Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: symptoms and treatment
Obsessive compulsive disorder, also called OCD, is a variant of anxiety that sees the affected person experience repetitive obsessive thoughts and / or behavior. You find these thoughts and behaviors boring and even unnecessary, but you can’t help but have them. You cannot free yourself from it. Although you know these thoughts and behaviors are inappropriate, you cannot get rid of them. Experiencing and carrying out these thoughts and behaviors can cause severe suffering and a sense of anxiety.
Getting to know obsessive compulsive disorder
The main symptoms of OCD
The symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are very diverse and vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the disorder. They can also change over time. The symptoms are divided into:
- Panic fear of germs;
- Intense stress when an object is not in its usual place;
- Fear of losing something or forgetting something, leading to obsessive checking;
- Fear of physically hurting others;
- Recurring images and / or thoughts.
- Non-stop cleaning;
- Washing hands several times after a task;
- Counting (lines on the ground, cracks in the wall, bricks on houses, etc.);
- Storing the same cupboards over and over;
- Constantly repeating a word, a sentence;
- Checking something repeatedly (that the tap is closed, that the door is locked, that the keys are in the bag, etc.).
How to detect a an OCD?
The tools available to specialists for identifying Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in a patient are essentially based on the frequency of observing rituals. As soon as a person practices at least one hour of rituals per day, he can be declared as being subject to OCD.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for OCD
The first thing to do is to talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They will be best able to do an accurate clinical examination and rule out any other causes of the symptoms you are experiencing. If they deem it necessary, they will guide you to a specialist or a therapist.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to manage this disorder. Generally, these are antidepressants or anxiolytics. Ideally, it is not wise to continue these treatments over the long term but it turns out that in reality, this is unfortunately the case. Do not be formalized on this point, tell yourself that this medication is a temporary crutch and that you will be able to make a gradual withdrawal once the OCD has decreased or disappeared.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will allow us to understand how OCD works, to know how to analyze, act and react in the face of obsessions and compulsions and to feel less anxious when faced with the anxiety-provoking situation. The second part of the therapy allows you to expose yourself and prevent the behavioral disorder very gradually.
Many people with OCD feel that mindfulness meditation helps them prevent or control their symptoms. Thus, mindfulness might help people with OCD, as a complement to the main treatment offered by health professionals.
According to a study published in BMC Psychiatry, volunteers who participated in mindfulness meditation have more stamina to deal with their OCD symptoms. One patient said that he had almost managed to free himself from his urge to wash.
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