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    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
    People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) experience obsessions, compulsions or both. Now, the question arises that what are obsessions and compulsions.
    • Obsessions are unwanted and disturbing thoughts, images or impulses that suddenly pop into mind and cause a great deal of anxiety or distress.
    • Compulsions are deliberate behaviors (e.g. washing, checking, ordering) or mental acts (e.g. counting, repeating phrases etc.) that are carried out to reduce the anxiety caused by obsessions.
    It was once thought to be a rare mental disease, now known to be a more common. Approximately 2 to 3% of the population between ages 18-54 suffers from OCD.
    It is necessary to know if we have OCD. If you have OCD you probably recognize that your obsessive thought and compulsive behaviors are irrational; but even so, you feel unable to resist them and break free.
    Like a needle getting stuck on an old record, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) causes the brain to get a stuck on a particular thought or urge. For example, you may check the stove 20 times to make sure it is really turned off, or wash your hands until they are scrubbed raw.
    Most people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) fall into one of the following categories:
    • Washers are afraid of contamination. They usually have cleaning or hand washing compulsions.
    • Checkers repeatedly check things (oven turned off, doors locked, etc.) that they associate with harm or danger.
    • Doubters and Sinners are afraid that if everything isn’t perfect or just done right, something terrible will happen or they will be punished.
    • Counters and Arrangers are obsessed with order and symmetry. They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colors or arrangements.
    • Hoarders fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don’t need or use.
    Sign and symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
    Just because you have obsessive thoughts or perform compulsive behaviors does not mean you have OCD, these thoughts and behaviors cause tremendous distress, take up a lot of time and interfere with your daily life and relationships.
    Most people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) have both obsessions and compulsions but some people experience just one or the other.
    Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) options include medication, psycho-therapy, surgery and deep brain stimulation. OCD often causes suffering for years before it is treated correctly; both because of delays in diagnosis and because patient may be reluctant to seek help. On average, patients with OCD take more than nine years to be diagnosed correctly.
    Although OCD tends to be a chronic condition, with symptoms that flare up and subside over a patient’s lifetime, effective help is available. Only about 10% of patients recover completely, but 50% improve with treatment.
    In treatment of OCD, Self-Help is always considered first. Your lifestyle plays a big role in how you feel, it can help you manage your anxiety and function better.
    • Exercise regularly. It can help control OCD symptoms by strengthening your nervous system, helping you to refocus your mind, when obsessive thoughts and compulsive arise. Ten minutes of exercise several times a day can be very effective.
    • Get enough sleep. Not only OCD cause insomnia; but a lack of sleep can also exacerbate anxious thoughts and feelings. When you are well rested it is much easier to keep your emotional balance.
    • Refocus your attention. When you are experiencing OCD thoughts and urges, try shifting your attention to something else.
    • Medication-antidepressant is sometimes used in conjunction with therapy for treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. However medication alone is rarely effective in relieving the symptoms OCD.
    • Group therapy is another helpful Obsessive Compulsive Disorder treatment. Though interactions with fellow OCD sufferers provide support and encouragement and decrease feelings of isolation.
    • Family therapy. Because often OCD often causes problem in family life and social life, so family therapy is often advised. Family therapy promotes understanding of the disorder and can help reduce family conflicts.
    Some OCD patients will benefit from therapy alone, some from medication while most will find combination of the options most helpful.
    There have been successes that involve surgery, but this treatment is however left to those who previously were not responsive to other types of treatment that are known to work very well for people suffering from OCD.

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