Perfectly wrong

<!–enpproperty 2012-08-22 09:46:38.0Liu ZhihuaPerfectly wrongOCD sufferer,World Health Organization,obsession,anxiety12003561News2@webnews/enpproperty–>

Repeated washing of hands, an obsession with closed doors or windows, anxiety about cleanliness – these may all be the physical symptoms of a much more disturbing mental disorder. Liu Zhihua explains.

Xiao Ming suddenly covers his mouth with his hand, blinks hard and smiles.

“Sorry I repeated the last few words so many times,” he says, stuttering as he nervously explains. “I couldn’t control myself.”

Xiao is suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), recognized by the World Health Organization as one of the top 10 most disabling disorders in terms of its effect on the quality of life.

It is estimated that China has more than 13 million OCD sufferers, according to Yan Jun, an established mental health specialist with the Peking University No 6 Hospital.

“In daily life, people use ‘obsessive-compulsive disorder’ to describe someone who is meticulous, perfectionistic, or fixated, and it is meant as flattery, more or less,” Yan says.

“But in medical terms, the phrase refers to a mental disorder that means a living hell for patients.”

An OCD patient is beset with obsessions or compulsions or both, and suffers from extreme anxiety or depression, she explains.

“The good news is, in most cases, the disorder develops slowly, and people have time to deal with it before it becomes too severe,” Yan says.

Everyone has obsessions or compulsions, but these develop into symptoms of OCD only when the obsessions and compulsions become all-consuming and get in the way of daily life.

About 50 percent of OCD cases take years and even decades to develop. Less than 10 percent develop within a few days, and others may occur over the course of several months, Yan adds.

College graduate Zhong Lin developed OCD in high school, but was not aware there was anything wrong at that time. She comes from a family with a strict father and an unloving stepmother. Zhong became a perfectionist, always aiming for good grades, but always failing to do well.

At age 17 she was already worrying about the neatness of her desk and bed, and would get excessively bothered if they were not fastidiously clean and tidy.

She thought these were merely harmless habits, even if they were distracting – until the time she spent on these obsessions became abnormally lengthy.

In 2010 – almost five years after she first noticed her “bad habits”, Zhong was finally diagnosed with OCD and depression.

“I’m lucky that my symptoms were not too severe when diagnosed,” Zhong says. “After undergoing psychotherapy and taking medication for two years, I’m mostly recovered.”

“The causes of the disorder are not clear, but there is a widely agreed hypothesis that both physical and psychological factors play a role,” says Guo Xufang, director of the Psychotherapy Room at Beijing Huilongguan Hospital, a respected mental health hospital in the capital.

“Genetic mutation, some personality traits and psychological pressure all contribute to OCD,” Guo explains.

If a person grows up with strict guardians, or has personality traits that include an over developed sense of responsibility, constant attention to detail, careful planning, an aversion to risk, and a tendency to weigh decisions for too long, their chance of getting OCD is increased, Guo adds.

“In a fast-paced society, it is very important to accept adversities and failures in life, and let them go,” Guo says.

In Xiao Ming’s case, he developed OCD because of his search for security and respect, and the psychological pressure of hiding his depression from others for years.

He was uncontrollably obsessed with things that others may consider just normal everyday occurrences, and he would repeatedly check locks, doors, and windows all the time.

“I felt extremely insecure. Only through repeatedly doing these things then I felt I had done something and I would find temporary relief.”

He was diagnosed with OCD in 2005 but without efficient treatment, he got worse. He started an obsession with digits and decided numbers, such as 19, 38 and 61, were lucky numbers, and he would repeatedly act according to these numbers.

For example, he would combine the number of steps he took and the number of times he washed his hands, and the total must add up to these “lucky” numbers. If it did not, he would repeat the whole process.

He also started repeating what he was saying dozens of times, and felt the compulsion to do embarrassing things in public, such as pouring water over someone’s face.

Xiao was admitted to Beijing Huilongguan Hospital late in 2011, and after three months of treatment, his condition improved.

“For mild OCD patients, psychotherapy is enough, but severe cases need to be treated with a combination of psychotherapy sessions and medication,” Guo says.

“Treatment may not necessarily effect a complete cure, but OCD can reach frightening levels if it is not treated.”

In many cases, people with OCD are diagnosed with other related conditions, such as depression, general anxiety disorders and social anxiety disorders.

Medication treats the chemical abnormalities in the nervous system, while psychotherapy, mostly “cognitive behavioral therapy”, helps patients learn to tolerate the anxiety associated with not performing obsessive or compulsive acts.

