Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is represented by a diverse group of symptoms that include intrusive thoughts, rituals, preoccupations, and compulsions. These recurrent obsessions or compulsions cause severe distress to the person. The obsessions or compulsions are time-consuming and interfere significantly with the person’s normal routine, occupational functioning, usual social activities, or relationships. A patient with OCD may have an obsession, a compulsion, or both. In contrast to an obsession, which is a mental event, a compulsion is a behavior. Specifically, a compulsion is a conscious, standardized, recurrent behavior, such as counting, checking, or avoiding. A patient with OCD realizes the irrationality of the obsession and experiences both the obsession and the compulsion as unwanted behavior. Although the compulsive act may be carried out in an attempt to reduce the anxiety associated with the obsession, it does not always succeed in doing so. The completion of the compulsive act may not affect the anxiety, and it may even increase the anxiety. Anxiety is also increased when a person resists carrying out a compulsion.
Among adults, men and women are equally likely to be affected, but among adolescents, boys are more commonly affected than girls. Early twenty is the onset of illness in both gender.
How to recognize? Symptoms of OCD?
Person feels thoughts and anxiety, most days for at least 2 successive weeks and be a source of distress and/ or interference with usual activities.
- They have recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress.
2 . The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action by performing a compulsion. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently)
OCD comes generally 4 categories:
- Symmetry and ordering,
- Ruminations and intrusive thoughts, .
Examples of obsession include:
- Fear of being contaminated by touching objects others have touched
- Doubts that you’ve locked the door or turned off the stove and having difficulty tolerating uncertainty
- Intense stress when objects aren’t orderly or facing a certain way
- Images of driving your car into a crowd of people
- Thoughts about shouting obscenities or acting inappropriately in public
- Unpleasant sexual, religious images
- Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands
Examples of compulsion include:
- Hand-washing until your skin becomes raw
- Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they’re locked
- Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it’s off
- Counting in certain patterns
- Silently repeating a prayer, word or phrase
- Following a strict routine
- Arranging your canned goods to face the same way
- Demanding reassurance
The types of obsessions and compulsions you experience can also change over time. Symptoms generally worsen when you experience greater stress.
OCD, usually considered as a chronic and relapsing and remitting course of illness, can have mild to moderate symptoms or be so severe and time-consuming that it becomes disabling.
Complications if untreated
Problems resulting from obsessive-compulsive disorder may include,
- Excessive time spent engaging in ritualistic behaviors.
- Health issues, frequent hand-washing may lead to contact dermatitis.
- Frequent absenteeism job, school or difficulties to attend social function.
- Poor academic, work, job performance.
- Relationship problems.
- Overall poor quality of life.
- Suicidal thoughts and behavior.
What people feel about treatment?
This is only a habit, you try to control it. Very difficult to treat, medicines have to take long life; basically medicines are sedative, addictive.
Benefits of treatment
One can reduce his or her anxiety can save time for work, make relationship healthy, improve quality of life, and reduce financial loss.
If your obsessions and compulsions are affecting your quality of life consult psychiatrist and psychologist. Many patients with OCD tenaciously resist treatment efforts. They may refuse to take medication and may resist carrying out prescribed therapeutic homework assignments and other activities. Pharmacotherapy, behavior therapy, or a combination of both is effective in significantly reducing the symptoms of patients with OCD.
The decision about which therapy to use is based on the clinician’s judgment and experience and the patient’s acceptance of the various modalities. About 8 to 1 6 weeks are usually needed to obtain maximal therapeutic benefit.
Few medicines are very effective to reduce the irrational thoughts, anxiety and improve quality of life. Ant anxiety, anti depressants is very useful. SSRI, SNRI, TCA Clomipramine, Benzodiazepines are very helpful medicine. Repetitive Trans-magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a modern therapy. Very rarely neuro-surgery is also helpful.
Psychotherapy: Many clinicians consider psychotherapy is treatment of choice for OCD. Its very effective treatment along with medicines.
- Behavior therapy – Desensitization, thought stopping, flooding, implosion therapy, and aversive conditioning have also been used in patients with OCD.
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Exposure and response prevention
- Dynamic psychotherapy
How UDGAM will help in treatment
Team UDAGM, the clinical psychologist expert in counseling, will be your real friend and will help to manage your OCD and its complications, and will try to take out from this debilitating illness.