Obsessive-compulsive disorder, commonly referred to as OCD, is a mental disorder that affects more people than you may realize. People with OCD can find relief from their symptoms through a combination of therapy and medication. OCD is a chronic disorder, where one has constant compulsions that he or she has the urge to do and redo continuously. Most of the people suffering from OCD repeat these compulsions to keep their anxiety in check. Many of them, know that what they are doing is not rational, but is unable to fight the desire to redo actions. Most people suffering from OCD form ritualistic behaviors. These behaviors give them relief, however short-lived, from their anxiety. A common symptom of OCD is the constant need to clean. People have the urge to clean even those surfaces that are flawlessly clean, and the act of cleaning gives them relief. When OCD is not treated, it can affect one’s quality of life to a great degree.
Studies show that people suffering from OCD also deal with other disorders such as anxiety, eating disorders, and depression. A lot of them do not do well in crowds or in groups, which is why you find most of them keeping to themselves. Society must try to understand how serious OCD is because it can lead to greater problems such as substance addiction when one is unable to handle their anxiety. The main symptom of OCD is an obsession with certain acts. These obsessions can get worse when one is in highly stressful situations. Some common obsessions include; fear of contamination, desire to have everything in symmetrical order, aggressive thoughts towards oneself and others, and thoughts that may be thought of as taboo involving religion or harm. Common compulsions include; handwashing, cleaning surfaces, constantly rearranging things, compulsive counting, and constantly checking and rechecking if doors and windows are locked.
There are a lot of strategies and treatments for dealing with OCD today. People suffering from OCD need therapy, medication, and self-care strategies to manage their symptoms. Working with a qualified therapist is key to you regaining normality in your life if you suffer from OCD. Choose a therapist with previous OCD training and experience for optimal results. OCD can be treated with prescription drugs. However, it is important to note that this is not a case of one size fits all. You need to get diagnosed and get your prescription rather than buy what other people living with OCD use. Your therapist will prescribe drugs based on the severity of your OCD. Patience is key when one is using OCD medication because it takes several weeks for the medicine to take effect. Medication is recommended hand in hand with psychotherapy. Some of the common forms of psychotherapy include exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. In exposure therapy, one confronts their fears in a controlled environment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy seeks to replace obsessive and compulsive thoughts with more realistic ones. Self-help strategies such as getting enough sleep, keeping a journal, breathing exercises, and joining a support group can also help.