Friday, February 15, 2013

What is OCD?

What is OCD?
OCD is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This anxiety disorder enables individuals to have unwanted and repetitive thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and compulsions. Usually the individual will perform obsessive rituals to get rid of obsessive thoughts and if rituals are not performed they become intensely anxious. Most individuals who develop OCD show symptoms by age 30.

Washers are afraid of contamination. They usually have cleaning or hand-washing compulsions. Some wash their hands or even their bodies until they bleed. washing can happen every couple of minutes or hours. Some will have to wash or sanitize their hands every single time they touch something. They can have a ritual cleaning at a certain time every day or couple of days.
Checkers repeatedly check things (oven turned off, door locked, etc.) that they associate with harm or danger.
Doubters and sinners are afraid that if everything isn’t perfect or done just right something terrible will happen or they will be punished.
Counters and arrangers are obsessed with order and symmetry. They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colors, or arrangements. Excessive counting.

Hoarders fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don’t need or use.

Many people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have sexual obsessions, or unwanted sexual thoughts. This may include sexual orientation fears, which is sometimes referred to as sexual orientation OCD (SO-OCD) or HOCD.
intrusive, unwanted mental images of upsetting sexual behavior
the fear that one may become a pedophile
the fear of becoming sexually aggressive

Common mental rituals
Special words, images, numbers, repeated mentally to neutralize anxiety
Special prayers (short or long) repeated in a set manner
Mental counting
Mental listmaking
Mental reviewing (e.g. reviewing conversations or actions)
Mental erasing of unwanted mental images
Mental un-doing

Miscellaneous obsessions 
Need to know or remember (e.g. if hears part of some information, the person needs to hear the rest)
Fear of saying certain things
Fear of not saying just the right thing (e.g. need to be perfectly understood)
Fear of losing things
Lucky and/or unlucky numbers (i.e. that 4 is good and 13 is bad)
Colors with special significance (i.e. red is bad because of the devil, etc.)
Superstitious fears (e.g. can't step on a crack)
Fear that one already has terrible illness or disease

OCD is treated using medication and therapy.