We all double check sometimes, but when you feel the need to check things repeatedly, and if you dont you feel a sense of anxiety, this could be a sign that you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD. I can discuss this topic with you because I work with people who have this disorder, and I have done my research by reading books and researching the web. Today Im going to inform you about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder also known as OCD. OCD is a common psychiatric illness that can affect peoples daily lives. Now Im going to tell you what OCD is and what causes it, the symptoms of OCD, and the treatment for OCD.
I. First, lets discuss what OCD is and what causes it? A. According to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation OCD is an anxiety disorder, and is characterized by unwanted thoughts which are obsessions, repetitive behaviors which are compulsions, and rituals to satisfy obsession. People with OCD are plagued by recurring and distressing thoughts, fears, or images they cannot control. 1. According to the National Institute of Mental Health OCD affects about 2. 2 Million American Adults. 2. OCD affects men, women, and children, as well as people of all races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds 3.
One-third adults with OCD develop symptoms as children. Unlike adults, however, children with OCD may not realize that their obsessions and compulsions are excessive. B. Experts do not know the exact cause of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Research suggests that there may be a problem with the way one part of the brain sends information to another part. Not having enough of a brain chemical called serotonin. 1. OCD is caused by chemical and brain dysfunction, Genetics, Infection, Depression, and Life. 2. OCD can cause severe anxiety in those affected and involves both obsessions and compulsions in everyday life.
Now that we know what OCD is and what causes it, lets discuss the symptoms of OCD. II. The Symptoms of OCD A. People with OCD have many different symptoms. ¢According to the ADAA, Anxiety and Depression Association of America OCD symptoms are divided into Obsessions (unwanted intrusive thoughts) ¢Constant, irrational worry about dirt, germs, or contamination. . According to the book Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder contamination is the most common form of OCD. ¢Excessive concern with order, arrangement, or symmetry. ¢Feeling responsible for the safety of others.
Compulsions (ritualistic behaviors and routines to ease anxiety or distress) ¢Cleaning- Repeatedly washing hands, or bathing. ¢Checking- Checking to see if the stove is off, or if the door is locked. ¢Hoarding- According to the book Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding is the one element of OCD that is largely known, is Difficulty throwing things away such as rubber bands, bottle caps, or magazines because you feel that you will need it later, or need it just in case ¢Repeating- Inability to stop repeating a name, phrase, or activity. Now that we know what OCD is, and the symptoms of OCD, lets discuss the treatments for OCD.
III. What are treatments for OCD? A. Psychotherapy 1. Teaches a person different days of thinking, behaving, and reacting to situations that help him/her feel less anxious or fearful without having obsessive thoughts on acting compulsively. B. Medication 1. Doctors may prescribe medication to help treat OCD. The most commonly prescribed medications for OCD are anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants. 1. Anti-anxiety meds are powerful and many begin working right away. 2. Anti-depressants are used to treat depression, but they are also helpful for OCD probably more so than anti-anxiety meds.