Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a situation where someone has intruding thoughts that compels them to perform certain actions. This mental health condition manifests itself in repeated actions that are sometimes unnecessary.
For example, someone might be stepping out of the house and continuously think that they haven’t locked the door when in fact they have. This repeated doubt can make the action of double-checking the door a ritual.
A common thing with people who suffer from OCD is that when they try to block the intrusive thoughts and overcome the obsession, they have little success. While the condition is usually associated with both obsession and compulsion, experts say that it can be either or both.
Causes of OCD
Obsessive-compulsive disorder has not been pinned down to a specific cause. However, there are conditions that can contribute to as well as aggravate the condition. Some of these factors include:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder seems to run in some families. When an ancestor has suffered from the condition, somebody in the following generations may be more likely to develop OCD. This is why medical health practitioners would require family history to understand the cause of certain conditions, including OCD.
Abnormalities in the brain and thought process can also lead to OCD. For example, excessive activities in the front part of the brain have been recognized to be a contributing factor to the causes of OCD.
Some environmental factors like trauma, stress, abuse, and even dirtiness can contribute to causing the condition.
People who have experienced life challenges like bullying, neglect, abuse, or bereavement are most likely to develop OCD.
People with underlying health conditions like anxiety, depression, and addiction are prone to developing OCD.
People who are anxious about situations and what can happen next can develop obsessive behaviors. This happens when they perform actions they intend to make them avoid the obsession but only leads to more obsession. Addiction to things or behaviors can also lead to obsession.
People who are highly critical of themselves and others are more prone to developing OCD. People who are also methodical and meticulous in their activities are also prone to developing the condition.
Symptoms of OCD
Symptoms of obsessive thoughts can include:
- Being anxious about safety such as the fear of contracting a disease
- Fear of having things fall apart or get out of control
- Doubting having performed an action. In severe situations, continuously needing to reconfirm things.
- Thinking of avoiding situations that can lead to obsession
Symptoms of compulsion can include:
- Constantly checking, for instance, on their baby
- Recounting things and numbers
- Strict adherence to specific routines
- Repeated cleaning and washing
- Mandatory orderliness. Preferring things to be in a specific order.
These obsessions and compulsions may occur to different degrees in different people. Some people experience the condition in their teenage years but it can also occur in adults as well as in childhood years.
People who suffer from the condition usually notice the symptoms gradually, although some have records of sudden occurrences. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can last a lifetime. People can have severe conditions, mild manifestations. Some conditions can be severe to the extent of crippling.
To avoid severe cases of OCD and the possible complications that can arise from untreated cases, it is advisable to seek medical help if early signs of it are noticed. The best approach is to contact a professional healthcare provider to ensure you get the right treatment and advice. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a widely recommended management option.
Self-help is also effective as it involves tracking the triggers and responses to aid avoiding their occurrences in the future. Patients can also learn to resist the compulsions. This calls for self-will and motivation. If done consistently, you will record positive changes in no time, even in cases where the compulsions have become rituals.
Ketamine is also helpful in treating OCD. This modern method provides fast relief from symptoms a few hours after it is administered. The effect of the drug can last for up to two weeks for some patients. This treatment is highly recommended for its efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a condition that can be aggravated by different circumstances including genetics, brain abnormalities, life experiences, underlying conditions, environment and personality traits. However, time and the condition. Ketamine is helpful in calming the symptoms of OCD and is effective within hours of being used.