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Mental Health Care for Obessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive disorder can often be confused with your specific routine behaviors like following morning rituals, tidying your floor until it's squeaky clean, and washing your hands often to make sure they are germ-free. Though there isn't anything wrong in doing so, it shouldn't drive you nuts. So, if you find it hard to resist the urges to indulge in these repetitive behaviors and have anxiety if you don't, it's most likely that you are suffering from this ailment.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be defined as an anxiety disorder where a person is forced to give in to his or her urges due to recurring and uncontrollable thoughts. These obsessions, which are in the form of recurring thoughts, induce anxiety in the person, which instigates the person to take action regarding that obsessive thought.


A Quick Overview

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder is a commonplace disorder affecting large amounts of people. In fact, according to the Anxiety Depression Association of America, around 2/3 % of the population of people in the United States have this ailment. It might not seem like a huge number at a quick glance, but on analyzing it further, it was found that 1 in every 40 adults and 1 in every 100 children suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Another statistic that raises quite an alarm reveals that about 90% of the people who had this condition developed other mental health issues further in their lives. It includes conditions like anxiety, depression, panic disorder, PTSD, mood disorders, MDD, ADHD, and substance abuse. These stats are enough to bring to light the severity of this disorder and the efforts needed to address it. So let's move further and understand what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is.

Major Causes

The causes of Obsessive-compulsive Disorder are still unclear. But a few factors do play a role in deciding if a person will develop this condition. These include:
As a general rule, regular check-ups to ensure the wellbeing of your child is a must, but if you see any of the following symptoms, book a consultation call immediately:
  • Biology – Though it's not completely proven, according to some theories, this disorder can occur as a result of the brain's natural chemistry. Various studies have been conducted that studied the differences between the frontal cortex and subcortical structures of the brain in OCD patients. These studies revealed the link between obsessive-compulsive disorder and abnormalities in specific areas of the brain. Though the exact connection is not that clear, it's definitely a pivotal step that will help find the cause of it.
  • Genes – Another factor that supposedly triggers this condition is a person's genes. Certain studies like twin and family studies have identified that the risk of developing it for a first-degree relative is fairly high. The first-degree relative includes the parent, sibling, or child.
  • Conditioning – Conditioning is also said to play a role in determining if a person will develop this ailment. Conditioning refers to the learned behaviors and acquired habits from observing the family and close friends over time. So, if a child sees their parent washing their hands every 15 minutes, they are more prone to pick up these obsessive and compulsive habits.

The Different Types

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can be divided broadly into 4 categories:
  • Cleansing and Contamination – Cleansing and contamination involve symptoms like:
    • Worrying constantly about contracting sickness due to coming in contact with germs.
    • Having thoughts of feeling unclean, either mentally or physically
    • A constant fear of being exposed to blood, viruses, bacteria, germs, or other toxic substances
    • Avoiding the possible sources of contamination
    • Compulsive desire or thoughts to remove items assuming them to be dirty (despite that not being the case)
    • Compulsive desire to constantly clean contaminated items
    • Having a particular cleaning ritual, such as washing your hands every 15 minutes or scrubbing a surface a certain number of times to make sure that it's squeaky clean
  • Symmetry and Ordering – Symmetry and ordering involve symptoms like:
    • A compulsive desire to have items aligned in a particular way
    • A compulsive desire to have symmetry in the items
    • A compulsive desire to have symmetry in the actions. For example, having the compulsion to rub your left eye instantly after you rub your right eye
    • A compulsive desire to arrange your items in a certain way until you are satisfied with it
    • Feeling uneasy and incomplete when certain items go missing
    • Having a compulsion to count something a certain number of times. For example, counting anything 5 times
  • Forbidden thoughts – The symptoms of forbidden thoughts include:
    • Having guilt, the shame attached to your certain thoughts
    • Constantly questioning your sexual orientation and desires
    • Having disturbing thoughts that makes you feel like you are a bad person
    • Frequent thoughts of worry about harming yourself or others
    • Always wanting assurance from others that you are not a bad person
    • Having a mental ritual for canceling your thoughts
    • Reviewing your daily activities frequently to make sure you haven't hurt anyone
  • Hoarding – Few major symptoms of hoarding include:
    • Having constant fear that throwing something out would bring you harm
    • A compulsion to hoard a certain number of things to protect yourself
    • A compulsion to buy something in multiples despite not needing them
    • A compulsion to check your possessions
    • Feeling incomplete without a certain item or possession

Common Obsessions

Obsession means the symptoms that include unwanted thoughts that make it hard for the person to focus on other things and causes major disruptions in life. Here're a few common examples of obsessions:
  • Fear of contracting germs or contamination
  • Having unwanted taboo thoughts around sex, religion, etc.
  • Having thoughts of aggression towards self and others
  • Having the compulsion of placing or aligning things in a certain alignment or symmetry

Common Compulsions

Compulsion means symptoms like doing things done in a certain way out of a feeling of obligation or necessity. Here're a few common examples of compulsions:
  • Having an excessive compulsion to wash your hands
  • Having a compulsion to order and arrange things in a particular way
  • Constantly checking if the door is locked correctly or microwave is turned off
  • Counting something out of compulsion

How to Recover From Your Symptoms

Though treating this condition is not completely possible, it can be very well managed. Here're a few ways which you can use to recover from your symptoms:
  • Follow stress-management techniques – Stress management is extremely important when you are seeking treatment for the symptoms of therapy. Few techniques that can help you relieve stress include meditation, mindfulness techniques, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and deep breathing exercises.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective ways to treat your symptoms. CBT is a talk therapy method that involves identifying and changing unhealthy thought patterns. CBT involves a discussion between the person suffering and the therapist on the following fronts:
    • Discussion about how realistic your assumptions actually are
    • Restructuring your thoughts patterns toward a more realistic and healthier side
    • Disconnecting your thoughts from your actions
    • Practicing acceptance of thoughts rather than the urge to avoid it
  • Medications – There are certain medications that your doctor or mental health specialist can prescribe you to relieve your symptoms. These include a class of anti-depressants named Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Commonly used medications include Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, fluvoxamine, and Celexa. These medications show the best result when taken consistently for a year.

Find Help From a Licensed Therapist Who's Right For You

Coping with the symptoms of OCD can be extremely difficult on your own. Hence you must reach out to a trusted therapist who can help you manage it properly. Finding the right therapist is vital for the effective treatment of OCD. The right therapist is the one with whom you can establish a connection so that it becomes easy for you to open up about your issues. But this may take some time. You need to give at least 3 to 4 sessions with a therapist to build that sort of connection and trust.
You can easily find the list of various therapists/psychiatrists on our website. You can easily choose from the various specialists with different qualities like being a good listener, empathetic, caring, and helpful. You can even pick a therapist from your own culture who easily understands you.

Schedule a Virtual Counselling Appointment Today

If you have been suffering from OCD, don't suffer in silence. Rather, reach out to us for help. We at DocVita have various specialists from different fields that can help you manage and cope with your OCD better. All you got to do is hop on to DocVita's book from the therapist page and book your session.