Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a severe clinical condition that often arises in late adolescence or early adulthood. If left untreated, takes a chronic course. A person diagnosed with this disorder may carry out compulsions in an attempt to neutralize the anxiety created by obsessions and preoccupations.
Obsessions are persistent irrational thoughts or ideas, for instance, the notion that a terrible accident is about to occur to your loved one. Common obsessions include repetitive thoughts of contamination, violence and doubt.
Compulsions are intentional behaviors or mental acts performed in response to an obsession. Washing your hands repeatedly because they are filled with germs is an example. Other common compulsions include washing clothes, counting and touching.
Typically, obsessive-compulsive people experience intense anxiety or even panic if they are prevented from performing their rituals. What’s more, they get flustered when they observe irregular patterns or designs like the featured picture above!
Around 2.3% of the entire population of ages 18-54 suffer from OCD. Which means, about 1 out of 200 adults have OCD and twice as many have had OCD at one point or another in their lives. Both men and women have an equal chance of getting OCD and it is common in all ethnic groups. In children however, OCD is more common in boys.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy which is very effective for OCD. “Exposure” involves, gradually exposing you to a feared object or obsession, such as dirt. This method helps you adopt healthy ways of coping with anxiety. Psychotherapy has yielded some fantastic results over the years and is one of the best treatments available.
These are some available medication options that a psychiatrist can recommend:
- Clomipramine (Anafranil)
- Fluxotene (Prozac)
- Paroxetine (Paxil, pexeva)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
Serin Rayner, a victim of OCD, shared how she used to wash her hair 72 times a day and felt anxious every time her parents went to the store. She feared that they were going to get killed and that she would be responsible for her parents’ death. She grieved about how living with OCD was like living in hell.
Not treating OCD can have devastating effects and in extreme cases cause their deaths if not treated during the initial stage.
Watch the video at the end to see the case of Scott Rosborough.
Psychology, 4th Australian and New Zealand Edition | $65 | Wiley Direct. (2018). Wiley Direct. Retrieved 26 February 2018, from http://www.wileydirect.com.au/buy/psychology-4th-edition/
https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/ocd-stories/slide/1 (Featured image)
UOCD: Facts& Statistics on OCD.. (2018). Understanding_ocd.tripod.com. Retrieved 26 February 2018, from http://understanding_ocd.tripod.com/ocd_facts_statistics.html
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. (2018). Mayoclinic.org. Retrieved 26 February 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354438