Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

| June 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Here’s a story. Jane is a God-loving individual. She never forgets to pray every morning, every night, and during her tough times. She doesn’t just pray for her-self but for her loved ones as well. Look at this. Her love and respect for God has motivated her to always do the right manner of praying. Whenever she prays, she sees to it that every word, facial expression, and gesture is proper. She also thinks that she should say her prayers according to certain standards which she believes will please God. At first, she thought there’s nothing is wrong with it.

The frequent washing of hands, without apparent reasons is one of the signs and symptoms OCD.

The frequent washing of hands, without apparent reasons is one of the signs and symptoms OCD.

Eventually, she started having a hard time whenever she prays. Each inappropriate act always causes her to repeat her prayers from the beginning. She doesn’t stop until it feels just right. She thinks that her failure to pray the right way, will make God angry and even cause her or her loved ones to be punished. Thus, Jane recognizes that her thoughts are irrational. But she feels that she is unable to resist them. Eventually, she finds her-self spending a lot of time insofar as trying her very best to pray so perfectly. Generally, her obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors have started to interfere with her daily life. Poor Jane! she is suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Defined

The story above is truly a perfect example of how it is like to have an OCD. It is an anxiety disorder,that is medically described by having unmanageable thoughts and repetitive ritualized behavior that a sufferer feels that he/she is required to do. If you have an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you know that something is wrong with the way you think and yet you can’t get such crazy thoughts out of your mind. Only certain rituals can make such obsessions stop. Hence, you just couldn’t stop doing them all over again.

Based on various psychological contexts, obsessions are unwanted and uncontrollable thoughts that suddenly burst into one’s mind and could cause huge anxieties. Conversely, such thoughts are often disturbing. Likewise, compulsions are theoretically classified as repetitive rituals or behaviors that you feel as if you are compelled to do to reduce those anxieties caused by obsessive thoughts.

As for Jane’s situation, she has an irrational obsession about observing the perfect way of praying. This obsession caused her to be anxious whenever she feels that she couldn’t say her prayers right. For this, she feels obligated to pray again and again until her anxiety is extremely diminished.

Meanwhile, it is important to take note that OCD differs from OCPD (Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder). The latter is characterized by unbendable need for order, extreme concern for perfection, and firm control over various situations in life.

People with OCD are classified under the following categories:

  1. Doubters and sinners– They fear that if a certain thing is not perfect or done right, they will be punished or something bad will happen.
  2. Arrangers and counters– Order and patterned regularities are their obsessions. They may likewise, have some superstitions regarding numbers, arrangements, and colors.
  3. Hoarders– They keep things that they don’t need because they are afraid that something bad will happen if they will throw anything away.
  4. Checkers– They repetitively check doors, appliances among others. Nevertheless, having a conditioned mind in relation to a person’s failure to do so will cause him or her danger or harm.
  5. Washers-They are extremely afraid of contamination. Hence, they tend to clean or wash their hands all over again.

Signs of OCD

  • Obsessive Thoughts– Common obsessive thoughts in OCD are: Excessive concerns on religious thoughts, fear of causing harm, apprehensions of not having things that might be needed, fear of being contaminated, obsessed with the idea that everything must be lined up the right way, excessive thoughts about something and the belief that you are lucky or unlucky.
  • Compulsive Behaviors – Common compulsive behaviors in OCD are: Praying excessively or performing rituals due to religious fear; washing or cleaning excessively; keeping useless items, repeatedly checking things to avoid danger, repetitive contacting loved ones to make sure they are safe, counting all over again repetition of certain words, touching things with frequency and certainty doing other pointless things to relieve anxiety. In other words, you are doing things just because.

    Helping Someone with OCD: Treatments

    OCD is just like any other illness. It needs to be treated. No victim of this condition is having a good time in dealing with it. Hence, it is very important to help someone with OCD. Below, are some ways on how to treat this psychological disorder.

    1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy- It involves exposure, response prevention and cognitive therapy. This therapy aims to expose the patients to the sources of their obsessions and gradually teaching them to respond without having to do such compulsive acts.
    2. Group Therapy It is done through interaction with fellow OCD patients to help decrease any feeling of isolation and provide them with moral and emotional supports.
    3. Family Therapy – It is done due to the fact that OCD often causes problems to family life. In this therapeutic approach and family members, are motivated to help their loved one in reducing family conflicts.
    4. Self-Help Techniques- It encompass different ways on how OCD patients can effectively help themselves to overcome this illness. The techniques include keeping an obsessive thought log, re-focusing one’s attention, anticipating OCD urges, and creating an OCD worry period.

    Psychological illnesses should not be taken for granted. For non-sufferers, never judge people with such disorders because you would definitely not want to be in their shoes, right? Just like physical ailments, psychological disorders need to be dealt with utmost appropriateness. As for coping with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, it is an extremely tough thing to do. Therefore, sufferers need a great amount of help and support to overcome this illness. They should likewise be motivated and be more than willing to help them-selves in order to win their battle against this disturbing disease.

    Category: Self Improvement

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