The Risk Factors of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The increase of likelihood for an individual developing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an anxiety-based disorder, is affected by several risk factors. The exact cause of this mental disorder is yet to be determined by medical experts specialised in the field of neurology, psychiatry, psychology and general medicine. However, several theories that might be potential triggers for the disorder as a whole have been developed. OCD risk factors will be highlighted in this mental health guide to provide understanding of this disorder.
Factors that affect the likelihood of developing OCD are outlined below: –

Basic Statistics
Understanding the basic statistics regarding OCD is important before looking further into the theories behind this mental disorder. In the United States, it is estimated that once in their lifetime, around a quarter of the population are suffering from mild to severe anxiety.Obsessive compulsive disorder is categorised as a type on anxiety. It is also known as an anxiety disorder. Mental health experts established that anxiety disorders are much more common than any other types of psychiatric condition, although in actual anxiety-based disorder is lower than a quarter of the nation standard anxiety rate.

It has been established that when an individual suffers from OCD, his or her children or the next generation are likely to experience the same type of disorder. Medical experts however do not conclude that genetics on its own will contribute to the triggering of OCD.It is believed that the triggering of this mental health disorder among patients involves correlation between genetics with other risk factors. The particular genes that specifically linked to this disorder have still not been identified. This is mostly because this condition is potentially developed by patients as a result of behaviours learned during his or her lifetime.

OCD might be triggered by an individual personality. Individuals who are not able or less able to react to stress in a productive manner, or having intolerance or a low tolerance for ambiguity or uncertainty, and those who have tendencies to be hypersensitive when handling with his or her moods and emotions are more prone to suffer from OCD compared to those having other types of personalities. This is one of the reasons why both cognitive behaviour therapy and prescription medication were chosen by many doctors to treat this condition.

Biochemical Imbalances
Biochemical imbalances occur in individuals developing OCD. For most cases, inconsistencies in the levels of nutrients, minerals and hormones occur in the physiology of OCD patients. People with OCD also tend to have lower levels of serotonin. Prescribed medications that will increase the level of serotonin are usually prescribed by doctors to treat OCD patients.

If you have OCD, you should know the factors behind this condition besides steps that you should take to face the challenges when dealing with this condition throughout your lifetime.

How to cope with OCD Anxiety in the Workplace

If you have OCD, it would be an extremely challenging task to cope with the anxiety at your workplace. Each one of us must have experienced some sort of anxieties at any point in our lives. Anxiety is a normal and standard reaction to cope with stress in our lives.

However, for those suffering from OCD, anxiety is a totally different matter. This is because OCD is in itself an anxiety disorder. Anxiety for them is more complicated. In a workplace, this is particularly true.
If you are diagnosed with OCD, you are likely to have the knowledge of OCD and the symptoms that you experienced. It is vital to gain understanding on this disorder if you feel that you are lacking in knowledge. As previously stated, OCD is anxiety-based. It is often triggered by frequent but unwanted thoughts, which are known as “obsessions”

OCD sufferers might also experience a tendency towards repetitive behaviours. These are known as “compulsions”. Individuals having this condition are mostly involved in different sorts of habits or rituals.
Counting objects or cleaning in a certain manner repeatedly are two examples of OCD. If you are suffering from something like this, it might affect your memory and concentration at work resulting in poorer performance. You would find that your responsibility at work is being threatened by this obsessions and compulsions.

Ways to cope
To deal with OCD, the first strategy that you should consider is to seek professional help from a therapist or medical practitioners with expertise in OCD.

These experts will try to unlock the factors triggering your OCD by applying specific therapy method suitable to you.If you fear that the OCD is resulting in intense anxiety, and is affecting your work, it is very important to inform the Human Resources Department in your company. Your rights and welfare as an employee should not be affected. Besides, companies nowadays believe in supporting their employees to achieve ‘work-life’ balance.Your company will ensure to support you all the way, for instance making special arrangements, allowing flexibility to ensure you have proper treatment. Your work performance is what matters to them. They will do what is best to accommodate your needs as long as you maintain your quality of work.


