Obsessive compulsive disorder can be a very serious and chronic anxiety disorder. Approximately two million people are affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder also known as OCD. OCD interferes with daily routines and occupies much of the person’s time. One difference between normal tasks and OCD is how much time the behaviors take from the person’s day. People with OCD know that their behavior is not normal, but cannot stop themselves from repeating a task. It can interfere with their work, social lives, and relationships.
Everyone has some worries, doubts, or superstitious beliefs. However, with OCD they are so excessive and they become an obsession. These obsessions are thoughts, images, and impulses that feel out of control. People with OCD try to make their obsessions go away by performing compulsions. Compulsions are an act the person performs over and over again often according to certain rules. When OCD causes people to carry out and repeat their actions this helps them to reduce their anxiety.
Some signs of OCD are like fears of things. Some may have fears of germs contaminating their food or objects. Other signs are loosing control of aggressive urges, excessive religious or moral doubt, and intrusive sexual urges. Still other signs could be a need to have things, “just so.” Also a need to tell, ask, or confess things. Common compulsions are washing, repeating, checking, touching, and counting. Some examples of common compulsions are repeated cleaning. LIke washing your hands repeatedly. Checking to see if your door is locked over and over. Counting how many times you have brushed your hair and must reach a certain number before you may quit.
People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder go several years without diagnosis or treatment. There are treatments for OCD. People with OCD are secretive about their symptoms. This is unfortunate because early diagnosis and proper treatment can help people avoid suffering. Drugs that increase the brain concentration of serotonin often help improve symptoms. For more information you can visit the OC Foundation or the OCD Center online.
OCD can occur in people of all ages. It can start any time from preschool age to adulthood. Usually in adults around the age of forty. When a parent has OCD there is a slight risk that a child will develop the disorder. Depressions are also common in adults with OCD. The diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is based on the symptoms of the person. Some disorders that closely resemble OCD may respond to the same treatments. So, it is important to get a qualified doctor to diagnosis OCD. To find a qualified doctor you can visit the OC Foundation online Information Desk. They have a list of treatment providers for each state in the U.S.