Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a psychological illness where a person faces recurring unwanted thoughts or sensations (obsessions) or an urge to do something again and again (compulsions). It is possible to have obsessions and compulsions simultaneously, and a person has no control over them.

 

Risk Factors

 

The exact cause of OCD is not known. However, certain factors make you more prone to developing it. These risk factors have been listed below:

 

  • High stress levels
  • Family history
  • Physical differences in certain parts of the brain
  • Other mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, etc.
  • Emotional or physical trauma
  • Abuse (sexual, emotional, or physical)
  • Streptococcal infection

 

Additionally, the female gender has more incidences of OCD than the male gender. Also, most cases of OCD are diagnosed in teenage and young adulthood.

 

Signs And Symptoms

 

People suffering from OCD have constant recurring thoughts or urges to do something which is never under their control. They do not enjoy those thoughts or acts, and they even know that it doesn’t often make sense, but they’re unable to stop. The symptoms may fall into the following four categories.

 

  • Checking things again and again, e.g., door locks, switches, etc., or thinking you have an illness, e.g., schizophrenia
  • Fear of contamination leading to an urge to clean or fear of using public toilets etc.
  • A compulsion to arrange everything in a particular order
  • An obsession with a sequence of thoughts that may be violent or distressing

 

OCD isn’t like a nail-biting habit or a tendency to think negatively. People with OCD have no control over their thoughts or compulsions. They can often spend hours on a particular act, e.g., washing their hands. Also, they do not enjoy the actions or thoughts but feel powerless when needed to stop. OCD can impact their daily lives severely, including their work and social life.

 

Treatment

 

There isn’t an ultimate cure to OCD, but you can manage your symptoms through a combination of treatment methods.

 

  • You can look for a  Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Houston could offer. This form of psychotherapy would help you control your thoughts and compulsions.
  • Yoga, meditation, massage are some of the relaxation techniques that would help you deal with OCD stress.
  • You might have to take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (e.g., citalopramescitalopram, etc.) or antipsychotic drugs (e.g., aripiprazole or risperidone, etc.) to control your symptoms.
  • In some cases, neuromodulation or transcranial magnetic stimulation might be needed when other treatment modalities fail.

 

Conclusion

 

OCD is a psychological illness where a person constantly feels the urge to act in a particular way or has recurring thoughts. It has no known cause, but several risk factors, including family history, any previous trauma or abuse, stress, other psychological illness, etc. 

 

The symptoms are categorized into four: checking things recurrently, fear of contamination, an obsession for organizing things, or a recurrent sequence of thoughts. Psychotherapy, medications, relaxation, neuromodulation, or transcranial magnetic stimulation can be some of the treatment options.

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