From this guide, anxiety in the workplace can be overcome successfully if you know the ways. However, expect to encounter difficulties and challenges. It is not easy to deal with OCD especially when it crosses path with your work life. However, the important thing is that it is possible to cope with OCD when you are at work.Follow the treatment and advice by your therapist or medical professional. Be persistent and disciplined. Do not give up. Also, consult with your company so that they are aware of your condition and know that you are working on getting better. Do not be shy, talk with your friends and work mates. It is better to be in a working environment that is aware of your condition. You will feel better, and get better quickly if you have a healthy working environment around you.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Intensive Program

It is not easy to recover from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Many sufferers question the effectiveness of the ‘once-‘, ‘twice-per-week’ therapy or conventional drug medication. In an OCD intensive program, patients are required to commit to specialised therapy every day for few hours. Patients will undergo therapist-guided exposure and response prevention (ERP) for a couple of hours almost every day as well as ERP practice of four or more hours between daily sessions.

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
Exposure and Response Prevention (or Exposure and Ritual Prevention) is an effective form of psychotherapy for ODC treatment. ERP is now a preferred treatment for almost all OCD intensive programs. It is recommended that OCD sufferers seek well-trained and experienced counsellors in ERP.

There are two components of ERP:

Exposure – Direct confrontation of the anxiety-produced obsessive thoughts (and factors triggering them) instead of avoidance

Response prevention – Temporarily reducing the fear/anxiety triggered by obsessions through abstinence of the compulsive responses or “rituals” that the OCD patient normally used.
Combining these two components provides effective OCD treatments. Research shows that applying only either one of these is not effective enough.

Applying both methods at the same time is challenging. This treatment is inclined towards anxiety-provocation. It is important for the patient to be consistent and patient, because the effectiveness of this therapy is usually evident towards the end of the treatment. Ensuring that patients go through this journey until the end is one of the main goals of this OCD intensive program.
What are the “intensives”?

At the moment OCD intensive programs are categorised into inpatient and outpatient. Both contribute to daily ERP therapy and provide support, guidance and practice compared to the standard therapy program. However, there are distinct differences.

For the inpatient (hospital-based) program, the patient is required to live in the treatment facility. The ERP is carried out inside the facility with necessary support and treatment provided by medical experts. Other treatment programs are also available to complement ERP, for instance medication management, anger management training, life-skills group therapy or psychiatry/counselling service.

There are some inpatient programs that provide family therapy, where family involvement is considered essential in addressing the OCD issues. There are also other ERP options which consider gentler and more gradual approach. This might be particularly useful to treat more fragile OCD patients, to help them prepare mentally and physically. However, this approach is slower, thus takes longer to complete, probably months, compared to the normal ERP therapy which usually takes a few weeks.

The disadvantage of the inpatient program is that it is expensive, it has more restrictions, and it does not really offer real-world exposures. However, the additional services, the systematic and effective structure and support and guidance offered made it a popular choice to some OCD patients.

The outpatient option, on the contrary, takes a lot quicker, usually within 3-4 weeks, where patients were given schedule to undergo the treatment. These include attending the ERP therapy sessions at the therapist’s office and daily practice on the exposure and response prevention. The main idea is to provide quick but efficient service to the patient, ideal for patients who cannot afford to spend much for the treatment.
Dr Edna Foa and her colleagues at the Centre for Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) are the leading pioneers in this outpatient OCD intensive program. Patients undergoing CTSA intensive are required to start off the first day of treatment by undergoing total abstinence from their OCD rituals, so that by the sixth session, they are ready to tackle their major rituals or fears. Over the next weeks, patients are used to confronting their behaviours and are less distressed by them. This is a more manageable and systematic treatment.

Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

It is not easy to deal with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It affects not only the sufferers, but also everyone around them. Due to the psychological nature of this disorder, a person with OCD is often ashamed to admit his or her illness, which makes it more difficult to seek help. It is even more difficult for those around him or her in dealing this because of the complexity of its nature, difficult to understand and to find help and solution.

