What Is OCD?
OCD refers to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which is a mental health condition that can cause intrusive thoughts, extreme anxiety, and repetitive behaviors.
It can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are struggling with OCD, it can be difficult to manage your symptoms and find relief.
With the right approach, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medication, and lifestyle changes, it is possible to reduce the severity of OCD symptoms and gain control over one’s thoughts and behaviors.
By understanding the causes of OCD, learning coping strategies to manage obsessive thoughts, and engaging in regular self-care activities, those struggling with OCD can find relief from their symptoms.
What Are The 4 Main Types Of OCD?
- Contamination and washing: People with this type of OCD have obsessive thoughts about getting sick and spreading germs. Their compulsions are related to cleanliness — but way beyond the typical ways these people practice hygiene and clean.
- Doubt and double-checking: People with this type of OCD often lack confidence in their own memory and judgment. Doubt is a central element of every type of OCD. Yet some people particularly struggle with doubting their own perception of reality. They may also doubt their memory of events that just happened. A person with this type of OCD can leave the house, lock their door, and as soon as they get into their car, wonder if they did, in fact, lock their door.
- Ordering and arranging : People with this type of OCD may get obsessed on order and symmetry in their environment. This is not the same as enjoying keeping your house organized. People with this type of OCD can lose hours of their day arranging the same objects over and over again until they meet a certain standard and get satisfied with their work.
- Unacceptable or taboo thoughts: People with this type of OCD have intrusive thoughts that stray far from their values — whether it is sexual, violent, or taboo in nature. Everyone may experience an occasional taboo or “unacceptable” thought. But people with OCD may have such a harder time letting these thoughts pass.
The Causes of OCD :-
The cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder isn’t fully understood, but it’s main theories include:
- Biology: OCD may be a result of changes in your body’s own natural chemistry or brain functions.
- Genetics: OCD may have a genetic component, but specific genes have yet to be identified.
- Learning: Obsessive fears and compulsive behaviors can also be learned from watching family members or gradually learned over time.
How Can OCD Be Prevented?
There’s no sure way to prevent obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, getting treatment as soon as possible may help prevent OCD from worsening and disrupting activities and your daily routine.
But some of the best and helpful strategies to prevent OCD are:
i) Practice mindfulness to manage stress:
Two key characteristics of OCD are high anxiety and the presence of intrusive thoughts. You can reduce both symptoms by practicing mindfulness.
ii) Sleep well and enough:
Unfortunately, good sleep can be elusive (difficult to find) for people who have higher rates of insomnia than the general population.
iii) Reach out to family and friends:
OCD symptoms can sometimes be so intense that they take over your day-to-day life and keep you isolated from family and friends. Isolation can make OCD symptoms worse, so make sure you prioritize time with people you care about.
iv) Avoid nicotine and alcohol:
Alcohol feels like it relaxes you at first, but as it wears off it increases your anxiety levels. Nicotine is a stimulant from the get-go and will exacerbate your OCD symptoms. So avoid both of these.
Medication may also be prescribed if necessary. With the right combination of treatment and support, it is possible for individuals with OCD to live a happy, healthy life free from the burden of obsessive thoughts and behaviors.
Also with the right approach and support from family members or professionals, you can learn to manage your OCD symptoms and live a happier life.
“My OCD is a speed bumb, not a barrier, to happiness.” ― Amelia Diane Coombs