Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects many people in the United States and the rest of the world. Mental health disorder affects people of all ages but it commonly manifests in young individuals. There are varying degrees of severity of OCD and the condition can be quite handicapping causing decreased quality of life and lost income. However, most people who experience symptoms are unaware of the existence of the condition and how it can be treated. Some people with OCD are ashamed of the symptoms of the condition and this can inhibit them from seeking help. It is therefore important to get the word out regarding the condition so that more people can come out for help.
OCD can be described as an anxiety disorder that makes people get stuck in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. People who have OCD experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts that often trigger feelings of distress. The person suffering from OCD often engages in behaviors aimed at getting rid of the obsessions and lowering the distress. People with OCD often see danger where there may be safety which traps them in a hyperaroused state. This can be followed by disturbing or irrational thoughts which leads to compulsive thoughts aimed at relieving the anxiety, uncertainty, and feel that things are messy.
People with OCD often experience a heightened sense of obligation and fear of guilt. They always believe they should be concerned about or have something done to protect themselves and others in what can be termed as an inflated sense of responsibility. People with OCD feel that they will be responsible for anything bad that may happen and should they fail to do something about it. the responsibility of the harm done will be theirs.
The compulsions can either be mental or physical and come with behaviors such as chronically cleaning and checking. There are OCD patients who are caught in a cycle of cleaning the same item and washing their hands so many times until they hurt the item or their hands. Some people have been known to drive to their homes several times just to make sure they locked their doors or switched the lights off. Others develop the habit of tapping, counting, or repeating some actions at a specific number of times.OCD can cause people to act on mental compulsions where the review the same information so many times in a bid to make sure everything is okay and always mentally checking for danger. Others may attempt to control their thoughts by trying to replace the undesirable image with a better image.
All these symptoms consume the energy of the individual while others may recognize their thoughts and associated behaviors as irrational but still feel stuck and unable to escape. Some will try to hide these obsessions and compulsions and this makes it even harder to seek and get the help that they need. If you have any of these compulsive thoughts and actions, you should get a psychological evaluation from a qualified therapist to start treatment.