OCD is often being dismissed by the public as a bad habit. Some might also think that it is something to be ashamed of. Someone with OCD who must count one to five, for eight times before entering a building, for example, might seem normal to him or her, but to others this is clearly bizarre.

There are concerns that need serious considerations. Firstly, it requires careful attention, due to the fact that it is indeed a ‘disorder’. Secondly, the well-being of OCD sufferers should be the main priority, as those left untreated often triggers acute depressions. Finally, self-injuries are often the result of uncontrollable rituals or compulsions associated with OCD, which is why this needs to be treated in an early stage.
In general, there are two methods to deal with OCD. The first is via medications. The second method is what is known as a cognitive behaviour therapy.

Drug treatment is a short-term solution for OCD. Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft are often given to OCD sufferers for a certain period or on an ongoing basis. The side effects of this treatment are the main argument for those who opposed this medication-based treatment. A person with OCD will depend on this medication throughout his or her life. It also does not really tackle the behavioural aspects, which is the core of this disorder.
Cognitive behaviour therapy aims in behaviour modifications. Building a strong mental and emotional drive to manage the obsessions and compulsions is the main purpose of this treatment. Behaviour therapy challenges a person’s endurance and patience, which is why the treatment takes longer than the conventional drug treatments. Besides, behaviour therapy treats actions of a person’s responses as a whole.

It is worth noting that in behaviour modification, there is no single method. In each therapy program, patients are treated individually according to specific needs and response capabilities. Thus, frequent visits to doctors are required to ensure that proper progress examinations are carried out, outlining specific behavioural techniques to tackle the OCD.

What You Can Do Right Now to Beat OCD

The effectiveness of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) depends on the correct self-help techniques that you applied. In fact, if wrong approach was taken in your effort the recover yourself, you could risk harming yourself instead of doing you any good.

If you follow the right tips and apply the correct self-help techniques, chances are you could achieve dramatic increase in success.

To overcome problems caused by OCD, below is a powerful strategy that can be adopted straight away.
Face your obsessions, but take small steps:

Obsession is the first symptom of OCD in most cases. It can be defined as some mental thoughts that are often uncontrollable, unpleasant as well as undesirable. This in turn triggers compulsions, rituals and habits that you carry out repetitively to overcome or distance yourself from those obsessions.
Once you identified the obsessions, confront them. This is a major step in beating OCD. Identify the root-cause of your OCD. This might not be that straight forward. Try doing a mental map and record what you think are your obsessions, and then prioritise those you think that are severe to you. Try seek help from someone very close to you, for instance your spouse, family members, close friends, if possible, someone who is familiar with your daily routines.

Try exploring your obsessive thoughts, by means of willingly and consciously identify any thoughts that could potentially turn into obsessions, or try putting yourself in a position where you would notice any obsessive thoughts that are likely to trigger compulsions.

Next, identify the compulsive behaviour that you would normally use to overcome the relevant obsessive thoughts.

Then, try to stop yourself from carrying out the compulsive behaviour, in this “confrontation-style” therapy.
This is definitely not easy. So, just try and do this for just, let say, a minute of two, and then release yourself, give in. Next, in a small and consistent manner, repeat the process, but by increasing the time in small increments. Do not force yourself to get a result straight away, just take your time. Seek help from someone you trust, to do this with you and constantly support you. Set a timetable to do this, record your progress, so that you could monitor your performance.

As time passes, you would notice the change, and you would realise that, slowly, you no longer depend on the compulsions and you could control your obsessive thoughts. One thing is for certain, this process takes time and discipline. The key is to take small steps, to be consistent, and to have a systematic record so that you could notice the change.

Children and OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) knows no boundaries. Anyone regardless of intellect, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, race and age are exposed to OCD. Not just adults, children can also suffer from it.
For example, this is a story of Ashley, a ten year old girl. She would join her friends to wash her hands every time after eating, and they enjoyed doing this.

