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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Definition

This is a type of anxiety disorder in which the patient has a mental state with an irresistible thought or feeling that cannot be eliminated from consciousness by logical effort which is associated with anxiety. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a psychiatric disorder with persistent ideas making a person to undertake certain acts repeatedly and ritualistically to relieve anxiety. It may respond to certain tricyclic anti depressant. Compulsions are defined as Repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.

Symptoms

The formal diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder rests on these symptoms, which can be evaluated by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. A person who is suffering from this disorder will keep on doing some or other kind of work so that he doesn’t think about the obsession he has. To the normal people these tasks will seem irrelevant but a person suffering from this disorder has to do it otherwise he will become anxious. For example let us take a case of locking a parked car. A normal person will lock the car and go off. Sometimes he may check it for a second time but a person suffering from this disorder will check the door every five minutes. If he doesn’t checks it then it will build up anxiety in him. Some people may wash their hands repeatedly. Some others may feel that their body is not equal and wants them to be equal. Some will have highly sexual obsessions. Some others will have thoughts of injuring someone. These people try to think positively otherwise it will remain in their mind.

These illnesses are called, secret illnesses because the patient tries to hide it from others and because of this the disease is purely mental. If a normal person is asked not to form an image of any colorful elephant, they will immediately form it and at the same time will forget it. But a person with OCD will form the image but will not be able to forget it. That image will always remain in his mind however hard he tries to take it of his mind. This is known as Thought Avoidance Paradox.

Types

There are two types which are OCD (ego dystonic) and OCPD (ego syntonic). In OCD the person does not like the thoughts coming into his mind and therefore they cause anxiety. While in OPD the person gets pleasure from these ideas and therefore they do not cause anxiety.

What causes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

In ancient times, people felt that these people are having devil in them. But now-a-days some scientists believe that it is due to some abnormalities in the brain and some others believe that it is caused due to personal experiences.

Treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder

Treatment for OCD includes counseling and medications. Antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (for example, Prozac), are most commonly used.

Cognitive-behavior therapy is to teach people with OCD to confront their fears and reduce anxiety without performing the ritual behaviors. It also focuses on reducing the exaggerated or catastrophic thinking that often occurs in people with OCD.


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