Understanding OCD: What It Is and How to Get Help

Understanding OCD: What It Is and How to Get Help

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors? If so, you may be struggling with OCD. OCD is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the world. Understanding OCD is a difficult task, but this blog post will help shed some light on what OCD is and how to get help.

Understanding OCD?

Understanding OCD?It is essential to understand what OCD is and how the condition can affect your life. Many people with OCD live lives that are controlled by their disorder. The compulsions take up so much time that it’s tough to keep up with work, school, or social obligations. It can be hard to keep friends and maintain healthy relationships.

OCD is defined as a mental health disorder that is characterized by obsessions and/or compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intensely distressing emotions. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels compelled to do in order to try to relieve the distress caused by the obsessions.

According to a study, OCD affects about two percent of the population. The disorder usually begins in childhood or adolescence but can start in early adulthood. OCD is often a chronic and relapsing condition, meaning that it can come and go throughout a person’s life.

So, understanding OCD is critical for those who suffer from it. If you think you might have OCD, talk to a mental health professional. They can help you get an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.

Signs And Symptoms Of OCD

When you’re understanding OCD, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms. This can help you identify whether you or a loved one may be dealing with OCD. Moreover, signs are the primary step in getting an OCD diagnosis. So, what are some common signs and symptoms of OCD?

There are four main categories of OCD symptoms:

  1. Obsessions,
  2. Compulsions,
  3. Mental Rituals,
  4. Avoidance.

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Obsessions

This is when you have unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses that are recurrent and persistent. You might try to ignore them, suppress them, or get rid of them by performing a compulsion. However, they don’t go away and can make you feel anxious or distressed. Also, obsessions are not simply worries about real-life problems. This includes some signs;

  • fear of contamination or germs,
  • needing things to be symmetrical or in a certain order,
  • unwanted sexual thoughts, and many more.

Compulsions

These are the behaviors or mental acts that you feel compelled to do in response to an obsession. For instance, you might wash your hands over and over again because of a fear of germs. Or, you might check the locks on your doors several times before leaving the house because you’re afraid of being burglarized. Compulsions are often done in hopes of preventing or reducing anxiety or distress. But ultimately, they don’t relieve the anxiety; instead, they just add to it.

These are actually repetitive behaviors or mental acts that you feel driven to perform. In other words, compulsions offer only temporary relief and can become very time-consuming. It includes some common signs, such as;

  • excessive hand-washing,
  • checking on things,
  • asking for reassurance,
  • counting, and more.

Mental Rituals

Mental RitualsThis is when you have a set of mental actions that you feel like you need to do over and over again. For example, you might need to say a certain phrase to yourself or picture something in your mind to ease your anxiety. Or, you might need to count backward from 100 every time you have an intrusive thought.

Mental rituals are similar to compulsions but don’t involve any outward behavior. In fact, it’s often hard to detect mental rituals because they’re done quietly in your mind. This is also known as covert compulsions. This includes;

  • praying,
  • repeating words or phrases,
  • counting, and
  • reviewing.

Avoidance

This is when you try to prevent OCD symptoms by avoiding anything that might trigger them. For example, you might avoid shaking hands because it triggers your fear of germs. Or, you might avoid people or places that make you feel uncomfortable.

While avoidance may offer temporary relief from anxiety, it can actually make your OCD worse in the long run. This is because avoiding things can reinforce your fears and make them seem more real. It also creates a lot of problems in day-to-day life and can lead to social isolation. Some common examples of avoidance include;

  • skipping work or school,
  • canceling plans with friends or family,
  • refusing to touch doorknobs or shake hands, and more.

If you’re experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help. OCD can be a very debilitating disorder, but there is hope. With treatment, you can learn how to manage your symptoms and live a fulfilling life.

Two Common Beliefs About People With OCD

Two Common Beliefs About People With OCDWhen you’re understanding OCD then you must know about the two beliefs, associated with OCD. These are;

  • Inflated Responsibility – In this, individuals believe that they are responsible for everything that happens around them. For instance, if something bad happens, then it is because of them and they must have done something to cause it. This can lead to feelings of guilt and anxiety.
  • Overestimation Of Threat – This belief is the opposite of the first one. In this, individuals believe that they are not responsible for everything that happens around them. They think that there is always a danger lurking and they must be prepared for it. This can lead to feelings of fear and anxiety.

It is believed that these two beliefs create an increasing cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Even though the level of fear is considerably low by the person with OCD, it is still there and bothers them a lot.

According to studies, OCD is driven by fear of consequences. The feeling of responsibility or the overestimation of threat leads to anxiety and fear. These, in turn, lead to compulsions and obsessions. So, the cycle continues and the person with OCD feels trapped in it.