However, Ashley was different from her friends because she was unable to resist washing her hands repeatedly once she started. She would end up washing, soaping and drying repeatedly until her hands were extremely dry, cracking and bleeding. She very much wanted to stop, but the thoughts of having germs all over her hands overpowered her to the extent that she did not realise she was injuring herself whilst trying to clean her hands.

Ashley’s parents might think that this habit was not serious, that maybe it was just a part of Ashley’s process of growing up and would just die away as she grew older. It did not cross their minds that Ashley was showing early signs of OCD since she was too young. What they did not know was that this bizarre obsession and compulsion with germs had started to take its toll on Ashley, taking most of her time and energy, resulting in delays with normal routines, affecting her concentrations at school and whilst playing with her friends. At school, she did not want to touch door knobs, took longer in toilets and refused to hold hands with her classmates and teachers. At home, she did not want to touch anything without cleaning or disinfecting it first. Her hands became extremely dry, cracking and itchy as she was using too much soap and using very warm water when cleaning her hands.

Ashley might just be one of many children suffering from OCD. It is the nature of children to be excited and curious of everything around them and to try repeating certain actions to respond to their observations and eagerness to learn and explore new things. Hence, it is not that straightforward to suggest and decide that certain habits become some sort of obsessions or compulsions.

What is OCD? It is a form of anxiety that happens when a person mentally fails to cope with worries and doubts. The factors causing this might be medical or clinical in nature, which should be addressed by taking medications. On the other hand, the factors might be psychological and should be treated appropriately.
Logically, it is much easier to treat children with OCD as their minds are still pure, not corrupted, like a sponge, easily absorb new knowledge and information, unlike adults who already have certain judgements, principles, beliefs and analyses.

Any child with OCD is best to undergo behaviour or psychological treatment. Although takes longer and involves more work and effort, it is more effective in contrasts with clinical treatment which often causes side effects. It is more reassuring to parents, knowing that their child would not depend on any medications.
It is highly recommended that children showing signs of OCD to be treated immediately, as it is very likely that the OCD would totally disappear. Parents should realise that by not doing anything, the OCD would develop as the child grows, which could escalate, becomes more difficult to control and finally occupy the child’s life, which in turn would affect his or her growth and well-being.

In conclusion, OCD is indeed a problem. However, it can be managed if detected early in your child. Consult the doctors immediately if you think that your child has OCD.

About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects many people. Most probably we do not know that people with OCD suffer from it, and they might not even know that they have it too. They repeat certain habits or activities so many times, mostly because of the need to be perfect or because of fear.
How does someone have OCD? Genetics is one of the factor, some experts say. If a person has it, it is likely that his or her child or other immediate family members have it too, even though not in the same strain. For example, a person who has an OCD of fear of germs without explainable reasons, one of his or her member of family might not necessarily have the same fear but suffer other form of OCD, for instance the need to have things in a particular order all the time.

Firstly, OCD is about unexplained obsessions. Obsessions can be defined as thoughts or ideas repeatedly running through a person’s mind. Even though one might be aware of possessing bizarre habits and fears, one does not have the power to control and get rid of it. Some OCD sufferers might experience ‘obsessions’ once in a while, whilst others every second.

Secondly, OCD is about compulsions. Compulsions is defined as actions or behaviours one assumes to overcome the anxieties and fears of obsessions. Usually, these compulsions are based on certain predetermined rules, which then must be obeyed with extreme precisions and accuracies. Someone with OCD has high attention to details, particularly during an ‘attack’.

An OCD sufferer who is fear of germs would think that germs are all around, feeling the need to get rid of them all the time. Hence, he or she might wash hands or clean up repeatedly. This obsession takes over the mind again and again, triggering the compulsion to take repeated actions. He or she believed that carrying out the compulsions would relieve the anxieties caused by the obsessions, only to realise that it is just for a short time, as after a while the obsession resumes and often gets worse.

OCD occurs more than we actually thought. Some people take it lightly, assuming that it would just go away as time passes. Some even find it laughable, the bizarre behaviours and repetitions do appear funny sometimes. Everyone should realise, however, that OCD is indeed serious and needs to be addressed and treated straight away.

