OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition in which a person experiences uncontrollable and recurring thoughts, known as obsessions, and engages in repetitive behaviours, known as compulsions.
These obsessions and compulsions can be time-consuming and cause significant distress or interference with daily life. They can have a big impact on your life.
Common obsessions include
- Fear of germs
- Aggressive or intrusive thoughts
- A desire for symmetry
- Some compulsions may also involve repetitive actions such as hand washing, checking, or counting.
There are various inconclusive theories about why someone develops OCD. OCD can be caused by a combination of genetic, brain, and environmental factors. It can also be caused due to a painful childhood experience, trauma, abuse, etc.
Impact on Life
OCD can consume many hours of a person’s day, interfering with family, social interactions, education, and employment.
As OCD becomes more severe, individuals may engage in avoidance behaviours, making it difficult to perform everyday activities and leading to houseboundness. OCD is often compounded by depression and other anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety and panic disorder.
The constant presence of obsessions and compulsions can create tension and strain within relationships, leading to feelings of frustration, resentment, and powerlessness.
Additionally, the mental energy and time commitment required to manage OCD can create communication barriers and emotional strain within relationships.
OCD can also lead to avoidance of certain situations, substance abuse, and physical damage from compulsions, further affecting daily functioning and relationships.
Treatment options often include therapy, medication, or a combination of both, and can be effective in helping individuals manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a common form of therapy for OCD. This therapy helps individuals face their fears and obsessive thoughts, gradually reducing the anxiety associated with them.
Self-help techniques based on CBT can also be beneficial for managing mild-to-moderate symptoms of OCD If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, it’s important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.