You may often read or hear about certain mental disorders or anxiety disorders that exist in many people in the society. But have you confronted anybody who washes his hands every ten minutes and still seems unsatisfied by the cleaning process? Or have you witnessed anyone who plucks her hair all the time, while talking to others or watching the television? At least you have seen some children biting their nails all the time, no? Or maybe you are one among them. Read on to discover.
Like Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is also a psychological/psychiatry disorder which is characterized by certain intrusive thoughts that ultimately lead the person to unavoidable fears, uncontrollable worries, strict apprehensions or too much of self consciousness. SAD is only a part of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Therefore we should understand the symptoms of OCD in order to know what its actual repercussions are.
A peep into some statistics
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is found to be as common a condition as Diabetes mellitus or Asthma and is the fourth most common anxiety disorder in the world. It is estimated that one in every 50 have this condition, of which 50% are mild cases and rest severe. Usually Obsessive Compulsive Disorder commences in the early childhood, but it is only in the adolescence or sometimes in the adulthood that the condition is recognized.
Statistics show that kids of nearly one and a half years of age also have been reported for OCD. One in 100 has OCD at some stage or other of their life. Men and women are equally attacked by OCD. Unfortunately only less than 10% go for proper treatment for OCD.
A closer study of the symptoms
As the name suggests, ‘Obsessive Compulsive’ disorder consists of highlighted obsessions or compulsions or both. Certain intrusive thoughts repeatedly attack the sufferer even though he/she may try to overcome them. These thoughts may include visual images or sounds that the person feels may destroy his/her life in case he/she does not take ‘the necessary action’. And these actions taken to make life somewhat calm are known as ‘compulsions’. In other words, the reactions taken by the person to settle down the anxiety formed out of those obsessions are termed as compulsions. To make the above statements more clear, let us go through some examples.
You may remember that as a child you had certain fantasies like seeing two mynas together would fetch you good luck and happiness whereas the sight of a single myna will affect you adversely. Or holding a peacock feather in your book may bring you good grades in exams and taking a grey pen to examinations would give you lesser marks. These are normal beliefs in children which subside as they grow old.
Whereas with OCD, people may become restless and over reactive on such thoughts or sights and become frantic to fulfill the demands in order to ensure a safer, happier life. Though the above symptoms are that of milder cases of OCD, it is to be noted that several ranges of severity can be seen.
Some people may always dread that they are going to lose their dear one very soon. This kind of thought disrupts the mental peace and they seek shelter in some rituals for making themselves believe that the occurrence may postpone to some extent. Though they pacify for the time being, very soon become hyperactive again and run to do the same ritual to soothe their fear.
Symptoms that cause no harm
Accepting the compulsions as nothing but mere struggles to suppress the deadly obsessions may help the parents, relatives, friends, co-workers and mates to avoid tension with the OCD sufferer. Mild symptoms can vary from cleaning the house all the time to taking part in some ‘must to do’ rituals that may be religious, physical or spiritual.
The person may also suffer from certain sexual obsessions or sometimes violent or deadly ones.You may be conscious about your health and hygiene but believing that shaking hands with others or touching objects that some one else touched previously will definitely make you ill or sick is OCD. And then there are others who cannot control or hinder the flow of pornographic images or scenes in their minds. They may forget everything in order to satisfy those timely needs. And there are some who shout or create scenes unnecessarily out of the stubborn disturbances in their minds.
By reading this article, you should not get the wrong image that people who work for perfection are also suffering from OCD. If your mother demands a clean shiny floor or kitchen, she should always be appreciated. Same is the case with your brother or sister who arranges the books in the racks with order every time when he/she finds them scattered. OCD can be confirmed only when these activities become their prime focus and aim of life and most part of their lives is spend in the above said actions.
Some paranoid behaviors, frightening at times
During times of stress or illness, the symptoms may be more powerful in the sufferers of OCD. They may keep themselves awake the whole night just to keep watch on the main door of their house or the car parked in the porch. Some others may be really scared of the thought of their death to approach through germs coming in contact with their body. In such cases the person is seen washing or bathing numerous times a day to prevent death from capturing him.
Drug addiction is a major symptom of OCD. This is a way to compromise with the high levels of anxiety caused by the obsessions in the sufferers of OCD. Therefore the addiction is only the compulsive action for their obsessions. But not all drug addicts are OCD sufferers.
Another symptom is Depression. Studies show that more than 50% of OCD sufferers with depression have a suicidal instinct in them. They may develop tendencies of suicide often when life seems to be tough to deal with and impossible to be satisfactory any further. Severity of OCD symptoms also include panic attacks or extremes of delayed sleep phase syndrome.
These symptoms are termed severe because such OCD sufferers fail to fulfill their social responsibilities and are found emotionally detached from their family members. The obsessive compulsive thoughts and activities consume much time of their lives and they succumb.
Rescue at the knock of a door
OCD may be a bit difficult to treat but is surely recoverable. It is most recommended to consult a psychiatrist or your mental health provider just in case. Children can come out of OCD much faster if proper care/treatment and medication is given.Much impact is observed when the family members or people mingling with OCD sufferers show deep concern loaded with love and compassion. The positive style of approach towards life will make them less obsessive and compulsive in the long run.
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