Medications such as drugs are often given to help control the thought processes of OCD sufferers. This, however, is a short time solution and can cause side effects. Sufferers often resumes to the old habits and obsessions after just a short while. Another more effective treatment used is through cognitive behavioural therapy. The OCD sufferers are managed, trained and compelled to take their own decisions to overcome the disorder. Although takes longer, it is known to be more effective.

OCD is very tricky, often not very visible or obvious until it becomes serious. Once this happens, people often end up locking themselves at home as it begins to affect their work and social lives, thus causing embarrassments. On the other hand, even though public awareness of OCD is important, at least it is not harmful enough to kill us. It can still be cured, and at the end of the day, that is what matters the most.

Hypnosis OCD – Can Hypnosis Really Provide Help For OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is generally a condition caused by irrational thoughts. In search for possible ways to control these thoughts, people are seriously considering hypnotherapy to treat the symptoms of OCD.

However, the truth is, OCD occurs in three separate levels: birthing of the thought, compulsion to do the thought and the actual performance of the compulsion. OCD experts believe that only the last two stages are controllable, while the first level remains untouchable. Therefore, essentially, Hypnotherapy in the context of OCD is only similar to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

In the other hand, hypnotherapy in itself is all about the reconditioning of the subconscious mind. Usually, our subconsiousness adheres to many things it feel is necessary for us, though by logic is not. These kinds of thoughts can be removed by hypnosis because of its preferential nature. However, when it comes to OCD, the thoughts are not generated by preference. It is a product of an abnormal signal transmitted by the neurotransmitters in brain due to biochemical imbalance. And this is not something that can be worked out by mental conditioning alone.

While hypnosis cannot be an all-out cure for OCD, it can be used as a tool to convince sufferers that they have OCD. Acceptance of the disorder is the first step to treatment because only then that the sufferer will become open to doing ritual neutralizing activities which is the core of Cognitive-behavioral Therapy. Such neutralizing activities are recommended to sufferers as substitute to the ritual that they feel they have to do in order to cope with the anxiety brought about by the recurring fearful thoughts such as being bedridden due to a disease caught by not rubbing alcohol to a doorknob twelve times before touching or by being killed by a robber if the door is not closed in the right manner and if it is not checked 10 times before being convinced that no one can actually break through it.

By knowing and accepting that OCD is present, a sufferer gets more incentive in listening to his therapist to confront his or her fears and chooses this confrontation rather than doing the ritual that he or she believes will stop the materialization of the fear. This might be a very difficult process, but some hypnotherapists believe that with the use of hypnosis, it will be easier to convince the sufferer that the fears are irrational and that it is not likely to happen just because of not doing the ritual. Through constructive suggestions, the hypnotherapist can make the sufferer realize that confronting the fear is not at all life threatening and that it is a better option than to live his or her entire life trying to cope with the fear by doing OCD rituals.

OCD sufferers must always remember though, that recovery from OCD cannot be depended on other people or mere medications. OCD is bred in the mind therefore it can only be countered with the cooperation of the mind as well. Acceptance of the disorder comes first and everything else is secondary.

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Dealing With Those Unwanted OCD Thoughts

When you begin to experience several unwanted intrusive thoughts, chances are you might be developing an OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In the medical realms, ADHD and Depression have a strong relation with OCD. Therefore having any of those will probably make you eventually develop an OCD as well.

However, OCD thoughts are not in any way related to a Bipolar Disorder; they’re completely different cases. The development of depression or OCD is highly related to the shifting of the level of the serotonin, a brain hormone responsible for transmitting nerve signals between nerve cells and would result to the narrowing of the blood vessels. Low levels of serotonin would result to changes in the temperament or mood of an individual. Another very common occurrence on depressed individuals is to develop OCD thoughts. Obsessive thoughts are typically uncomfortable and disturbing involving repulsive thoughts, even immoral and individuals who experience these often feels perverted and bad about themselves.

