Are you struggling with OCD and finding that it is getting worse? If so, you are not alone. OCD can be a very difficult condition to deal with, and for some people, it seems to get worse over time. In this blog post, we will explore what causes OCD to get worse and offer the most effective way to treat it.
What Causes OCD To Get Worse?
OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that can cause a person to experience obsessions and compulsions. These obsessions and compulsions can vary in severity, but they can often become worse over time if not properly managed. It is believed that comorbidities play a role in the worsening of OCD. It impacts the severity of OCD and some of the common comorbidities are;
The causes in which OCD gets worse are varied, and it is important to speak with a professional to help you understand what might be causing your particular case of OCD to worsen. However, there are some general things that can contribute to get OCD worse;
Stressful life events
Stress is the major reason which causes OCD to get worse. There are various reasons that create stress like;
- Job loss,
- relationship problems,
- the death of a loved one,
- financial difficulties, and so on.
And, these stressful events are something that can come up unexpectedly and can make OCD symptoms worse. It is important for people with OCD to learn how to manage their stress levels and to have a support system in place in case they experience a stressful event.
Hormonal changes can also cause OCD to get worse. For example, during puberty, there is a surge in hormones which can trigger or worsen OCD symptoms. Similarly, during pregnancy and menopause, there are hormonal fluctuations that can impact OCD. In fact, any type of hormonal change can potentially worsen OCD symptoms.
Lack of sleep
When you are suffering from OCD, you always have racing thoughts which make it difficult to fall asleep. And, not getting enough sleep can also make OCD worse. So, it is important to get enough sleep and to have a good sleep routine. Even so, in any mental disorder or physical disorder, sleep is one of the most important things.
Poor diet is something that cannot be ignored when it comes to mental health. Eating processed and sugary foods can make OCD worse. So, it is important to eat a balanced diet that includes healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. And, avoid eating sugary and processed foods as much as possible. Also, it is important to remember that eating disorders are often comorbid with OCD. So, if you have an eating disorder, it is important to seek treatment.
So when these conditions are not being managed or treated, they can contribute to the worsening of OCD. In addition, stress is also a major factor that can worsen OCD symptoms. It can be anything from work-related stress to family issues. When a person is under a lot of stress, it can trigger their OCD and cause them to have more intense obsessions and compulsions.
Moreover, what causes OCD to get worse is only half the battle. The other half is learning how to deal with it.
Understand What Causes OCD To Get Worse With An Example
John has OCD and is generally able to manage it with medication and therapy. However, he recently started a new job that is very demanding and stressful. This stress has caused his OCD to become worse and he is now struggling to control his obsessions and compulsions. Now, in addition to medication and therapy, John may need to find other ways to manage his stress in order to keep his OCD under control.
Another example of Joe who is suffering from the type of “Just Right” OCD. This type of OCD is characterized by the need to have everything in perfect order or symmetry. Now what causes OCD to get worse in Joe’s case is that he is now starting to see things out of order even when they’re not. He rereads emails multiple times before sending them and even asks his friends to recheck them. His “Just Right” OCD has now started to interfere with his daily life and is causing him a lot of distress.
If you are someone who is struggling with OCD, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. Before your OCD get worse, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to assist you.
Are Symptoms Of OCD Changes Over Time?
The symptoms of OCD can vary in severity throughout a person’s lifetime. In some cases, they may even go into remission for extended periods of time. Or maybe you’ve been managing your OCD for years, but something happens to trigger a significant increase in your symptoms.
However, according to studies, the symptoms of OCD worsen conditions, usually beginning in adolescence or young adulthood. There are some symptoms that might remain the same, but the compulsions tend to get more time-consuming and elaborate over time. The obsessions also might become more disturbing and hard to resist. Such symptoms of OCD are;
- Fear of dirt or contamination
- A need for symmetry or order
- Intrusive, unwanted thoughts
- Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas
- Concerns about keeping things safe
These are only a few examples, but there are many more possible obsessions and compulsions that can be part of OCD. Also, it is not uncommon for people with OCD to have multiple obsessions and compulsions.
Moreover, the symptoms of OCD can take up a lot of time and energy. For example, someone with OCD might spend hours every day washing their hands or cleaning their house. This can interfere with work, school, and other activities. And it can cause a lot of stress for the person with OCD and for their family and friends. It is essential to get immediate help if you think you might have OCD.
How To Treat This?
OCD treatment is not known as spontaneous remission. Although the duration of recovery is mostly dependent on the circumstances and conditions of the sufferer. Also, it depends on the early recognition and late realization. That eventually impacts the duration of recovery and the kind of help you might need.
However, in order to best deal with OCD and worsen the situation, the most common type of therapy is ERP. It is Exposure and Response Prevention. It is a form of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. The goal of this type of therapy is to help you face your fears head-on. And, in turn, learn how to better deal with the anxiety that comes along with them.
In order to make ERP work for you, it is important to find a therapist who specializes in treating OCD. They will be able to help you come up with a plan that specifically targets your individual fears and triggers. If you’re not sure where to start, the International OCD Foundation has a searchable database of therapists who specialize in treating OCD.
Also, Mantra Care is the leading provider of online CBT for OCD and other anxiety disorders. With our program, you will work with a licensed therapist to create a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs. You can schedule unlimited sessions and there are no time limits. In fact, for a better start, you can book your free consultation with us.
If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, please reach out for help. The sooner you get treatment, the better the outcome will be. Remember, you are not alone in this battle. There are people who care about you and want to see you succeed. Seek professional help and start your journey to recovery today.
To conclude, there are many potential causes for OCD to get worse. The most severe cause is usually an imbalance in the brain chemicals that control mood and anxiety. Other causes can include stress, trauma, or even something as seemingly innocuous as a change in routine.
If you suspect that your OCD is getting worse, it’s important to speak to a mental health professional who can help you identify the cause and develop a treatment plan. There are many effective treatments for OCD, so there’s no need to suffer in silence. With the right help, you can regain control of your life and start living the way you want to again.
I hope this article has helped you better understand what causes OCD to get worse and how can get help if you need it. Thanks 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.