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What is OCD and Why is it Overused?

We often make statements like ‘Oh! I think he has OCD; he keeps cleaning all day’ or ‘You always double-check your lock everything, do you have OCD?’. It is essential to understand that double-checking locks before leaving, checking your bags twice before leaving, cleaning the house, etc. These are quite common habits that most individuals have to make themselves feel safe and secure.

The full form of OCD is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD is a mental illness that goes much beyond practising certain habits that makes an individual feel safe. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder is characterized by repetitive, obsessive, distressing, and compulsive mental and physical acts. It is imperative to understand OCD as if OCD patient is not appropriately treated. Their condition would worsen due to the stress leading to rising other conditions: eating Disorder, depression, social anxiety, and many more. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a common illness that is found among 2 % population of the world. The symptoms of OCD generally start during the childhood or adolescence of an individual.

Each of us often has repetitive thoughts, and we cannot focus on our work or other activities. But when an individual is having repetitive thoughts and compulsive behaviour that is lasting at least for an hour every day. However, those thoughts affect their daily lifestyle than the individual must consult a psychiatrist or a psychologist immediately as “repetitive thoughts” and “compulsive behaviour’’ are two main symptoms of OCD. Obsession is defined as a condition in which our mind gets fixated on a specific habit or thought. Obsession during OCD often leads to losing control. An individual might lose control over themselves as the obsessive thoughts can lead to perfectionism that further acts as an additional factor for an individual to cause themselves harm. An individual might be getting a particular thought about their phobia, accident, desire, or even about their aggression. While compulsive behaviour is defined as a behaviour that includes repetitive activities like counting things repetitively, assuring things around, and making sure that everything is just right.

An individual suffering from OCD often typically experiences many discomforts that include conviction about how things must be conducted in a certain way. We cannot control our thoughts. Hence, if you experience obsessive thoughts or your loved ones, you must never tell them to control as if they keep their thoughts suppressed and tend to ignore it. It may give birth to anxiety that further led to compulsive behaviour. The compulsive behaviour happens when the individual is frustrated with the repetitive thoughts and wants to feel relief from those thoughts.

The first symptoms of OCD generally appear during childhood and early adolescence. If a child has any of the below-mentioned symptoms, parents must notice them and consult a psychologist.

  1. Difficulty in concertation and doing school work

  2. Difficulty in creating new connections like friends in school and maintaining old relationships

  3. Disturbed routines

  4. Lack of self-esteem

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can affect different individuals in different ways. A few of those ways are-

  1. An individual continually checking their channels of communication

  2. An individual is continuously concerned about checking things around them.

  3. An individual has a feeling of hoarding, i.e., they might keep brushing their teeth to ensure they aren’t having contamination or staying isolated and trying their best to avoid any social gatherings that might have a huge crowd.

  4. An individual likes orderliness, i.e., they like keeping objects around them in a particular direction and way to provide comfort to them

The solution for OCD patients is therapy. Regular medication prescribed by the psychiatrist or psychologist reduces the obsessive thoughts, which further decreases the compulsive behaviour. Hence, taking therapy and medication regularly helps an individual with normal working in day-to-day life and better emotional well-being.

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