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OCD

What is a OCD?

OCD stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is a mental illness that is classified as a type of anxiety. A patient suffering from OCD develops a habit or tendency to a certain task over and over again. These could be recurring thoughts or ideas which is called obsession. While the urge to do something is called compulsion. Patients suffering from OCD tend to perform everyday tasks such as cleaning, hand washing, keeping things arranged in a certain way, shopping, and others over and over again.

A number of people suffering from OCD are in millions in the US alone. Lives of many of these people are not disrupted by OCD, instead of many patients benefit from it by managing things in their lives to make many daily tasks easier. While patients with severe OCD keep their entire focus on their obsession as a result of which it starts disrupting their lives. Many patients have a hard time dealing with everyday life and their social interactions start to decrease over time pushing them towards depression.

What are types of OCD?

OCD has been generally categorized into four main forms. Almost all types of OCD falls in one of these general categories.

Obsessive Thinking

Simply termed as an obsession or a patient’s interest in something that is not normal. Usually, patients have a certain line of thought and ideas that they wish to implement on others or defend even though if these thoughts are wrong, violent, or disturbing.

Checking

Patients suffering from this type of OCD tend to check certain things around them over and over again. Patients have been noted checking things as doors, locks, lights, switches, rooms, or basements. On many occasions these patients are considered security or safety conscious. Some parents tend to check over their children over and over again fearing for their safety. Patients can also consider themselves to suffer from health conditions such as pregnancy, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many more that they do not have, yet they check again and again to make sure.

Symmetry & Ordering

Patients with this type of OCD want things around them to be arranged properly in a certain order at all times. In case they find those things out of order, they will be urged to arrange them on a priority basis, without thinking about anything else. This can lead to some really hard social situations when someone else tends to change the position or order of the arranged things.

Contamination

These patients have a fear that things around them aren’t clean. These patients tend to excessively clean their homes or surroundings. Some patients tend to wash their hands over and over again after touching anything. While others carry hand sanitizers or wipes with them, that they use after touching things or making social contact with others. On the other hand, some patients might think that they are the dirty ones and responsible for everything that’s wrong around them.

What are symptoms of a OCD?

Symptoms of OCD are categorized into obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Some symptoms of both these categories are listed below.

Obsessive Thoughts

  • Thoughts of being contaminated
  • Thoughts about harming someone else or themselves
  • Violent and explicit sexual thoughts
  • Obsession over religion
  • Obsession over moral values
  • Get things that one does not have
  • Fear of losing belongings
  • Keeping things in the right order, perfect at all times
  • Excessive belief in superstitions
  • Excessive belief in luck

Compulsive Behaviors

  • Checking things over and over again to make sure
  • Checking in on family and friends, again and again, to make sure they are safe
  • Counting things again and again and remembering their exact numbers
  • Frequent cleaning of clothes, body and other stuff
  • Arranging things in a certain order
  • Excessive praying or reading religious stuff
  • Performing rituals
  • Hoarding things such as newspapers, clothing, shoes, foods, boxes and other stuff

How is OCD treated?

OCD can be treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Yet in most cases patients are able to manage the symptoms to a great extent instead of getting fully treated or cured.

OCD treatment with medication

Doctors usually prescribe patients SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) help patients get control over their obsessive and compulsive behaviors. Usually, the results are slow and it might take patients weeks or even months before they start noticing any changes. Some of the most common such medications are Celexa, Lexapro, Zoloft, and Prozac.

OCD treatment with therapy

The best therapeutic option for OCD treatment is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). This helps patients in changing their thinking patterns and take control of things that trigger their OCD. Usually, doctors will expose patients to situations that trigger their OCD, asking the patients to stay in control. Over the passage of time patients are able to decrease their obsessions and compulsions to a great extent.

Does yoga or meditation help with OCD?

In many patients, OCD is triggered by stressful situations, with meditation and yoga the brain gets relaxed, and patients experience a decrease in their OCD. These two cannot fully treat OCD but they can help patients in managing their thoughts and compulsions to a great extent. They should be the first thing that patients try and if they don’t work consult a doctor.