Obsessive-Compulsive disorder

Freedom from Obsessive-compulsive disorder


An Obsessive-Compulsive disorder is a state of actions and habits that leads to particular obsession and compulsions, which influences our daily pattern of living. To know more about this disorder, let us dig into the article.

Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, what is it?

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a habit of unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause acute anxiety.

The vicious cycle of obsessive-compulsive disorder is you may try to ignore or stop your obsession. Still, it only increases distress and anxiety, yet you feel driven to fulfill compulsive acts to calm your stress. However, efforts to ignore or get rid of disturbing thoughts or intentions lead to a violent behavioral cycle of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder often revolves around specific issues – for example, an excessive fear of getting infections by germs. To ease your contamination fears, you will compulsively wash your hands until they’re sore and chapped.

Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder feel embarrassed and ashamed about the condition, but treatment for this Disorder can be effective.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Causes

The causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder aren’t fully understood. Main theories include: Biology: OCD may be an outcome of changes in brain function or your body’s natural chemistry.

Genetics: Specific genes are yet to be identified, but OCD has a genetic component. 

Learning: You can learn Obsessive fears and compulsive behaviors from watching family members or gradually attained with time.

OCD Types and Symptoms


Obsessive-compulsive Disorder usually involves both obsessions in addition to compulsions. But it’s also possible to have only obsession symptoms or only compulsion symptoms. Either you may or may not realize that your obsessions and compulsions are excessive or irrational, but they can take up a tremendous amount of time and intervene with your daily routine and social, school, or work functioning.

Obsession symptoms

OCD obsessions are repeated, and it is constant and unwanted thoughts, desires, or images that interfere and cause discomfort or anxiety. Obsession typically meddles when trying to think or do other things. People might try to ignore and get rid of them by executing a compulsive behavior or habit.

  • Obsessions often have issues to them, such as:
  • Fear of contamination or dirt
  • Having difficulty in tolerating uncertainty and doubting.
  • Wanting things orderly and balanced.
  • Having Aggressive or dreadful thoughts about losing control and harming yourself or others.
  • Having unwanted thoughts, including aggression or sexual or religious topics.

Examples of obsession signs and symptoms include:

  • Fear of being contaminated by touching objects others have touched
  • Doubts on locking the door and turning off the stove.
  • Severe stress when objects aren’t placed orderly.
  • Images of driving your car into a crowd of people
  • Thoughts about shouting vulgarities or misbehaving in public
  • Unpleasant sexual portrayals
  • Not shaking hands for the avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, 

Compulsion symptoms

OCD compulsions are repetitive behaviors that you feel driven to do. These repetitive behaviors or mental acts are meant to reduce anxiety related to your obsessions or prevent something wrong from happening. Furthermore, entertaining in the compulsions brings no pleasure and may offer only temporary relief from stress.

These compulsions are quite excessive and are often not realistically related to the problem they are intended to fix. So eventually, you may make up rules or rituals to follow that help control your anxiety when you’re having obsessive thoughts.

As with obsessions, compulsions typically have themes, such as:

  • Excessive washing and cleaning
  • Checking
  • Counting
  • Orderliness
  • Obeying a strict routine
  • Urging comfort

Examples of compulsion signs and symptoms include:

  • Washing hands until your skin becomes harsh
  • Checking doors often to make sure they’re locked
  • Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it’s off
  • Counting in certain patterns
  • Silently reciting a prayer, word, or phrase
  • Arranging your stored goods to face the same direction

How does severity vary

OCD usually starts in the teen or young adult years, but it can begin in childhood. Symptoms typically begin gradually and tend to vary in severity throughout life. The types of obsessions and compulsions you experience can also change over time. Symptoms generally worsen when you experience a more significant amount of stress. OCD, usually considered a lifelong disorder, can have mild to moderate symptoms or be so severe and time-consuming that it becomes damaging.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase the risk of developing or triggering obsessive-compulsive disorder include:

Family history- It plays a significant role. Having parents or other family members with the disorder can increase your risk of developing OCD.

Stressful life events- The stressful life events trigger the intrusive thoughts, rituals, and emotional distress characteristic of OCD. If you’ve experienced traumatic or stressful events, the risk may increase for OCD.

Other mental health disorders- OCD may be associated with other mental health disorders, for example, anxiety disorders, depression, substance abuse, or tic disorders.

OCD Diagnosis

Your doctor may first talk to you about your emotions, sentiments, thoughts, habits, and addictions. Furthermore, they will also perform a physical exam and blood tests to make sure it isn’t something else.

Freedom from an obsessive-compulsive disorder

Medicine, therapy, a combination of treatments may be helpful to manage your symptoms throughout your life. There is no particular cure for OCD. 

Treatments include:

Psychotherapy- Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help change your thinking patterns. In a form called exposure and response prevention, your doctor will put you in a situation designed to create anxiety or set off compulsions. You will learn to decrease and even stop your OCD thoughts or actions.

Relaxation- Meditation, yoga, and massage can help with stressful OCD symptoms.

Medication- Psychiatric drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may take 2 to 4 months to start working; they help many people control obsessions and compulsions. It includes citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). If you still have symptoms, your doctor might give you antipsychotic drugs like aripiprazole (Abilify) or risperidone (Risperdal).

Neuromodulation In rare cases, when therapy and medication aren’t making enough of a difference, your doctor might talk to you about devices that change the electrical activity in a specific area of your brain. One kind, transcranial magnetic stimulation, is FDA-approved for OCD treatment. It uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells. A more complicated procedure, deep brain stimulation, uses electrodes that are being implanted in your head.

TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation)- It targets the part of the brain that regulates OCD symptoms. The TMS unit is a non-invasive device that you can hold above the head to induce the magnetic field.


There is no convincing way to prevent obsessive-compulsive disorder. Moreover, getting treatment immediately or as soon as possible, whether it is medication or therapy, may help avoid OCD from worsening and disrupting the activities and your daily routine.


Obsessive-Compulsive disorder is a chronic disorder; the cause isn’t entirely understandable. It can be eventually due to stress, genetics, trauma, etc. The severity varies from person to person and can interfere in your daily life. Diagnosing at the proper time and immediately approaching treatment as soon as possible makes the condition better. You can have treatment either in the form of medication or therapy. It may help to prevent the worsening situation and will less likely disturb your daily lifestyle or routine.

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