A to Z Of OCD: Everything you need to know about OCD
30 Mar 2016
Your mind is stuck on a certain thought or image..
Then this thought or image keeps replaying in your mind
Over and over again
No matter what you do
You don’t want these thoughts or images but they are there
And along with them come intense feelings of anxiety
You may recognize that this fear doesn’t make sense yet it is there, very real and intense.
And you keep trying to understand is your brain lying to your about the fear or are you just going mad
That, in simple terms, is OCD for you.
OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is a brain and behavior disorder which involves obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions refer to repetitive thoughts, images or impulses which feel to be outside of the individual’s control. In most cases, individuals with OCD do not want to have these thoughts, find them disturbing and realize that these thoughts make no sense. These obsessions are usually accompanied by intense feelings of fear, disgust, doubt or a feeling that things need to be done in a particular manner.
Compulsions refer to repetitive thoughts or behaviors that an individual uses with the intention to neutralize, counteract or make the obsession go away. This may also include avoiding situations that trigger obsessions. Both obsessions and compulsions are time consuming and disturb a person’s daily life along with disrupting the family members’ routine.
Symptoms of OCD
Some common obsessions include-
Fear of dirt or contamination
Fear of causing harm to another
Fear of making a mistake
Fear of thinking evil or sinful thoughts
Need for order, symmetry, or exactness
Excessive doubt and the need for constant reassurance
Need for hoarding or saving
Excessive sexual thoughts or fear of sexual content
Excessive religious thoughts
Some common compulsions are-
Repeatedly bathing, showering, or washing hands
Refusing to shake hands or touch doorknobs
Blinking or staring rituals
Pathological slowness in carrying out routine activities
Repeatedly checking things, such as locks or stoves
Constant counting, mentally or aloud, while performing routine tasks
Constantly arranging things in a certain way
Eating foods in a specific order
Being stuck on words, images or thoughts, usually disturbing, that won't go away and can interfere with sleep
Repeating specific words, phrases, or prayers
Needing to perform tasks a certain number of times
Collecting or hoarding items with no apparent value
Repeatedly seeking reassurance
Excessive list making
Assessment of OCD
Apart from an elaborate history taking, assessment in OCD includes the usage of a detailed assessment of the obsessions and compulsions the individual may be undergoing as well as measuring the severity of these symptoms. The assessment takes an hour or more depending on the severity of the disorder.
Before therapy is initiated, it is important to have a checklist of all the obsessions and compulsions the individual is facing in order to incorporate the treatment of all of them in the therapy plan. Thus, assessment forms an important part of planning the individualized treatment for the client.
The management of OCD is done via two ways, medication and therapy. Both of them play an important role in the treatment of OCD due to the difficulties inherent in this disorder.
Medication helps to lower the anxiety associated with OCD which in turn will help cut down on the compulsions to an extent. However, therapy, usually cognitive behavior therapy, helps to cut down the compulsions directly and then proceeds to work on the obsessions. Both medication and therapy are required to work on OCD in tandem and ensure a speedy and long lasting recovery.
The importance of treating OCD
OCD is a very disorienting disorder in the sense that it affects almost every aspect of the individual’s life. Since it has control over your thoughts, it takes away your time, effort and energy in making you engage in compulsions during the entire day. OCD not only affects the individual but the family as well. The individual with OCD usually also involves other family members in following the compulsions and this is very discomforting and often leads to familial conflicts. OCD, in itself, does not only affect the afflicted but also turns his/her life upside down
by having an effect on family, work and daily routine.
If untreated, it keeps getting worse with passing time and the severe it gets, the longer the treatment takes to get rid of the disorder.
How ePsyClinic Can Help
We at ePsyClinic have a team of qualified and experienced psychiatrists and clinical psychologists who are well versed with OCD and its treatment. We have worked with numerous clients who are now living a normal life after treatment.
OCD is a very harrowing and disturbing disorder. Often clients attempt to work on it by themselves but medical assistance help speed up the recovery process and gives support. As mental health professionals, we are equipped with the knowledge and training to help you through this disorder.
After detailed history and assessment, depending on the severity of the disorder, a psychiatrist may prescribe medication. Alongside, a clinical psychologist would take a detailed assessment and make a problem list as well as goals list.
You will be sent an e-diary to record and monitor your symptoms and some other information that would help in the therapy sessions.
Depending on the severity, OCD is treatable with medication and therapy within 6-18 sessions.
OCD is treatable. Don’t let the disorder turn your life upside down. Set it straight today with a
consultation with ePsyClinic.
Just Click the pink chat button and type "OCD Assessment" to instantly connect with a psychologist and to know more about the process and charges.