What is OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a familiar, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which an individual has unruly, recurring thoughts (obsessions) and demeanors (compulsions) that they feel the urge to repeat over and over again. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder entails two words, “obsession” and “compulsion”, both depict different meanings but when fused they define Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. There are many OCD Clinical Trials near you that are trying to understand this complex condition, while at the same time finding a potential treatment option.
According to WHO, OCD is rated as one of the 10 most handicapping conditions that have an adverse impact on income and quality of life. In this blog, we will be talking about the differences between obsessions and compulsions, OCD triggers, symptoms, struggles of people with OCD, and ways to reduce the associated anxiety.
The Reality Of OCD
OCD is a common condition that every other person may be able to relate to themselves. However, the reality is quite different. According to the International OCD Foundation, in the US alone, 1 in 100 adults and 1 in 200 children have OCD. That makes up a total of around 2 to 3 million adults and half a million kids. It is an ‘’equal opportunity disorder’’ that affects both men and women equally.
Compulsions Vs Obsessions
Obsessions and compulsions are a never-ending cycle of torment. They are undesirable, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger extremely distressing feelings.
Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and reduce his or her distress. They do so to minimize the obsessions but it hinders the daily life activities to a great extent, as it is time-consuming. Compulsions could be related or unrelated to obsessions. For instance, you might check, unlock and lock your room’s door several times before leaving just to avert an unanticipated situation.
Other examples of compulsions may include:
- Washing hands repeatedly,
- Checking on loved ones,
- Make sure the appliances are turned off,
- Arranging things in symmetrical order, and
- Hoarding on things.
Major Categories of OCD
Obsessions are further classified into various subtypes depending upon how their OCD affects them. Physicians call OCD triggers heterogeneous as it varies from person to person.
The classification includes:
- Harm OCD: makes individuals be profoundly upset by the stern contemplations that essentially everybody has encountered. Most people are able to disregard and ignore such thoughts but people with OCD find it difficult to control their thoughts.
- Sexual Orientation OCD: It refers to obsessions about one’s sexuality.
- Pedophilia OCD: is particularly inclined to humiliation due to how hard individuals’ emotions are about pedophiles. As with other types of OCD, these longings are not wanted. Truth be told, individuals are so troubled by these considerations since they don’t reflect what they truly care about.
- Relationship OCD: leaves individuals totally incapable to bear the uncertainty of close connections, giving them obsession on the “suitability” of their own relationship and the incalculable different probable outcomes that day-to-day life brings.
- Contamination OCD: This is the most common type of OCD. People usually believe they have “OCD” because they are “cleanliness freaks”. In reality, people with “contamination OCD” are the ones who want things to be spick and span all the time and cannot tolerate even the slightest unkemptness.
- Just Right OCD: This subtype is quite different from the rest as there is no obvious reason for it. It always leaves one feeling like something is just not right.
What Causes OCD?
The actual OCD triggers are not yet identified. However, family history does play a role in causing OCD. Irregular brain development has also been linked to OCD. Moreover, some evidence indicates that an imbalance of the happy hormone, Serotonin, may lead to OCD. OCD is assumed to be more prevalent in women than in men and appears in teens and young adults.
Who Is At Risk?
According to popular belief, a lot people usually believe that OCD can happen to anyone. But in reality, OCD is much more commonly diagnosed in people with a family history.
Other OCD triggers that can increase the chances of developing OCD are:
- Childhood abuse,
- Childhood Acute Neuropsychiatric Symptoms, and
- Traumatic Brain Injury.
What Are The Struggles Of People With OCD?
OCD is different for everyone. The experiences vary from person to person and so do the outcomes. OCD is not just perfectionism, it alters the perception of a person about everything. It affects them to the core. The intrusive thoughts makes it hard for them to function normally and they feel trapped and suffocated in their own mind when the anxiety spins out of control.
Affects Mental Health
Individuals with OCD are at a higher risk of developing Major Depressive Disorder. It also shoots up the anxiety levels of a person with OCD and they develop social anxiety and certain phobias like severe fear of germs, etc.
OCD triggers can have a profound impact on one’s relationships, as discussed in the subtypes of OCD above. In a romantic relationship, OCD sufferers have an increased sense of dread and insecurity for which they need constant reassurance from their significant others. The constant need to get validation from your partner can be too exhausting. It may also lead to a lack of affection from your partner towards you. People with OCD have this habit of counter-checking their own feelings by repeatedly questioning themselves.
With family and friends, OCD victims might struggle with confidence issues or feelings of shame, humiliation, and apprehension. It might bring about apathy towards being around others. This might also leave loved ones wrestling with their own feelings of confinement and misery.
Significant Impact in one’s Professional Life
Similarly in the workplace, OCD sufferers have to struggle with confidence, performance, productivity, and punctuality. All of it results in deferring the tasks and making a day at work feel like a “grind”.
Tips on Maintaining Good Relationships With Others
OCD triggers can make it really hard for people to act normal. This affects their daily life and also their relationships.
We have tried to list down some of the tips that might be of help to people struggling with OCD who are unable to find a way out of despair.
- Maintain candid and honest communication.
- Join support groups where you can talk your heart out and get meaningful assistance from others.
- Work at building trust and rapport with colleagues and in intimate relationships.
- Try seeking professional help.
What Are The Treatment Options for OCD?
If we broadly classify the treatment prospects for OCD, there are two treatment modalities:
- Psychological Therapy: talking about your fears and obsessive thoughts might help you overcome the stress.
- Medicine: In case the symptoms of depression and anxiety are severe, the doctor may prescribe anti-depressants to retrieve the balance of chemicals in the brain.
Short therapy courses are the usual recommendation for benign symptoms of OCD. The treatment can be effective if you continue to follow your physician’s advice.
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OCD is a complicated condition that has severe effects on an individual’s personal as well as professional life. The symptoms should be taken seriously so that timely intervention can help contain them. People with OCD need support and love to live a happy and productive life.
If you or someone you know, is struggling with OCD symptoms, consider reaching out to paid Clinical Trials near you to get a better understanding of your condition and potential treatment options.