Just what is OCD?
Although the cause of OCD is technically unknown, obsessive compulsive disorder has
been known to be onset by stress and is defined as an anxiety disorder. It is a condition that can affect
anyone, no matter their age, sex or social status.
If you have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, you may be wondering just what it is and where it
came from. Obsessive compulsive disorder, otherwise known as OCD, is defined by the APA as "A mental disorder
characterized by obsessions and compulsions, repetitive, purposeful acts performed according to certain rules or in
a ritualized manner." Although the cause of OCD is technically unknown, obsessive compulsive disorder has been
known to be onset by stress and is defined as an anxiety disorder. It is a condition that can affect anyone, no
matter their age, sex or social status. In fact, according to recent studies, OCD is a leading cause of disability
and affects approximately 5 million people just in the United States alone.
OCD, like other anxiety disorders, is very complicated. There are numerous symptoms and not every person has all
of the symptoms. Generally speaking, obsessive compulsive disorder manifests itself as the presence of persistent
and even obsessive ideas, thoughts, and images or in extreme cases, impulses and irrational behaviors. People with
OCD many times become isolated because their state of mind is apparent even without talking. It is not uncommon for
people with OCD to be very depressed because they are at a constant war with themselves. They are forever repeating
the same thoughts over and over in their head and when they are unable to stop thinking these thoughts; they spend
all of their time trying to get their minds on something else. For this reason, people with OCD tendencies don't
always make the best of friends.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Perhaps this is because when many people think of OCD they think of a person that is obsessed with cleanliness, many times to ridiculous extremes such as washing your hands with a bar of soap once and then disposing of it. A person that suffers from this form of OCD feels the need to clean and re-clean their bodies, their belongings and everything around them all of the time. They view themselves as vulnerable to everything they come in contact with. In other words, sickness and disease is lurking everywhere and if they don't wash it, they will get sick from it.
Another facet of obsessive compulsive disorder is the need to check and recheck everything they do.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms
Where some people get into trouble is that they spend so much time trying to curb their obsessive thinking that
they get into compulsive irrational behaviors, which takes their mind off the compulsive thoughts. Unfortunately,
it is really a vicious cycle that never ends. It has been studied however, that people with OCD can benefit greatly
from learning a new skill. Learning something new such as music, yoga, or anything that takes a lot of
concentration, can greatly reduce or even temporarily eliminate the obsessive thought pattern. If you or someone
you love suffers from OCD, the best thing you can do is keep their mind preoccupied on something meaningful or at
the least productive.
Many people think that perfectionism is the same as OCD. Being a perfectionist can make you exhibit some of the
same behaviors as someone with OCD, however when you are strictly a perfectionist, you can control your behavior.
Wanting everything the best it can be is one thing, maximizing your potential is a great trait of someone who is
defined as a perfectionist. However, people that suffer from OCD tendencies take perfectionism to a whole new
level. Breaking down because something has been moved or touched by an outsider, numbering your socks or labeling
them left and right is way over the top. These are not uncommon behaviors for people with OCD; it is however, not
something a perfectionist would relate to.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder News