Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a pattern of thoughts, which are often unwanted, or fears (obsessions), which lead a person to perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Many times these compulsions become rituals, which "must" be performed. This behavior interferes with daily activity and can cause significant anxiety.
Ignoring or abruptly stopping these obsessions may increase your anxiety. For most, repeating these rituals is a way to reduce stress. The urges to repeat the compulsions ultimately comes back and thus repeats the cycle of OCD.
Common types of OCD may be with excessive washing of your hands, repetition in locking doors, constantly checking your phone (even social media). Many times the one suffering from OCD realizes it is a bad behavior and "not normal", they may feel embarrassed or ashamed.
OCD obsessions may be persistent, repeated, and unwanted urges, thoughts, or visualizations which are intrusive and cause anxiety. Ignoring them may not work and the person suffering may feel the need to perform a ritual (compulsive behavior).
OCD is typically broken down into several themes:
Obsessive examples may include:
OCD compulsive behavior is repetitive and makes the person feel compelled to perform. Performing the behavior or act (even mental) are done to reduce anxiety related to the obsessive thought or to prevent something bad from happening. Performing the ritual brings only temporary relief and brings no pleasure.
The excessive compulsions are not realistic responses to fix a problem.
OCD themes may include:
Compulsive signs or symptoms include:
OCD begins (in most cases) as a young teenager or young adult, in rare cases it may start in childhood (10-12 years old). Symptoms of OCD may gradually start and may vary throughout life. Obsessions and compulsions may change over time (i.e. you may get rid of one only to generate another). OCD symptoms typically get worse when you experience stress. OCD is a mental illness, which is considered a lifelong disorder and it may be mild, moderate or severe to the point where it becomes debilitating.
There is a big difference in being a perfectionist and having OCD. OCD is not simply an excess of worry about problems - if affects your quality of life and/or disrupts others you should see a psychiatrist. There is absolutely no shame in having OCD.
Like many mental illnesses OCD may be the result of:
OCD may increase with having a family history of OCD, experiencing traumatic or stressful events (which, may trigger intrusive thoughts, rituals, or emotional distress), other mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse or a tic disorder.
The biggest issues we see resulting from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, are:
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