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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unreasonable thought fears and obsessions that we lead you to do repetitive behaviors or compulsions. It is also feasible to have only obsessions or only compulsions with only OCD.
OCD sufferers may not know that they have unreasonable obsessions, and they may ignore them or stop them. When these people try to stop, they only increase the anxiety and distress. After all, these individuals feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort t to ease your stressful feelings.
OCD can often center around them, such as a fear of getting contained by germs. To alleviate these concerns people may compulsively wash their hands until their hands are chapped and sore. Despite their efforts to get rid of this thoughts, or urges, they keep coming back. This, in turn, leads to more ritualistic behavior and becomes a vicious cycle that encompasses OCD.
Symptoms of OCD
Obsessive -compulsive disorder symptoms usually include both compulsions and obsessions. Although it is feasible to have only compulsive symptoms or obsessive symptoms. Approxmently one-third of people with OCD also has a disorder the includes brief, sudden, intermittent movement or sounds such as tics
OCD obsessions are repeated, constant and undesired urges or images that cause distress or anxiety. You may attempt to try to get rid of them by performing a compulsion or ritual. These obsessions typically interrupt when you are trying to think of or do other things.
Obsessions can often can theme aligned to them, including:
- Fear of dirt or contamination
- Having things symmetrical or orderly
- Unwanted thoughts, including aggression, or religious subject or sexual,
- Aggressive or horrible thoughts about harming others or yourself.
Examples of obsession signs and symptoms include:
- Fear of being contained by shaking hands or by touching objects other have touched.
- Distress about undesired sexual thoughts that are non-stop in your mind
- Avoiding circumstances that can trigger obsessions such as shaking someone’s hand.
- Images or thoughts of hurting someone else or yourself
- Thoughts about acting inappropriately or shouting obscenities
- Uncertainties that you have locked the door or turned off the stoves.
- Intense stress levels when objects are not orderly or facing a certain way.
OCD compulsions are repeated behaviors that a person feels driven to perform. These repetitive behaviors are meant to prevent or reduce anxiety related to your obsessions or prevent something bad from happening.However, engaging in the compulsion will bring no pleasure and may offer relief temporarily from anxiety.
You may also make up ritual and rules to follow that help control your anxiety when you are having obsessive thoughts. These compulsions are often not rationally related to preventing the feared event.
With these obsessions, the compulsion will have themes, including:
- Following a strict routine
- Demanding reassurances
- Washing and cleaning
Examples of compulsion signs and symptoms include:
- Checking doors frequently to make sure they are locked
- Counting in certain patterns
- Arranging your canned goods to face the same way
- Counting in certain patterns
- Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it is off
Symptoms can begin slowly and tend to change in severity throughout your life. Symptoms worsen when you are experiencing more stress. OCD is considered a lifelong disorder, can be so severe and time-consuming that it becomes disabling.
More adults recognize that their obsession and compulsions that do not make sense, however, this is not always the cases, Children may not understand what is wrong.
When should you see a doctor?
There’s a difference Brewin between being a perfectionist and OCD. OCD thoughts are not simply excessive worries about real problems in your life. If your obsession and compulsion are affecting your quality of life, you should see your doctor or mental health providers.
Causes of OCD
The case of obsessive -compulsive disorder is not entirely understood. The main theories include:
Biology. OCD may be a result of a change in your body’s natural chemistry or brain functions. OCD may also have a genetic portion, but specific genes have yet to be identified.
Environment -Some environmental factors such as infection are suggested as a trigger for OCD, but more research may be needed.
Factors that may magnify the risk of developing or triggering obesity-compulsive disorder include
Family history – Having parents or other family members with the with the disorder can increase your risk of developing OCD.
Stressful life events If you have experienced traumatic or stressful events or you tend to overreact completely to stress; your risk may increase. This response may, for some reason, trigger the intrusive thought, emotional distress, rituals, characters of OCD.
Individuals with the obsessive-compulsive disorder may have additional problems. Some or the problems below may be associated with OCD, another may in addition to OCD but may not because of it.
- Overall our quality of life anxiety disorders
- Eating disorder
- Suicidal thoughts and behavior
- Contact dermatitis from frequent hand-washing-
- Alcohol or other substance abuse
- Overall poor quality of life
- Trouble relationships
- Failure to attend work, school or social activities
- Anxiety disorder
Testing and Diagnosis
To help diagnose OCD, your doctor or mental health provider may do examine and test including:
Physical exam – This may be done to help rule out other problems hat could be causing your system and to check for any related complications.
Lab test – This may include for complete blood count (CBC) screening for alcohol and drugs and check of your thyroid function
Psychological evaluation – A doctor of mental health provider asks about your thoughts feelings, symptom ad behavior patterns. Your doctor may also want to discuss with your family and friends wit your permission.
Diagnostic criteria for OCD
To be diagnosed with OCD your must meet the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) by the American Psychiatric Association. This manual is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental illnesses and by insurance companies to reimburse treatment.
The main criteria required for an OCD diagnosis include:
You must have either compulsions or obsessions or both
You may or may not understand that your compulsion and obsession are unreasonable or excessive.
Obsessions and compulsions are extremely time-consuming and negatively affects your daily routine, work or social life from normal functioning.
Your obsessions must meet the following criteria:
Repeating, persistent undesired thoughts, images, or impulses are intrusive and causes distress.
