Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a pronounced neurotic pathology characterized by the appearance of anxiety and various obsessive thoughts that provoke the performance of certain actions that have ritual significance for a person. After performing the desired action, there is a decrease in the level of anxiety.
According to the classification of mental illness, obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder. In a mild form, the disease can manifest itself in 30% of adults and 15% of children. Fewer than 1% of people have persistent, clinically proven OCD.
10 basic signs of compulsive-obssessive disorders
- The need for regular counting – accompanied by an urgent need several times in a row to make sure that the action performed is correct. Money, packaging, own steps, etc. are constantly recalculated. This condition arises as a result of a deep sense of irresponsibility or as a result of fear for their safety;
- Very frequent hand washing is the most common symptom. A person can wash their hands after each action, for example, after grabbing a door handle or a kitchen countertop. The reason for this behavior is fear of bacteria. People try to protect themselves from the surrounding “impurity”;
- Incorrect analysis of the relationship. The OCD sufferer constantly analyzes the words and phrases of others. Even in innocent jokes, he tries to find some kind of background. The analysis of the relationship is accompanied by intense emotion;
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- Thirst for constant cleaning. It appears as an addition to frequent hand washing. A person is overcome by a constant sense of uncleanness in the house. It can appear almost immediately after cleaning. The cause of this condition is germophobia;
- Excessive organization. It is possible to bring self-organization to perfection. Even 1-5 seconds can play a significant role in completing a specific task. All things and objects must have their place. Sometimes this behavior can be confused with perfectionism;
- Obsessive rechecking of one’s own actions. A person can check several times whether he turned off the kettle, whether he closed the front door. He gets the feeling that he forgot something in the house – this makes him come back for rechecking. The state arises as a result of excessive concern for their safety;
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- Fear of getting into trouble. The fear of being beaten on the street or fired at work, even for no real reason, can go to extremes. The person may be afraid to leave the house or communicate with the boss. OCD sufferers often avoid dating in panic and may question their own orientation;
- Continuous search for support. OCD sufferers try to find support from close people. They are very afraid to appear funny or incompetent in front of strangers. However, getting this support can make the problem worse;
- Dissatisfaction with your own appearance. A person can be convinced of the presence of a certain aesthetic defect even in its absence. Such beliefs often lead to rash actions, such as plastic surgery. Diets for weight loss are possible even for people with a slender figure;
- Obsessive sexual thoughts. The person may think of taboo desires or indecent behavior. There may be doubts about their own sexual orientation. Constant sexual fantasies may arise for passers-by or colleagues.
Clinical picture and symptoms of disorderThe classic symptoms of OCD include: the appearance of obsessive thoughts that are not associated with will (even if a person tries not to think about anything, obsessive thoughts remain uncontrollable and push him to perform certain actions), as well as the appearance of stereotypical compulsive actions that allow him to achieve tranquility for a short period (for example, frequent hand washing, constant counting of money, self-examination, etc.);
Causes of obessive-compulsive disordersToday, doctors do not know the exact reasons for the development of obsessive-compulsive disorders. But there are several key factors that can cause pathology:
- Biological factors;
- Genetic factors;
- Psychological theories, including exogenously traumatic factors associated with a person’s environment: family, relatives, colleagues, friends, etc.;
- Sociological theories.
Basic methods of compulsive-obssessive disorders treatment
Classical psychotherapy involves three key techniques: cognitive-behavioral correction, the 4-step technique, and exposure and prevention.
The choice of the optimal method of treatment is determined only by the attending physician, taking into account the data of the initial examination, the individual characteristics of the organism, based on the test results.