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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as the name suggests is a disorder that consists of a person having recurring thoughts or urges driving them to carry out an action or a behaviour repeatedly. One can have symptoms that are more inclined towards obsessions or compulsions or even both. These urges and actions range from things like washing hands more often than required, over-exercising, always cleaning things, checking things and the likes.

Most people indulge in such activities but when this is done repeatedly to an extent that starts interfering with one’s daily routine it can be noticed as an OCD. It can sometimes get difficult to tell an obsession or compulsion from a habit but one way to that is by noticing how much time it consumes of one’s day. Obsessions deal with thoughts that often lead to compulsions that deal with actions.

Obsessive thoughts include

Fear of things being dirty or unhygienic
The need for things to be kept in a particular place or order
Constant unsupported suspicion of a partner being unfaithful
Aggressive thoughts towards self or others
Forbidden religious or sexual thoughts

Compulsive habits include

Repeated washing of hands, using sanitizer after every action
Arranging things in precise order or way and being very particular about the same
The need to count unwanted things like steps, bottles, pens
Checking and rechecking things like locks, the oven, and lights multiple times
Fear of using public washrooms or door knobs
Fear of being in physical contact with others

OCD occurs more often in people who have family members with OCD, have faced abuse in their childhood, previous experience of trauma or even have depression or anxiety. When a person suffers from OCD it not only affects their physical and mental wellbeing but also causes distress to the people around. Some people with OCD are aware that their actions don’t make sense but then they still continue to do them due to the compulsion of the disorder. Though there is no complete cure for OCD, there are means of lowering its interference in one’s daily life. In addition to medicines, psychotherapy is one of the other means to treat OCD.