You attempt to ignore these impulses, thoughts, or images and suppress them along with compulsive behavior.
Compulsions must meet this criterion.
Repetitive behavior that your feel drove to perform, such as hand -washing, or reoccurring mental acts, such as counting silently.
You try to neutralize obsession with another thought or action.
The mental acts and behaviors purposes are to reduce distress. However, they are excessive and or not fixing the problem but are and outcome or intensifies the problems they are intended to fix.
OCD Diagnostic Challenges
It can sometimes be challenging to diagnose OCD because the symptoms can be very similar to those of obsessive -compulsive personality disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and other mental illness. Some with true compulsions and obsessions have OCD. However, it is possible to have both OCD and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. You must stay in the diagnostics process to be sure that you can get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
OCD Treatments and Medications
Obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment does not have a cure. However, it can help you bring your symptoms under control so that they do not have control over your life. Some people will need treatment for the rest of their lives.
There is two primary treatment for OCD, psychotherapy, and medication. A combination of these two methods is most effective.
A type of therapy called exposure and response prevention (ERP) is very effective treatment. This therapy includes gradually exposing you tie the feared object or obsession, such as dirt, and having you learn to deal with it healthy ways rather than with your anxiety.
Exposure therapy takes practice and effort, but once you finish it, you may experience a better quality of life once you discover to manage your obsession and compulsions.
Therapy may take place in individual, family or group sessions.
Certain psychiatric medication scan help controls the obsessions and compulsions of OCD. Usually, antidepressants are suggested first.
Antidpreaanst that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat OCD include:
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Clomipramine (Anafranil)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox CR)
However, there are other antidepressants and psychiatric drugs use for other conditions that may be prescribed off-label to treat OCD
Choosing OCD Medications
It is not uncommon to try several medications before finding the one that works well, controlling your symptoms. It can take several weeks to a month after starting a drug to notice and improvement in your symptoms. Your physician may also recommend combing medications, such as antidepressants in antipsychotic medications, to make them more efficient in controlling your symptoms.
Do not stop taking your medicine without first talking to your doctor, even if you are feeling well, due to the possibility of your OCD symptoms relapsing. Antidepressants are not considered addictive. However, it is conceivable to develop a physical dependency which is different from addiction. Stopping or abruptly missing several doses can cause withdrawal-like symptoms or discontinuation syndrome. You should work with your doctor to safely decrease your dose.
Medication side effects and risk
In general, the goal of OCD treat with medication is to control signs and symptoms at the lowest possible dosage effectively. Here are some considerations.
Side effects – All psychiatric medication have the risk of side effects, some may cause sleep disturbance, sweating, upset stomach or reduce interest in sexual activity. You should talk to your doctor about potential side effects and about heath monitoring needed while taking psychiatric medications.
Suicide risk – Most antidepressant are safe. However, the FDA required that all carry very explicit warnings of prescriptions. In some cases, people under the age of 25 may have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior when taking an antidepressant, specifically for the first few weeks after starting does or if that dosage has changed. If suicidal thoughts are occurring while taking an antidepressant, you should contact your doctor or get emergency help. Note that antidepressants are more likely to reduce thoughts of suicide in the long run by improving your mood.
Interaction – with other drugs, some medications may have dangerous interactions ith other medicines, alcohol, substances, food. You should communicate with your doctor all of the prescription and over-the-counter substances you take including vitamins and supplements.
Other treatment options.
Occasionally, medications a psychotherapy are not affected enough to control OCD symptoms, Reach continues on the potential effectiveness of deep brain stimulation DBS for treating OCD that does not respond to traditional treatment. Becuase DBS has not been truly tested for use in treating OCD, make sure you uncertain all the pros and cons of these risk.
Lifestyle and home solutions
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic condition, which indicates that it may always be part of your life. Although you can not treat OCD by yourself, you can do things to help build you create a treatment plan.
Make sure you take your medication as direct, resist the temptation to skip medication if you are not feeling well. If you stop, the OCD symptoms can return.
Understand the warning signs – You and your doctor may have identified the trigger for your OCD symptoms, create a plan so that you know what to do and avoid when the symptoms return. Contact your medical treatment specialist if your notice changes.
Check first before taking medications Contact your doctor when you are getting treated for OCD before you take medicines prescribed by a different doctor or before taking over-the-counter medications, mineral, vitamins or supplements so that you know how they interact with your OCD medication.
OCD Coping and Support
Coping with OCD can be difficult. Medications can have undesired side effects; you can also start to feel upset and embarrassed about haveing the condition requires long-term treatment. Here are several ways to cope with OCD.
- You first should learn about the condition; this can empower and motivate you to continue your treatment plan.
- Join a support group – OCD groups can help you reach out others who are facing the same struggles.
- Stay focus on your recovery goals. It is an ongoing process. You need to keep your goals in mind to stay motivated.
- Find Health outlets, explore recreational activities hobbies and regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting enough to affect your treatment positively
- Stress management and relaxation – Try stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, tai chi or yoga.
- Be consistent with your routine. Attend work and school as you would normally go. Spend time with you family and friends. DO not let OCD take time away from your life.
If OCD disrupts your activities and daily routine, you should work with a therapist on different ways to reduce this disruption
Prevention of OCD