OCD is known for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is a type of mental illness. Usually, this condition is seen in people who are in the adolescent age range or have reached adulthood. People experience obsessive thoughts and compulsions during such a situation. OCD patients ritualistically perform certain actions as a routine or have certain thoughts that bother them over and over again. Some of the most common activities that people with OCD often do are counting things, washing hands frequently, cleaning excessively checking to see if doors and windows are closed, etc.
Some patients with OCD find it difficult to remove all unnecessary or old junk. These activities occur to such an extent that mostly they endanger their normal life and their daily life is negatively affected. Although most adult OCD patients find that their strange behaviour is incomprehensible, they simply cannot stop.
Mental health conditions cause a lot of distress for the client as well as the caregiver. Mental illness is usually divided into psychotic and neurotic. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder that falls under the neurotic category. In OCD, the person feels a lot of anxiety which causes discomfort and distress. These obsessions and compulsions interfere with the daily routine of the individual.
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Types of OCDs
There are a few types of OCD that can occur in a person in different ways. The first is hoarding in which one is not able to let go of unnecessary things that they have.
The second is checking. In this, people check things repeatedly and unnecessarily. For example, they will check for certain hazards like leaks, fire, check taps for leaks, check lights in the house, etc. They repeatedly check certain things with the apprehension that they have made a mistake. For example, while writing a letter or EMI
The third is contamination in which the person has repetitive washing and has distressed thoughts about touched objects that are contaminated.
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Fourth is the rumour in which people have obsessive views on subjects about which the conclusion is not satisfactory by them.
The fifth is serialization. In this, one can see things as not being symmetrical. For example, a person may need to arrange their books in a particular way and in symmetry.
The types of OCD are not limited to the ones above. But these can usually be seen among people. There are certain symptoms that can be seen in someone with OCD. People have obsessive thoughts about certain things and they develop some compulsive actions to stop these thoughts. For instance, a woman who has an obsessive idea about cleanliness may indulge in the obligatory action of cleaning every corner of her house. OCD can cause compulsion as well as obsession and sometimes both in the person. Signs can start early in life and can worsen with age.
Specifications in OCDs.
Compulsive checking, contamination or mental contamination, homogeneity and order, and hoarding are different types of obsessive-compulsive disorder. In checking type disorder, there is always a need to check cars, water taps, gas or electric stove cobs, house lights and candles, emails and letters, etc. to reassure the patient. It can sometimes damage that particular item.
Another type of observational concern in mental contamination is where the patient thinks about the contamination. Due to this, the patient can harm himself or his loved ones. In symmetry and order, a patient always tries to keep everything perfect and symmetrical. In OCD hoarding, people avoid giving up on useless things and worn-out things.
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How many people have OCD?
According to medical experts, OCD affects about 2.3% of people worldwide at some point in their lives. Typically, symptoms begin after the age of 35, although there are many who develop OCD symptoms before 20. Men and women are equally affected by this disorder.
What are the early symptoms of OCD?
It is described as an anxiety disorder, with indications of:
- repetitive behavior
- to rule
- Difficult time leaving home or a favorite place
- wash hands
- excessive cleaning
- behavior check
- unwanted sexual thoughts
- seek reassurance
- doubt in relationship
How to Diagnose Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
There are mainly four ways to know if a patient has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. These are physical examination, laboratory tests, psychological evaluation, and diagnostic criteria for OCD. During the physical examination, the therapist discusses the patient’s feelings, thoughts, and habits. There may be a possibility of a bloodstream collection to check for complete blood count tests, thyroid functioning, and alcohol and drugs.
The DSM-5 or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, issued by the American Psychiatric Association, can be used to diagnose OCD.
What are the risk factors for OCD?
Biological factors such as genetics, brain structure, and surrounding environment are considered as the fundamental reasons behind this condition, however, further research is needed in this area. It has been studied that if a parent has OCD, it puts their child at a higher risk of developing the condition.
Any stressful or shocking event can also cause OCD as these situations can trigger thoughts, feelings, etc. A pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infection (PANDAS), which is thought to be an environmental factor that causes OCD with a strep infection.
What is the treatment for OCD disorder?
There is no cure for obsessive-compulsive disorder, but there are treatments that help control its symptoms. There are behavioural therapy and talk therapy given by trained therapists for this condition. Videoconferencing therapy or teletherapy is used to deal with OCD, along with acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and exposure and response prevention therapy.
What is the medication for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Medications are helpful in controlling unwanted obsessive thoughts and compulsions. However, before prescribing any medication, complete information should be gathered for OCD. The Food and Drug Administration has approved certain antidepressant and psychiatric medications to treat OCD such as clomipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, and sertraline.
Before prescribing any of these medicines, the doctor should discuss issues like side effects, suicide risk, and interactions with other substances. Even though all medicines are safe, there are chances of negative consequences. According to the FDA, antidepressants are prescribed to patients with mental illness but it always carries a black box with warnings.