If a person is having a depression, his or her depression will produce obsessive thoughts like getting publicly humiliated. The common prescription to this kind of cases is doses of sleep inducing pills and drugs that rapidly increase serotonin levels.

You will be able to identify OCD thoughts through these characterizations:

1. OCD Thoughts differ from unwanted thoughts in a way that they interfere in the mind so suddenly and completely unintentional. They are very different from a regular preoccupation, where the person keeps on dwelling thoughts, although that they are very much already aware that the thoughts are unhealthy.

2. OCD thoughts cause considerable amount of distress to the individual having it. The recurring thoughts afflict the person’s mind malevolently and they would begin to feel imprisoned for not being able to get out from such a condition. Person experiencing these kinds of thoughts feel confused of being pleasured or guilty about the situation.

3. People having this struggle a lot to get it out of their minds, even to the extent of deliberately becoming elusive at situations or places that might trigger the thoughts again. They are in constant fear that things might go out of hand and there would be nothing they can do about it anymore and that they might commit something bad at the end.

4. OCD sufferers often feel deprived of hope in their present condition. As they are aware and conscious of their irrationality, the fact that they can’t do anything about no matter how much they want to get rid of it, remains true.

5. Obsessive thoughts likely defile an individual’s moral standards making him or her disgusted and evil about themselves. They would likely feel that they are religiously out casted for having been commencing such kinds of thoughts.

The best immediate way to deal with this is to generally comprehend that the entire situation is a mental process and that they mean absolutely nothing in real tangible terms. Understanding that there is not point of being guilty of the entire situation as they are not really happening in the real life. Moreover, being of aware in all of these will provide a sense of deterrence in every committing anything socially unacceptable.

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Signs and Symptoms of OCD That You Should Know

Understanding the mechanism of various anxiety disorders is crucial, especially when the people involved in such disorder is an immediate family member, an in-law, or perhaps a close and trusted friend. It is important for us to go back and really understand the basics before digging any further. Needless to say anxiety disorders are caused by uncontrollable anxiety. Yes, anxiety per se is associated with a vague feeling of dread or apprehension. Anxiety as a vague feeling is also the root cause of why a number of people suffer from obsessive compulsive behavior, better known with its acronym OCD. It is a common response by people to both external and internal stimuli that in turn, can result to conscious and unconscious behavioral, emotional, cognitive and physical OCD symptoms.

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions, although some only experience just one or the other. Obsessions are continuous, apparently unmanageable thoughts and impulses that constantly happen in your mind. While you are aware that these thoughts and ideas do not make sense, you just can’t stop them. Sadly, these events are often, if not always, disturbing and distracting. Compulsions on the other hand are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that attempts to neutralize the existing feeling of anxiety. While few OCD symptoms disappear over time, they may increase and get worse when the sufferer gets to face much stress.

A number of people with OCD display fears of getting dirty, they typically wash their hands over and over again. People like them are very particular with being contaminated, and are making ways to keep their body clean all the time.

Others have habits of checking things repeatedly. They make sure the television is turned off and the doors are kept locked before leaving the house for work or even before going to sleep at night. The habit of too much checking things are associated with the need to have safety and security, and the obsession of avoiding harm or danger.

Some individuals with OCD are branded by the public as doubters and sinners. They are perfectionists. They are afraid of not having things perfectly done. When some things do not happen the way they should, they feel something bad will happen or they may be punished for doing wrong.

Others have obsessions on order and symmetry, they have uncontrolled impulses to keep things arranged as much as possible. They may have superstitions about numbers, colors, and patterns.

Many OCD sufferers are being referred to as Hoarders, they fear that something bad will happen if they happen to toss and throw things like books, bottle caps, pencils, and papers. They compulsively save and collect things, even those that they do not need or use.

If you happen to have few of the said signs and symptoms of OCD, or if you notice a relative or a close friend having such habit, it does not necessarily mean they have OCD. Assumptions are not enough and a thorough medical and psychological exam is needed before making any conclusion.

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