What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a relatively common disorder in which the sufferer struggles with unwelcome thoughts, anxiety, obsessive worries or concerns and, often, repetitive behaviours that are supposed to reduce the anxiety or compulsion.
One person might be obsessed with the idea that there are dangerous bacteria everywhere to the point whereby his obsession impacts seriously on his ability to live normally, while someone else might struggle with unwanted sexual desires or fantasies that she knows are inappropriate, and does not want to acknowledge.
The repetitive behaviours that develop as a result of these unwelcome thoughts might be obsessive hand-washing, endlessly checking to make sure that something has been done, an unhealthy degree of religiosity, and so forth. The problem lies in the fact that while these repetitive behaviours might keep the unwanted anxiety at bay, they can become a hindrance to living positively in their own right, while also doing nothing to tackle the root problem. People with OCD often have a very negative self-image, and worry that if they do not engage in their obsessive behaviours, they might act out on their unwelcome thoughts and impulses.
OCD is often associated with a range of other disorders too, such as Asperger’s, social anxiety, ADHD and more. Sufferers can also be tempted to “self-medicate” with alcohol and illegal or prescription drugs.
Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) can be treated in a range of ways, and treatment is important, as the condition is likely to get worse with no intervention, but usually responds very well to effective intervention.
As with many psychological disorders, medication (often selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIS, or antidepressants) can provide a degree of relief, but to really get to grips with the problem, it is also important to engage with other types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which focuses on highlighting the unhelpful emotions that lie behind the obsessive behaviours, and finding a way to manage them more effectively.
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