“Unlike physical diseases, OCD can only be treated efficiently when the patients are willing and cooperative,” Guo says. “When you have recurring thoughts that are compelling or uncontrollable, or when you constantly feel emotionally disturbed, then it’s best to seek professional help.”

Contact the writer at liuzhihua@chinadaily.com.cn.

Related: Jayma Mays has OCD like Glee character

What is Obsessive Compulsory Disorder

USA 24 August 2012. 30% of population has this condition, do you want to know more? Anxiety is one factor that always follows us like a shadow in every single step of life in different fashions and varies in intensity from person to person depending on its mode of presentation. One of the incarnations is OCD, i.e. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which is seen in more than 30% of the population. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by unfair thoughts and obsessions that lead ne to do repetitious compulsive things. These behaviors can be time consuming, socially alienating and lead to emotional and financial distress. The most common finding is that the people suffering from OCD realize that their attitudes are irrational and irrelevant, which makes them depressive and this leads to worsening of the condition.

 

Neither race nor age or sex is exempted for OCD; however, majority of adolescents and middle-aged people tend to get affected more frequently. There is another condition called as Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), which is a condition in which a person is preoccupied with rules, orderliness, and controls. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is most commonly a condition where genes may be involved. A person’s childhood and growing environment may also play roles. This condition can affect both men and women; but it mostly often occurs in men. OCPD has some of the same symptoms as OCD. However, people with OCD have unwanted thoughts, while people with OCPD believe that their thoughts are correct. OCD persons experience involuntary, uncontrollable thoughts, ideas, images, and illusions etc., repeatedly in mind with which they are driven to behave or perform certain rituals repeatedly to over come anxiety. Most of the OCD personalities could be washers, checkers, doubters and sinners, hoarders or Counters and arrangers. Some common obsessions include fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others, fear of harm, fear of losing, excessive religious beliefs or rituals, superstitions etc. When it comes to some of the common compulsions of OCD, they would be excessive checking of things, spending more time in washings and cleansing, accumulating junk at home or at office, attending religious rituals repeatedly from fear, doing senseless things to avoid anxiety, counting, tapping, etc. OCD in children must be paid more attention as it affects the child’s future, life and it could lead to some other psychiatric complications such as social phobia, panic phobia, Trichotilomania (pulling the hair), depression, dysthymia, learning disorders or body dimorphic disorders etc.

 

The curative aspect of OCD is mainly Psychotherapy (Psychodynamic Psychotherapy) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that can play a key role in OCD management. Some anti depressants do help to reduce the intensity of the OCD; however, CBT is the preferred one. Neurosurgical treatment of OCD such as minimally invasive techniques like gamma knife irradiation and foremost deep brain stimulation has arisen as novel tools for psychosurgery today in cases requiring more advanced attention. Jeffrey Schwartz, a well known psychiatrist offered four steps to over come OCD such as Reattribute, Revalue, Refocus and Reliable.

 

Before modern science’s evolution, OCD was said to be incurable. However, one should not overlook nature and what it has gifted us. Ancient science recognized the importance of psychiatric disorders and postulated certain lifestyle rules and regulations in terms of culture and practices which in depth regulate the mind and human body.

 

Common sense remedies for OCD:

 

Practice disciplined and planned life style in terms of health and happy living.

 

Avoid unnecessary life targets which are time consuming and stressful.

 

Practice yoga and meditation and keep mind in control.

 

Take Ashwagandha, Bacopa, Centella combination herbal supplements, which can help to overcome OCD over a period of time.

 

Take equal parts of nutmeg, mace powders, and twice quantity of Licorice powder, and a little sugar. Your natural tranquilizer is ready. One spoon of this twice daily keeps all worries away.

 

Regular consumption of Basil leaves keeps mind fit.

 

If you feel worried about OCD symptoms take fine powder of muskroot with milk.

 

Decoction made up of Cardamom and Cumin seeds will help to reduce the intensity of OCD symptoms.

 

If possible try this treatment at home; an application of continuous stream of mildly warm oil to the body parts. Take one liter of sesame oil and add Ashwagandha powder, Muskroot, Basil leaves, rhizomes of Sweet flag and Turmeric to it. Boil the oil for about few hours and then let it get cooled. Your remedy is ready. Apply this oil to fore head twice a day for ten days. This will give good results to overcome the OCD symptoms.

 

I hope the above discussion on OCD and some of the home remedies should be useful to most people that are trying to address these conditions.

 

Dr. Satya Narayana B.A.M.S.

 

Dr. Satya Narayana is a Clinical research investigator, Naturopathic / Ayurveda Doctor and a consultant of Herbal Destination, USA. Read other articles by him like What is Ashwagandha and What is Bacopa. All information provided above is for educational purposes only. For questions or to consult Dr. Satya, please send an email to
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Note: This article can be re-published by other sites and publications as long as the original content, links, author information and original publication sources are retained.

