Do you feel your hands are still dirty even when you have already washed them and end up washing them again even when you know it is not required?
Do you doubt and double-check your actions such as making sure you have switched off all electric applications right after switching everything off or recheck that you had locked the door multiple times?
Do you think about something that you feel may not be important yet you can’t stop thinking about it?
Does your mind repeatedly bring thoughts or images or fears that you cannot shake off?
If you have been having repeated unwanted thoughts leading to repeated actions that lead to distress and loss of time, and energy then you may have OCD. No matter how hard you try, these thoughts don’t leave you and any effort to get rid of them only makes it worse.
What are various types of obsessions?
- You feel things around may be dirty or contaminated and lead to illness if not cleaned
- You have repeated doubts on a day to day activities
- You expect things to be in order or symmetric and become restless if order or symmetry is missing
- You have fears that you might lose control of the situation or may harm others
- You are occupied with thoughts that are unwanted and may include aggression, sexuality or religion
What are the symptoms of compulsion?
- You clean everything several times a day
- You keep checking if you have locked the door or switched off everything
- You repeatedly count or rewrite or reorder things
- You do acts to undo the unwanted thoughts
What causes OCD?
- Genetic factors – family history of OCD
- Past traumatic events or traumatic brain injury.
- Certain personality traits may predispose to OCD
How can OCD affect your life?
- You use up a lot of time in compulsive behaviors
- You may develop health issues such as dermatitis from frequent hand washing
- You may find it difficult to do routine things such as going to work, school or indulging in social activities
- Difficult maintaining personal relationships
- Negative thoughts about life lead to suicidal thoughts or attempts
How can OCD be treated?
Treatments for OCD include a combination of medications and psychotherapy
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors(SSRI)
Occasionally mood stabilizers and antipsychotics may be used
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
Exposure and response therapy (ERT)
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
rTMS may also aid in recovery