OCD: Symptoms And Treatment

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Introduction

Before I begin I'm sure the very first question you have is what is OCD? OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is a mental illness that is considered to be along the lines of an anxiety disorder. This disorder causes someone to have unreasonable thoughts or fears that causes someone to do things to try to easy these thoughts or fears these things are called compulsions. Someone who has this illness may realize that their obsessions aren't right and will try stop them or ignore them completely.These actions, in the end, will make things worse.

Symptoms

This mental illness includes both obsessions and compulsions. Some examples of the obsessions include fear of germs or dirt. Maybe having things very orderly could be one. There are a few people with OCD who will get sexual or violent images and thoughts repeatedly. Some signs of obsessions include doubts that you've either locked the door or turned of the stove. Hair loss or bald spots because of hair pulling. skin lesions because of picking at the skin. Someone may get images of hurting their own child. Someone with OCD may get thoughts that they have hurt someone in traffic when in reality they did not. Someone with the fear of germs or dirt will hesitate to shake hands or touch objects other people have touched.

Compulsions are what people with OCD do in order to try to ease their obsession. Compulsions like washing hands over and over again, counting certain patterns, checking certain things, performing certain actions over and over again, orderliness, and demanding reassurances.

The best way to explain this is to give you my personal experience. I have a fear of being raped or having my home getting broken into and in turn being raped. So in turn every two hours I will walk around the house checking every single door in the house. I have to do it. When I am alone this increases to every half hour. I also count things, what this has to do with anything I am not sure. I like to do things by the intervals of five. I have to walk by steps of five. I count to five over and over again in my head repeatedly. Counting the five fingers on my right hand.

Risks

It is believed that people who have family members with OCD are more at risk of developing this mental illness, as it is with most mental illnesses. They also believe that if you are someone who reacts more strongly to stress than you are also more at risk. For example if something stressful is going on and you're the one person stressing out more than anyone else you're probably more at risk. They believe, although they don't know why, this triggers OCD.

Know that those who may have OCD are more at risk of suicidal thoughts and substance abuse. They also have more of a risk of having more anxiety disorders besides OCD. They may suffer from depression and they may also suffer from eating disorders. They may struggle to go to work or school and end up having troubled relationships. Those who wash their hands more may end up having problems with contact dermatitis from washing the hands too much. Overall they may seem to have a poor quality of life.


Treatment

No matter how hard things get do not fret, there is help. They treat OCD with two different ways. Medication and psychotherapy. Usually it is best to do both and not just one.

When it comes to psychotherapy they believe that cognitive behavioral therapy is the best form. This form is supposed to help those with OCD to retrain their thought patterns and routines so that their compulsive behaviors aren't needed anymore.

As for medications Zoloft, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, and Anafranil are the ones that are usually prescribed for OCD.

Of coarse support is just as important when it treatment to help someone out. If you know someone with OCD do not look at them as if they are strange or odd. Give them your support, let them know that you are their for them no matter what. It will help a great deal, more than you think.

Conclusion

I only just realized I had this, I was just diagnosed and it makes complete sense. Luckily my case it's as time consuming as others but it still is difficult. Yesterday I found myself having to keep on walking until I landed on a number that was a five like thirty five for example. It does get irritating. Know that the compulsions aren't irritating just for others but for those who have OCD as well. Especially because we know this behavior isn't really right. Who else gets up and checks all the doors in the house every two hours? This is why someone with OCD needs support because there are much worse cases out there, cases that can take someone's life completely away from under them.

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Comments 10 comments

Ana Teixeira profile image

Ana Teixeira 4 years ago from Oporto, Porto, Portugal

Great hub. Voted up! I have a friend with OCD and Thanks to therapy she feels a lot better now. She still has her patterns and other things but it's a process and, as friends, we always try to help her through it. I also notice that everytime her stress levels are higher, the compulsion is stronger. Thank you for this post. It helps people who have OCD or know poeple with OCD to understand what it is a bit better and how to deal with it =) Keep hubbing


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Ana, you're very welcome. Stress levels can make the compulsion harder to control. I've only recently discovered I have OCD. It's very difficult. I'm glad you are supporting your friend. :)


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

Several members of my family have OCD, including myself. My obsession is with not being good enough, and my actions include constant preparation. I will prepare over and over when I have something comeing up. Therapy and medication have helped. I have also realized that I can set limits for myself in the number of times I prepare for something. Writing has also been helpful. I can go back and read when I have done and how far I have come.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

denise, as far as I know I am the only one in my family that has OCD. I am glad that both therapy and medication has helped. I recently have been put on medication for it and am going through therapy. Hopefully it will help.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

Voted up and useful. Great article, Cresentmoon2007. Sometimes I wonder if I don't have a touch of OCD...I've had to check my hair iron three times before leaving my house, and sometimes I've even driven back to my house to check it a fourth time...making sure I didn't leave it plugged in (for fear the house will burn down). Not sure if that constitutes OCD or not...but possibly.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Could be kitty because those are signs of OCD. Who knows for sure though until you get checked out like I did. Thank you for reading. Have a great day


Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

This runs in my family. I like things lined up. My sister is a clean freak. My daughter counts things. And my son just admitted he checks to see if his car is locked severals times a day when he is at work.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Lilleyth,

OCD is a difficult thing to cope with. I'm sorry to hear that it runs in your family and I do hope that you guys have learned how to cope with it and have learned acceptance of OCD among yourselves. Thank you for reading.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I have a dear friend with this disorder and it is so hard for her and her family. I wouldn't say it's a severe case, but she is unable to work for a while, though is thinking about getting back in the saddle again.

I recently saw an interview with Howie Mandel who suffers terribly with this condition and he is very courageous to share it so openly and honestly by writing a book (Don't Touch Me). It's an embarrasing disorder and very discouraging to the one who suffers. Good information and great hub.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

lambservant, I am sorry to h ear that you have a friend who has OCD. It is difficult to handle no matter how severe of a case you have. I am aware of Howie Mandel's case and agree with you. Thanks for reading.

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