Five quick tips to tell if you are suffering from OCD

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that is
characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions), that produce a
sense of dread or alarm. Persons then engage in repetitive behaviors
(compulsions) in an attempt to rid themselves of the obsessive thoughts and
calm the anxiety.

If you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, then the chances are you will
relate to most of the following points:

1) Are your thoughts persistent and repetitive, going round and
round in your head like a song? My hands are dirty, my hands are dirty, are my
hands dirty, maybe they aren’t, maybe a little, ok I’ll wash them again just to
be sure.

2) Do you feel you have to
repetitively perform behaviors in order to quiet your thoughts? Count to 10,
avoid cracks in the pavement, clean over and over, check the front door, have
specific numbers of things”

3) Do your thoughts prevent you from
concentrating on anything else? Such as reading a book or following a
conversation? When reading, for example, you might read the same sentence
over and over and never actually take it in, because your obsessive thoughts
are overwhelming you.

4) Do your rituals prevent you from
functioning normally in everyday life, making you late for work every day or
even unable to leave the house at all?

5) Do your thoughts and behaviors
cause you significant distress, anxiety and tears?

If you answer yes to most of these then it’s safe to say that you may suffer
from obsessive compulsive disorder. If you do suffer from OCD then you want to
get help. OCD is a biological disorder of the brain, which will not just go
away on its own. Don’t suffer in silence and don’t try to do it alone. OCD is a
hard illness to live with, and treatment options exist, so there is no need to
suffer unnecessarily.

Dr Annabelle R Charbit

Author of A Life Lived
Ridiculously

When a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder falls in love with a
sociopath, she must fight for her sanity and her life.

Available at  Amazon  and  Barnes Noble

Signs your child is not adjusting to new school year

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Researchers Publish Studies Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder And Tourette …

Two papers that will appear in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, both receiving advance online release, may help identify gene variants that contribute to the risks of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or Tourette syndrome (TS). Both multi-institutional studies were led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators, and both are the first genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in the largest groups of individuals affected by the conditions.

“Previous studies of these disorders have demonstrated that both TS and OCD are strongly heritable and may have shared genetic risk factors, but identification of specific genes has been a huge challenge,” says Jeremiah Scharf, MD, PhD, of the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit (PNGU) in the MGH Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, a co-lead author of both papers and co-chair of the Tourette Syndrome Association International Consortium for Genetics. “These new studies represent major steps towards understanding the underlying genetic architecture of these disorders.”

An anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions that disrupt patients’ lives, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most common psychiatric illness. Tourette syndrome, a chronic disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics, usually begins in childhood and is often accompanied by conditions like OCD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Both conditions have a high risk of recurrence in close relatives of affected individuals, but previous studies that compared affected and unaffected individuals were not large enough to identify specific genes or areas of the genome that contribute to risk.

Since many gene variants probably contribute to risk for both conditions, the research teams undertook GWAS investigations, which analyze hundreds of thousands of gene variants called SNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in thousands of individuals with and without the condition of interest. The International OCD Foundation Genetic Collaborative, consisting of more than 20 research groups in nine countries, analyzed almost 480,000 SNPs in 1,465 individuals with OCD, more than 5,500 controls and from 400 trio samples consisting of an OCD patient and both parents. The Tourette Syndrome Association International Consortium for Genetics and the TS GWAS Consortium, representing 22 groups across seven countries, analyzed 484,000 SNPs across almost 1,500 cases and more than 5,200 controls.

The OCD study – led by Evelyn Stewart, MD, of the MGH-PNGU, who is now based at the University of British Columbia, and David Pauls, PhD, MGH-PNGU – identified possible associations close to a gene called BTBD3, which is closely related to a gene that may be involved in Tourette Syndrome, and within DLGAP1, a close relative of a gene that produces OCD-like symptoms in mice if it is deleted. The Tourette study was led by Scharf and Pauls and found evidence of a possible association with a gene called COL27A1, which may be expressed in the cerebellum during development, and with variants that help regulate gene expression in the frontal cortex.

None of these or other identified SNPs reached the high threshold of genome-wide significance, which would indicate that the associations represented true risk factors, and the authors stress that additional, larger studies are required. “Although GWAS analysis allows much more comprehensive examination of the entire genome than do studies focused on particular families or candidate genes, these two studies are still underpowered and should be interpreted with caution,” says Pauls, a co-senior author of both papers. “The current results are interesting and provide us with a starting point for analyzing future studies that must be done to replicate and extend these findings.”

