When someone has persistent, superfluous thoughts or sensations that make them feel a compulsion to do things repetitively, turning into an obsession, it is called Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Common behaviours that can be seen in a person with OCD are excessive hand washing, repeatedly checking things, excessive cleaning, and many others which make a significant impact on a person’s personal and social life.
OCD has many forms; the following are the commons symptoms:
- Checking locks, oven, switches, etc. repeatedly.
- Contamination, a compulsion to clean and being afraid to get in contact with dirt or germs, also known as Germaphobia/ Germophobia.
- Feeling uneasy without Symmetry and order in things around you.
- Intrusive thoughts: Obsessive line of thoughts. Sometimes the line of thoughts can turn violent and disturbing.
- Being constantly aware of blinking, breathing, etc. which usually should not be hard to ignore.
- Being suspicious of your partner without any reason to back your suspicion.
- Feeling a need to constantly count things like steps, certain coloured cars, etc.
There isn’t a concrete proof about the actual causes of OCD. OCD is found to be more common in women than in men and it generally is found to make teens and young adults its victims.
The risk factors for OCD, that we are aware of are:
- The brain becomes physically different than an average human.
- Tics (Tourettes)
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Psychotherapy: Thinking patterns can be changed by the help of Cognitive behavioural therapy. You learn to control your thoughts and compulsions.
- Relaxation: Meditation, massage therapy and yoga can go a long way in treating OCD.
- Medication: Your doctor may prescribe you some medications which might help you with this disorder. Some of these medications can take about 2 to 4 months to start showing positive signs but are fairly trusted reliable.
- Neuromodulation: In rare cases, as a last resort, when nothing else seems to work to fully cure this disorder, doctors will suggest you a surgical treatment that will change the electrical activities in your brain that was the reason for the disorder. The complicated procedure is rarer, such as deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are implanted into your brain.