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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: The Ins and Outs
When I was younger, I remember learning how to write the alphabet, spell my name, learning of different colors, and learning how to count. I remember being fascinated by counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. I was fascinated by the different ways that you could reach different numbers and how you used those numbers in different equations to make even more numbers. Soon after I mastered counting and using numbers, I remembering incorporating my counting into how many steps I took, how many drinks of juice I took, how many minutes I brushed my teeth, how many times I chewed my food, so on and so forth. Year after year, my obsessive compulsive disorder continued to get worse, I would count out loud in front of anyone, before I was able to move on with any task that I wanted to finished. For example, such as going outside, I would have to touch the door knob so many times before I would go outside, usually reaching a number such as 8 or 12 because I liked even numbers and liked how they were not prime numbers. I remember not necessarily getting over obsessive compulsive disorder as i grew older, but learning how to maintain the disorder. When I reached the age of sixteen, I stopped counting out loud before I would do a task and my counting before each task started to slow down at a fast rate. I learned how others perceived my disorder and how I wanted to learn to control it because I learned that it was weird in the eyes of others and how it wasn't the normal thing to do. As of now, I wouldn't define myself as still having the disorder but sometimes every once in a while, I might count inside of my head when Im chewing or drinking a beverage.
In any case, every one might not know what obsessive compulsive disorder is. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder, where the person has repetetive thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that makes them feel that they have to do something. Usually, the person that has this disorder think that acting a certain way will help them to not be so obsessive, when it actually doesn't help as much as they think it does. This disorder has been shown in children but usually it is discovered by the time someone reaches the age of 30. The causes of the disorder is not known. There has been theories that suggest it is due to injuries, infections, brain abnormalities, and tics.
In the picture above, there is a cartoon drawing of a person holding a list with things to do on it that are being repeated over and over again.
Symptoms and Signs
Some syptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder are when someone has compulsions that are not caused by medication or illness. When someone has compulsions that are caused by stress and is on a daily basis. Some examples of compulsions are such things as counting, fear of germs, and repeatedly washing hands. When this happens on a daily basis over and over again the person is able to recognize that what they are doing is excessive. One of the signs of the disorder is being able to describe your own behavior and recognizing this as being obsessive compulsive disorder. A physical exam and evaluation can rulse out any other mental disorders or physical causes. Questionnaires can also help to diagnose Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Some of the ways that you can treat OCD is by using medications and therapy. Antidepressants are used in treating the disorder. Some of these medications can include Prozac, Zoloft, and Celexa. If none of the newer drugs are helping in the treatment of the disorder, then a tricyclic antidepressant is used in its place such as Clomipramine. Whenever you are taking any type of medication there are always side effects. Some of the side effects that come when you use Clomipramine is dry mouth, sleepiness, and difficulty urinating. The majority of the time this type of antidepressant usually works. If this depressant isn't effective by itself, then it is combined with a newer antidepressant. Antipsychotic medications are used that could be useful, also, anti anxiety medications are use in order to slow down compulsions that may be causing the OCD. A couple of different therapies that are used are cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. In CBT, the patient is shown the situation over and over again until they learn how to control the anxiety and can resist compulsions. Psychotherapy is a form of therapy that reduces anxiety, stress, and your own personal conflicts.
Long Term Effects and Complications
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a long term disorder with periods of severe symptoms and periods of improvement. This disorder never completely goes away and is seen as unusual, if it does. The majority of people that use the therapy and medication usually improve and the compulsions get better as time goes on. The complications of the disorder has to deal with the type of compulsions that you have such as too much handwashing can break down skin or too much fear of something may cause your anxiety to rise and for your worse fear to actually become a reality. After dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder at a young age, I realized that you can learn to control the disorder without the help of therapy and medication. I remember my mom telling me not to count out loud, talking to me about this disorder, and helping me to control it when I was younger. In most cases, there are grown adults that have the disorder;therefore, I am able to understand why medication and therapy is necessary in some cases in the treatment of the disease.