Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disease that produces recurrent unpleasant thoughts or feelings (obsessions), as well as the need to perform a behavior over and over again (compulsions) (compulsions). Some persons suffer from both obsessions and compulsions at the same time.
OCD is not characterized by repetitive behaviors such as chewing your nails or thinking negatively. Obsessive thoughts on specific numbers or colors may include the belief that they are either “good” or “evil.” An obsessive practice may be to wash your hands seven times after coming into contact with something that could be contaminated with bacteria. Despite the fact that you may not want to think or act in these ways, you feel helpless to stop yourself. Almost everyone has habits or ideas that recur on a regular basis.
People who suffer from OCD have thoughts or activities that include:
1. Take up at least an hour of your time every day 2. Are out of your control
3. Aren’t nice to be around
4. Interfere with your career, social life, or any other aspect of your life.
Types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Symptoms
OCD manifests itself in a variety of ways, although the majority of cases fall into one of four broad categories:
1. Performing routine checks, such as checking locks, alarm systems, stoves, or light switches, or believing you have a medical condition such as pregnancy or schizophrenia
2. Contamination, a dread of things that could be unclean, or a need to clean are all examples of contamination. Mental contamination is defined as the sensation of being treated as if you were dirt.
3. Symmetry and order, the need that objects be arranged in a specific manner.
4. Obsession with a certain stream of thinking, accompanied by ruminations and intrusive ideas. It’s possible that some of these ideas will be aggressive or unsettling.
Obsessions and compulsions are a type of obsession or compulsion.
Many persons who suffer from OCD are aware that their thoughts and behaviors are illogical. Their motivation for participating is not enjoyment, but rather the inability to stop. And if they do quit, they feel so awful that they want to start again from scratch.
Obsessive thinking might include the following:
1. Concerns about the possibility of harming yourself or others
Blinking, breathing, and other bodily sensations are constantly recognized and acknowledged.
3. Suspicion that a spouse is unfaithful, notwithstanding the absence of any evidence to support this suspicion
Compulsive behaviors can include the following:
Doing activities in a certain sequence or a given number of repetitions in a “good” order every time
2. Having to keep track of items, such as steps or bottles
3. Anxiety about touching doorknobs, going to public restrooms, or shaking hands.
The Causes and Risk Factors of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Doctors are baffled as to why certain people get OCD. Stress has been shown to exacerbate symptoms.
It affects women at a somewhat higher rate than males. Teens and young adults are frequently affected by these symptoms.
The following are risk factors for OCD:
1. A parent, sibling, or kid who suffers from OCD
2. Secondly, there are physical variations in particular areas of your brain.
3. Depression, anxiety, or tic-like behavior
4. Previous trauma-related experience
5. A history of physical or sexual abuse when you were a kid.
It is possible for a youngster to develop OCD following a streptococcal infection. PANDAS, which stands for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections, is the term used to describe this condition.
Diagnosis of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Your doctor may do a physical check as well as blood tests to rule out the possibility that anything else is causing your symptoms. Your feelings, ideas, and behaviors will be discussed with you as well by your counselors.
Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
There is no cure for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Medications, therapy, or a combination of therapies may, however, be able to help you control the way your symptoms interfere with your daily activities.
The following are examples of treatments:
1. Psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can assist you in altering your thought habits. As part of a procedure known as exposure and response prevention, your doctor will place you in a scenario that is intended to cause anxiety or trigger compulsions. You’ll learn to control your obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) thoughts and activities by first reducing them and eventually stopping them.
2. Relaxation. Simple techniques such as meditation, yoga, and massage can be used to alleviate the symptoms of stress-induced OCD.
3. Medication. Many patients find that using psychiatric medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) helps them regulate their obsessions and compulsions. It might take between 2 and 4 months for them to begin working. Citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline are some of the most often prescribed antidepressants (Zoloft). If you are still experiencing symptoms, your doctor may prescribe antipsychotic medications like aripiprazole (Abilify) or risperidone (Risperdal).
4. Neuromodulation. Sometimes, when treatment and medicine aren’t enough to help you feel better, your doctor may suggest that you consider using devices that alter the electrical activity in a specific part of your brain to improve your symptoms. One type of stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, has been authorized by the FDA for the treatment of OCD. It works by stimulating nerve cells with magnetic fields. Deep brain stimulation, which is a more complex technique, makes use of electrodes that are placed in your brain.
5. The TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). This non-invasive gadget, which is held over the patient’s head in order to create a magnetic field, is used to treat them. It works by targeting a specific region of the brain that is involved in the regulation of OCD symptoms.
What is the best way to get rid of OCD?
Because OCD is a mental disease, it is not possible to just take medicine and have it go away. However, it is possible to effectively recover from it to the point that it no longer interferes with your daily activities.
This is accomplished by the use of medication, exposure, response prevention, and cognitive behavioral therapy; a combination of any of these can significantly enhance your overall health and well-being.
As OCD-UK youth ambassadors, we have a group chat where we discuss our experiences and communicate with one another on a daily basis. We are aware of how each other is doing and how we may assist one another in times of need.
We don’t give in to our compulsions; instead, we band together to overcome them. It’s an incredibly small community, and I’m really glad to be a part of it.
In conjunction with the BBC Young Reporter scheme, this story was created. Every year, the project engages with thousands of young people, providing them with the opportunity to learn media skills and get training, as well as the opportunity to express their own experiences through the project. On the website, you may read stories written by other young people.