When people think of OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, they think that it mean’s constantly wanting to clean, and wanting to be neat and tidy. They think of the the symptom’s, Tony Shalhoub, of the hit show Monk had. All though cleaning and feeling the need to be tidy are some symptom’s of OCD it is not nearly all.
In the U.S aproximitely 3.3 million people suffer from OCD. OCD is an anxiety disorder, which causes people to have unwanted obsessions, and to repeat certain behavior’s (compulsions) continuously. Most people who suffer from OCD know that their obsession’s make no sense. They realize that these thought’s are meaningless but they can’t seem to ignore them, or stop them from happening.
Obsessions are thoughts, or images that run through the person’s mind continuously. Most of the time these thoughts, or images are disturbing to the person. All though these thoughts are very bothersome, the person can’t control having them. It is kind of like being shown something with your eyes glued open, there is no way you will not see the object that is being shown to you, no matter what you do. Some people with OCD only have these obsession’s on occasion, but other’s have them constantly through out the day. OCD can effect a person’s life greatly.
When people with OCD have these disturbing thought’s, they perform ritual’s to attempt to rid their mind of them. People with OCD make up their own ritual’s. These behavior’s are called compulsions. All though people with OCD have hope that the ritual’s they perform will get rid of the thought’s they have, they never will. After the person perform’s these ritual’s, the disturbing thought’s may go away for a short amount of time, but they will eventually come back.
Type’s of obsession’s come in a large variety. People with OCD can obsess about anything you can think of. Some common examples of obsession’s include, the fear of something happening to them or their loved one’s. Other’s obsession’s include number’s, cleanliness, a fear of germ’s, and thought’s of terrible thing’s. Many people who suffer from OCD feel extremely guilty by the unwanted thought’s that they have. The obsession’s that come with OCD are endless, so there really is no way to list them all.
Type’s of compulsions also come in a very large variety. People with OCD make up their own ritual’s, so many people’s ritual’s are different. Some people have the urge to repeat themselves, whether it be what they say, or random thing’s they do through out the day. Many people feel the need to constantly check lock’s and appliances to be sure they are all turned off or locked. Other compulsion’s may include, counting to a certain number over and over again, organizing thing’s in specific way, and feeling the need to wash themselves continuously. These are only a few example’s, type’s of compulsion’s a person with OCD has are limitless.
There is no known reason as to why people develop OCD. How ever, many doctor’s think that if a person’s brain is not producing enough serotonin, it may cause the person to develop the disorder. OCD can be treated with several different medication’s. These medication’s include, fluoxetine, sertaline, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, and clomipramine. There is also a more natural method of treatment, which is called behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy is when people with OCD are faced with situation’s that cause their obsession’s, they are then encouraged by their doctor to not perform the ritual’s that they usually perform.
Obsession Compulsive Disorder can be very harmful to your mental health if left untreated. If you feel like you have any of these symptom’s you should talk to your doctor. All though you may not have these symptom’s persistently, they are almost guaranteed to progress over time.