Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that manifests itself in the form of obsessions and compulsions. These obsessions and compulsions get very intrusive and start to interfere with the lives of the patients. It may also affect ability to live a normal life and carry out social interactions.
The disorder has mainly two components, obsessions and compulsions. The obsessions are thoughts associated with a particular object or activity that keep returning to the mind of the patient. The compulsions are activities that the patient feels compelled to perform over and over again.
The most common obsessions are related to contaminations. The patient feels compelled to believe that his possessions might get contaminated. Another obsession is with symmetry. Everything in their control should be perfectly aligned and symmetrical.
Having obsessions with patterns in day to day objects is another common observance. Many patients repeatedly look for patterns and spend a lot of time on it.
The obsessions lead many people to engage in repetitive behavior. These are known as compulsions. The most common example is frequent hand washing, excessive showering, and cleaning of the house. Another example is regularly checking whether all their possessions are in their place or not. Some people regularly count all their objects to check if they are the same in number as before or not. Another common behavior is repetition of words and phrases which might appear strange to the listener.
Other commonly observed behavior is avoidance. Certain places or objects are carefully avoided by people with obsessive compulsive disorder. They will go to great lengths to avoid them, even if it appears strange to others.
People with obsessive compulsive disorder, spend a lot of effort in trying to suppress their thoughts. These thoughts are suppressed because they might be unacceptable or disturbing. The suppression of these thoughts can take up a lot of effort on the part of the patient.
There are several causes of obsessive compulsive disorder. The most commonly observed cause is genetics. In many cases, it is found that obsessive compulsive disorder can be inherited from one or more parents. It is seen to run in families.
Then there are neurological reasons. Many life events can cause a change in the brain chemistry. These changes then lead to psychological problems such as obsessive compulsive disorder.
There are several ways to treat the problem of obsessive compulsive disorder. The best treatment so far is cognitive behavior therapy. In this treatment the patient is made to discuss his problems and what causes it. Then an attempt is made to carry out proactive changes in the behavior of the patient without the use of any medication. This can be done through frequent practice and training.
Another method of treatment is to use medications. The most common medications that are used for this purpose are antidepressants. The same medications that are used to treat depression can also be used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder.
In conclusion, it can be said that the problems associated with obsessive compulsive disorder can seriously disrupt a person’s life. However, if it is identified early, it can be treated effectively and then the person can go on to lead a normal life.