Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive distressing thoughts, known as obsessions, which lead individuals to engage in repetitive behaviors. These receptive behaviors are known as compulsions, and are often performed to alleviate the discomfort caused by the obsessions. The compulsions can be quite consuming and disrupting, making it difficult for individuals to maintain their daily lives. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can also vary in severity, impacting not only the individual, but also interfering with their relationships and activities. Treatment for OCD involves therapy and in some cases medication.
OCD CONCERNS INCLUDE
- fear of germs, dirt, poisons, and environmental substances
- fear of harm from illness, accidents or death that may occur to oneself or to others. This may include an excessive sense of responsibility for preventing this harm
- intrusive thoughts and images about sex, violence, accidents and other issues
- excessive concern with symmetry, exactness and orderliness
- excessive concerns about illness, religious issues or morality
- needing to know and remember things.
SYMPTOMS OF OCD INCLUDE
- excessive hand washing, showering and tooth brushing
- excessive cleaning and washing of house, household items, food, car and other areas
- excessive checking of locks, electrical and gas appliances, and other things associated with safety
- repeating routine activities and actions such as reading, writing, walking, picking up something or opening a door
- applying rigid rules and patterns to the placement of objects, furniture, books, clothes and other items
- touching, tapping or moving in a particular way or a certain number of times
- needing to constantly ask questions or confess to seek reassurance
- mentally repeating words or numbers a certain number of times, or concentrating on ‘good’ or ‘safe’ numbers
- replacing a ‘bad thought’ with a ‘good thought’.
With treatment OCD can be well managed, improving ones life and mental health. Treatment options include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), anxiety management techniques, support and education groups, and medications. If you think you may have OCD, or you’re showing some symptoms of OCD, talk with your health care provider to find out what treatments may be best for you.