Moreover, emotions in this disorder play a vital role. Emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, love, etc. can trigger OCD. It is because people with OCD tend to overthink and they get obsessed with certain thoughts. These thoughts are usually related to the emotions they are feeling at that moment.

Causes Of OCD

There are many potential causes of OCD, but the exact cause is unknown. Some possible causes include:

  • Chemical imbalance in the brain – It is the cause of OCD that is most understood. This theory suggests that an imbalance in serotonin levels may contribute to OCD. In fact, this imbalance can be genetic.
  • Stressful life events – A major life event, such as the death of a loved one, can trigger OCD.
  • Infections – Some infections have been linked to OCD, such as strep throat. This is called PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections).
  • Trauma Traumatic experiences, such as abuse or witnessing a traumatic event, may also lead to OCD.

There is no single cause of OCD, and it is likely that multiple factors contribute to the development of the disorder. In addition, the causes of OCD may be different for each person. Sometimes, it is not the thoughts that are problems but what people make from those thoughts.

For many people, OCD comes under the category of anxiety. It is so because people with OCD have anxiety about their obsessions and compulsions. The main difference between the two is that people with anxiety can control their thoughts, but people with OCD cannot.

Diagnosis For Understanding OCD

Diagnosis For Understanding OCDThis is important because if you think you might have OCD, only a professional can give you an accurate diagnosis. A mental health professional will ask you questions about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to get a sense of whether they meet the criteria for OCD. If they do, they’ll likely diagnose you with OCD.

The first step to getting help is admitting that you may have a problem. This can be really tough for people who are in the throes of OCD because the disorder causes them to doubt themselves and their perceptions. In order to get a proper diagnosis, you need to be honest with your mental health professional about your symptoms.

Clinical ways to diagnose OCD are;

  • The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale,
  • The Padua Inventory,
  • The Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory.

However, these clinical ways of diagnosing OCD are not absolute and should not be the only methods used to understand someone’s experience with OCD. If you or somebody you know is struggling with OCD, do not hesitate to reach out for help from a professional. There are many resources available to assist in the treatment and understanding of this disorder.

Treatment For OCD

When you get the right diagnosis and treatment, you can start to feel better. So, understanding OCD completely is important in order to have a healthy living. And, OCD is a treatable anxiety disorder that affects millions of people. There are different types of treatment that can be effective for OCD are;

Exposure and response prevention (ERP)

ERP is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that involves gradually exposing yourself to your fears and learning to resist the urge to do your compulsions. This also includes learning to control your anxiety so it doesn’t get in the way of your life. ERP is considered the gold standard for treating OCD. This works through a series of steps starting with the least anxiety-provoking and gradually working up to the most anxiety-provoking.

You can try Mantra Care for the best results. The experts at Mantra care will provide you with the best understanding of OCD and will also help you in your recovery. So, book your free consultation today!

Medication

When you’re suffering from OCD, medication can be a huge help. It can’t cure the disorder, but it can reduce your symptoms so that you can focus on therapy and living your life. The most commonly prescribed medications for OCD are antidepressants. These include; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), clomipramine (Anafranil), and fluvoxamine (Luvox).

These medications can help to improve your mood and ease your anxiety. It usually takes a few weeks for them to start working. If one doesn’t work for you, it’s important to talk to your doctor about trying another medication.

Family and individual therapy

Family and individual therapy is also an important part of treatment. This can help you and your loved ones understand OCD. And how to support you in your recovery. It can also help to identify any other issues that may be going on in your life that are contributing to your OCD. Treating OCD can be a long and difficult process, so sometimes including your family can be very helpful.

Support Group

Support groups provide a space to share your experiences with other people who understand what you’re going through. This can be a great way to get support and advice from others who are going through the same thing. It can also help you feel less alone in your struggle with OCD. There are many online and in-person support groups available.

Self Help

Self HelpSelf-help is usually not enough to treat OCD on its own. But it can be a great way to supplement your other treatment. There are many helpful books and articles that can provide you with information and support. Some people find that keeping a journal helps them to track their progress and identify their triggers. Other helpful techniques can be;

Treatment for OCD can be difficult, but it is possible to get better with the right help. If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, there are many resources available to help. The most advisable will be the website of Mantra Care, here you can find the free articles to get information. Moreover, you can book a free consultation with the best mental health experts. So, don’t wait any longer and get the help you deserve today!

Conclusion

To conclude, understanding OCD can be difficult, but it is important to know the basics. If you think you may have OCD, or if your symptoms are impacting your quality of life, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional for help. With proper treatment, most people with OCD can live happy and fulfilling lives.

Therefore, if you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, know that there is hope and help available. Ridding yourself of OCD may not be easy, but it is possible with the right treatment and support. I hope this article has helped you better understand OCD and what steps you can take to get help. Thank you for reading!

A Word From Mantra Care

Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.

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