Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Everything You Need To Know

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder commonly known as OCD is an anxiety disorder leading to obsession about something which then leads to repetitive behaviour driven out of compulsion. An individual may get obsessive or paranoid about washing hands or checking on things and more. At a heightened state the condition starts to affect day to day activities of a person thus deteriorating the quality of life. For an individua, suffering from OCD the unwanted thoughts are persistent and distressing. Many a times this also leads to OCD Depression. Although even after being aware that the obsession is unwanted and unwarranted the individual faces a hard time stopping the compulsive thoughts and actions.

About OCD Symptoms
Obsessive-compulsive disorder may involve both obsessive thought and compulsive behaviour or any one of the two. The intensity of the disorder may vary from mild to moderate to severe. The disorder may develop in teenagers and young people and then grow in severity over the years. In case of mild and even moderate intensity cases many a time even the patient is not aware or is not able to establish that he is suffering from a medical condition. The most common obsessions which are observed in OCD affected individuals are related to cleanliness, counting, checking, orderliness, security, repeated thoughts that are religious or sexual in nature and more. This in turn leads to stress, fear and obsessive behaviour such as repeated hand-washing, repeated checking of locks and switches and more.

OCD Causes
Exact cause of what causes OCD is still not completely clear but researcher believe that genetics plays a major role. 30% of all patients of OCD have a history of the disorder in the family. Other than being hereditary researchers have concluded that imbalances of chemicals in the brain especially that of serotonin causes OCD. One study has also concluded that an infection known as streptococcal infection is the culprit in many cases. Some medical professionals believe that depression can also trigger OCD whereas others believe that depression is one of the symptoms of OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can also get triggered because of irregularity in brain circuits and as an effect of some past trauma.

OCD Diagnosis and Prevention
It’s rather difficult to diagnose OCD as many symptoms of the disorder can be similar to other mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. There are a few ways using which a medical practitioner can diagnose OCD. Mostly first the medical practitioner will eliminate the possibility of any other similar problem by using physical exams and lab tests such as blood test, test for thyroid functions and more. After which he will diagnose the disorder through a psychological evaluation. When it comes to prevention, there is no specific preventive measure that one can take to avoid OCD. But maintaining overall good physical and mental health helps. Also seeking timely treatment can help tackle the ailment effectively.

OCD Treatment and Tips
It is widely believed that OCD can’t be cured permanently but can only be managed effectively. Most patients seek medical help only after the condition reaches the severity level and becomes disabling for individuals. The two most primary methods for treating or controlling OCD are through psychotherapy and medications. Psychotherapy in form of Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is used in which the patient is trained to handle, manage, react oppositely to the compulsion and gradually control the disorder. Other times medications including antidepressants are prescribed to control the disorder.