Scharf adds that the next steps should include testing the SNPs identified by these studies in other groups of patients and controls, analyzing both study groups together to identify genes that contribute to the risk of both disorders, and expanding international collaborations to increase the size and power of patient samples for both OCD and TS. “If future studies confirm that some of these variants do contribute to risk – either directly or by altering the function of other risk genes – that would suggest both novel disease mechanisms and might give us new treatment targets,” he says.

On the Net:

Canine tail chasing resembles human obsessive compulsive disorders


The genetics research group, based at the University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Center and led by Professor Hannes Lohi, has in collaboration with an international group of researchers investigated the characteristics and environmental factors associated with compulsive tail chasing in dogs. A questionnaire study covering nearly 400 dogs revealed several similarities between compulsive behavior in dogs and humans: early onset, recurrent compulsive behaviors, increased risk for developing different types of compulsions, compulsive freezing, the of , the effects of early and and . The study shows that dogs offer an excellent animal model for studying the genetic background and environmental factors associated with human obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD). The study has been published in the journal PLoS ONE on July 27, 2012.

Stereotypical behavior in pets has not been studied extensively, even though several different types of compulsive behavior occur in different species including dogs. A dog may recurrently chase lights or shadows, bite or lick its own flank, pace compulsively or chase its own tail.

Different environmental and genetic factors have been suggested to predispose to compulsive behavior. Many stereotypes are breed-specific, which emphasizes the role of genes. Compulsive tail chasing occurs in several dog breeds, but worldwide it is most common in breeds such as Bull Terriers and German Shepherds.

The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of tail chasing in dogs, to identify possible environmental risk factors, and to find out whether a previously discovered gene region associated with compulsive behavior is also linked to tail chasing.

Could vitamins have an influence?

Nearly 400 Finnish dogs participated in this study, including Bull Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, German Shepherds and Staffordshire Bull Terriers respectively. Blood samples were taken from the dogs participating in the study, and their owners filled out a questionnaire about their dogs’ stereotypic behavior. The questionnaire included questions about different stereotypic behaviors, as well as aspects of each dog’s puppyhood and the routines of the dog’s current daily life. In addition to this the owners evaluated their dogs’ personality based on the questions in the questionnaire.

The study included dogs that chased their tails daily for several hours, dogs that chased their tails a few times a month, and dogs that had observably never chased their tails. With most of the dogs, the tail chasing had begun at the age of 3 to 6 months, before reaching sexual maturity.

One of the most interesting findings of this study is the connection with stereotypic behavior and vitamins and minerals. Dogs that received nutritional supplements, especially vitamins and minerals, with their food, chased their tails less.

“Our study does not prove an actual causal relationship between vitamins and lessened tail chasing, but interestingly similar preliminary results have been observed in human OCD” says researcher, Katriina Tiira, PhD. Follow-up studies will aim to prove whether vitamins could be beneficial in the treatment of tail chasing.

Early separation from the mother and the mother’s poor care of the puppy were also found in the study to predispose dogs to tail chasing. Early separation from the mother has been discovered to predispose also other animals to stereotypic behavior, but this is the first time this connection has been made with dogs.

The amount of exercise the dogs received or the number of activities they engaged in did not, however, seem to have a connection with tail chasing. This could be comforting news to many owners of dogs with compulsive behaviors, since often the owners themselves or the dogs’ living environment may be blamed for these behaviors. Although frustration and stress are likely to be significant causes of the occurrence of stereotypic behavior in for example zoo animals, they may be of lesser significance when it comes to Finnish dogs that are walked regularly.

Tail chasing in dogs can be used as an animal model for studying the genetic background of OCD in humans

Compared to the control dogs, tail chasers suffered more from also other stereotypic behaviors. In addition, tail chasers were more timid and afraid of loud noises.

“Different types of compulsive behavior occur simultaneously in humans suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder or other diseases such as autism” explains the head of the study, Professor Hannes Lohi.

Dogs may turn out to be of significant use in investigating the causes of human psychiatric diseases. “Stereotypic behavior occurs in spontaneously; they share the same environment with humans, and as large animals are physiologically close to humans. Furthermore, their strict breed structure aids the identification of genes.”

The gene region previously associated with compulsive flank licking and biting in Dobermans was not found to be associated with tail chasing in any of the breeds in this study. The next aim of this research project is thus to discover new gene regions connected to tail chasing.

The study is part of a larger DOGPSYCH project, funded by the European Research Council, in which the genetic background of different anxiety disorders, such as timidity, and sound sensitivity are investigated, as well as their similarities with corresponding human diseases.

Journal reference:

PLoS ONE
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