WHAT IS OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER?
OCD is an anxiety disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, unwanted sensations which are difficult to control and drive them to do something compulsively ( repeat something). These recurring thoughts make them feel anxious all the time and hamper their normal life. The obsessions may vary and can be seen in following forms:
- Cleanliness: people have phobia of contamination and so they wash their hands repeatedly, clean the house again and again.
- Order: in this type there is obsession for symmetry and order. If they look at something which is not in order; they get anxious and can’t control themselves till they don’t make them in order.
- Counting: in this people count their objects and things which are encountered in their daily life repeatedly. If the count is lost then they would start fresh again. They can’t just let it go. For example- number of steps in a staircase, number of lights etc.
- Hoarding: some people just can’t dump anything; even if they are waste in their life and are of no use. They keep old stuff which are of no apparent use.
- Locks and doors: in this type people repeatedly check the locks and doors of the house; might be because of fear of safety and they would go and check the doors again and again.
The repetitive behaviours such as washing hands, counting things, cleaning things, checking on things can interfere with normal life of the person.
WHAT CAUSES OCD?
Although the exact cause of OCD is not known but following are a few known factors:
- Genetic factors: sometimes children of parents who have OCD can also have the issue.
- Biological/neurological factors: chemical imbalance of serotonin in the brain can also trigger obsessive thoughts.
- Life changes: major life changes can also trigger OCD. Sometimes, major life changes such as a new job or the birth of a child thrust more responsibility on a person. the person starts getting recurrent thoughts.
- Behavioural factors: People who are extremely organised, neat, meticulous and those who like to be in charge from a young age, sometimes run the risk of developing OCD.
- Personal experience: A person who has experienced severe trauma is likely to be affected with OCD. For instance, contracting a severe rash by touching rat poison in the house, can lead to hand-washing compulsions.
MANAGEMENT OF OCD
OCD can get better with treatment. Cognitive behavioural therapy do help the patient to feel better in the symptoms. Homeopathic treatment is also very effective in treatment of OCD.