WTF IS OCD?
The Truth About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
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OCD is the abbreviation for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
You have probably heard about this mental illness before, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
People with OCD may experience obsessions or compulsions or even a combination of them both.
Obsessions are characterised by unwanted thoughts that won’t go away.
Compulsions are the act that is taken to make the thoughts disappear.
OCD can show up in a few different ways, but the most widely known OCD behaviour is performing repetitive behaviours and having extreme hygiene routines.
It is only when these behaviours become a nuisance and interfere with everyday life, that OCD is suspected.
People often joke about having OCD because they like to organise their books or alphabetise their DVD collection.
These are usually just quirks, and are not part of the symptoms of a true OCD sufferer.
But – there is more to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder than turning the light on and off 8 times.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: A Complete Guide To Getting Well and Staying Well
A Summary Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
To be diagnosed there must be evidence of obsessions, compulsions, or both.
Obsessions can be defined as unwanted persistent thoughts, impulses or urges that can happen repeatedly.
These thoughts usually cause anxiety and the patient will try and suppress the thoughts by performing a compulsive act.
Compulsions can be in many forms such as washing their hands, doing tasks repeatedly such as locking and unlocking a door.
The compulsive acts are performed to try to reduce the ansiety cause by the obsession.
However, the acts are usually excessive and are disconnected from the obsession.
The obsessions and compulsions are often time-consuming and disrupt the normal daily routine.
The symptoms must also not be the cause of substance abuse or other mental health conditions.
The specific diagnostic criteria for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is stated in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts:
A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts
The Four Non-Official Sub-Types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder!
Obsessive-compulsive Disorder can present in many forms, but the symptoms can be broken down into four categories.
It is important to know these are not official sub-types or categories – they are just grouped together to help identify and simplify symptoms
1. Excessive cleaning: fear of germs and contamination
– cleaning unusual household items or household areas.
– washing hands repeatedly or only by using a specific technique
– showering or bathing multiple times
– brushing teeth many times per day
My late grandma used to clean everything with a face washer soaked in disinfectant.
I remember when we were younger, being handed a drink and it would have
a poison taste to it, because she had wiped it over with her cleaning cloth.
R.I.P Nanny Bev.
Jan 4, 1930 – June 4, 2020
2. Constantly Checking Things
Checking to see if a task has been done.
Checking to make sure you haven’t made a mistake
Checking to see if everyone is safe
Checking to make sure nothing bad has happened
Checking to make sure no harm has been done to yourself/others
– Repeating activities multiple times – eg turning the light on and off
– Repeating body movements – eg; winking, tapping, clicking
– Repeating tasks over and over, such as rewriting or re-reading something until it “feels right”
4. Mental Compulsions
– Arranging items in order, rearranging and organising again, alphabetising items
– Counting while doing activities and stopping at a “safe” number
Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Examples of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Thoughts and Behaviours
Obsession (The thought): Fear of making inappropriate comments in public
Compulsion (The behaviour): Avoiding other people and being in public places
Obsession (The thought): I could jump over this bridge
Compulsion (The behaviour): Staying away from all bridges
Obsession (The thought): The heater could set something alight one day
Compulsion (The behaviour): Checking multiple times to make sure the heater is turned off
Obsession (The thought): I could use this knife and kill my partner
Compulsion (The behaviour): Throwing all knives in the rubbish
DID YOU KNOW?Daniel Radcliffe and Leonardo DiCaprio suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Overcoming Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, 2nd Edition:
A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques (Overcoming Books)
What treatment can I get for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? Is there a Cure?
There is treatment available, but sadly, there is no cure for OCD at this point in time.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered the most effective method of treatment for OCD.
Medication may also be needed alongside therapy.
You may need to try various things to see what works best for you.
Do you have OCD or do you know someone who does?
Tell me how you/they cope with OCD in the comments below.
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