from happening.

These repetitious actions, whether physical or mental, are intended to ease tension brought on by your obsessions or escape the negative outcomes. However, the compulsions are usually unpleasant and may only provide short-term relief in anxiety.

People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are aware that their compulsive behavior is illogical and unreasonable. Still, they are unable to stop doing it because they feel they must do it.

Compulsive behaviors include the following:

  • Cleaning the hands after touching something or cleaning the objects.
  • Arranging things in a certain way.
  • They are counting or reciting certain words or phrases.
  • Looking to others for reassurance.
  • Throwing away anything that may be used to harm you or someone else.
  • Analyzing your activities in your head.

You could feel it necessary to carry out these tasks again or until everything seems “just perfect.” If you make mistakes while doing the tasks, you might think that they will not work for you until you redo them from scratch and complete them flawlessly.

Compulsive behavior might be found in other disorders like addiction or eating disorders. Despite having overlapping symptoms, these are not the same as OCD.

Common Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

There are several types of OCD:

1. Harm OCD

People with harm OCD have violent thoughts, which are entirely disturbed, and they are unable to ignore these ideas. Those who have harm OCD might have violent ideas or visualize violence in their imaginations, and they are frightened that they may cause someone some significant harm, including themselves.

2. Sexual Orientation OCD (SO-OCD)

Obsessions with one’s sexuality are a part of SO- OCD. It is also referred to as homosexual OCD (HOCD). People of any sexuality may experience it. Intrusive thoughts and desires about denial of one’s real sexual orientation are common among SO-OCD patients. Being thought of as gay/lesbian or straight might cause anxiety in someone with SO-OCD, which is among the more popular types of OCD.

Pedophile OCD

3. Pedophile OCD (POCD)

To reduce anxiety and stop anything horrible from happening, or to make sure that they are not a pedophile, the person engages himself in compulsions or safety behaviors such as distancing themselves from children. When someone has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, their obsessions are irrational thoughts, pictures, or desires involving pedophilia that may cause them to feel highly anxious and afraid. This condition is known as pedophilia OCD (POCD).

4. Contamination OCD

Contamination Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a common type of OCD that is sometimes mistaken for being the “purest” type of OCD. When people have obsessive thoughts and anxieties that they are “contaminated” by dirt or germs, they may have a variety of compulsive behaviors to help them deal with it and get rid of their worry and stress.

5. Relationship OCD

Relationship OCD, also known as R-OCD, is a kind of OCD in which a person has unwanted thoughts and compulsive behaviors that are connected to their partner. The disorder might lead to thoughts about relationship worries or anxieties.

The disorder might lead to thoughts about relationship worries or anxieties. Whether their relationship will continue or whether they truly love them or not may be questions that the person continuously thinks about.

How To Know If You Have OCD Or Not?

You might not have OCD if you properly keep things or repeat your actions. But you might have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder if your thoughts or activities dominate your life. To know whether you have OCD or not, you have to understand the symptoms properly.

If you have intrusive thoughts, and those thoughts may cause anxiety and a pervasive sensation that something is not happening right, you may have OCD.

People with OCD have trouble falling or staying asleep due to intrusive thoughts, unsettling words, pictures, or ideas. When you suffer from OCD, these intrusive thoughts become so upsetting that you feel you have to find a method to get rid of them by doing something.

Most OCD sufferers wash their hands or bathe more often than usual because they think of contracting germs after touching something. These thoughts make you anxious and affect your lifestyle. Compulsions become crucial in this situation because you want to get rid of intrusive thoughts.

The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder often first manifests in childhood or early adulthood. More stress tends to make symptoms worse.

You could think about seeing a doctor and acquiring a professional diagnosis if you recognize yourself in many of the frequent obsessions and compulsions and find yourself spending a large amount of your day fixating on these things.

What Are The OCD Treatment Options Available?

There are two types of treatments that are preferred to treat OCD-Physiotherapy, and medicine:

  • OCD symptoms might be reduced with the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors[3] (SSRIs), a kind of serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI).
  • OCD patients can find relief from their symptoms with antipsychotic medication.
  • For many people, some forms of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and habit reversal training, can be just as helpful as medicine.

  • Many doctors recommend EX/RP[4] as add-on therapy when SRI or SSRI medication is ineffective in treating OCD symptoms.

  • Adult OCD patients may benefit from adjunctive transcranial magnetic stimulation[5] (TMS).

Conclusion

OCD is believed to impact 1% of people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 62 million people suffer from OCD globally. Communication issues between the frontal lobe and deeper brain areas may contribute to OCD.

There is a big difference between having OCD and being a perfectionist. OCD thoughts go beyond excessive worry about actual issues in life or a preference for cleanliness. Although OCD is quite a difficult condition to live with, there are methods to manage it.

No matter the OCD causes, the obsessive-compulsive disorder cannot be completely avoided. However, seeking therapy as quickly as possible may help stop OCD from worsening and interfering with everyday tasks.

OCD lowers the patient’s quality of life and leads them to experience distress. It frequently doesn’t react well to drug treatment. The cornerstone of therapy is SRIs, particularly SSRIs. If you find yourself doing repetitive tasks or having intrusive thoughts or any other symptom mentioned above, do not try to treat it yourself. Consult a medical expert for OCD treatment.

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In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

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All Health Web Magazine content is thoroughly reviewed and/or fact-checked by a team of health industry experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date or any otherwise questionable content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.