Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive and frequent obsessions and repetitive and ritualistic behaviors.

Prevalence

OCD affects males and females equally, and affects approximately 2% of people at some point during their lives.

Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

Obsessions

An obsession is a persistent and unwanted thought, image, or urge that enters your mind and triggers distress.

Common obsessions in OCD include:

  • Fear of contamination
  • Doubts about harm occurring
  • Excessive concern with exactness or symmetry

Compulsions

A compulsion is a recurrent behavior or mental act that people with OCD feel they need to carry out to provide relief brought on by the distress of obsessions.

Common compulsions include:

  • Checking
  • Repeating acts
  • Mental rituals
  • Ordering or arranging things

Diagnosing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

A diagnosis of OCD is based on symptoms and is made after making sure there is nothing else going on that might be causing it such as other prescribed medications, drug use, or an underlying medical condition. 

Rating scales such as the Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) can be used to assess the severity of OCD.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Complications:

OCD often interferes with day-to-day life and can cause considerable distress. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed OCD in the top ten most disabling illnesses in the world. OCD can:

  • Prevent you from going to school or work and from socializing
  • Place a tremendous amount of stress and strain on close relationships
  • Cause health complications such as contact dermatitis from compulsive handwashing (out of fears of contamination)

Causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

The cause of OCD remains unknown.

It is thought that OCD results from a combination of the following factors:

  • Biological — such as a change in the chemistry of a person’s brain
  • Psychosocial — adverse childhood or adult experiences such as sexual abuse
  • Environment — such as infections

People who have a family history of OCD are at increased risk of developing this condition themselves.

Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective form of treatment for many people with OCD.
  • Exposure and response prevention (ERP), a component of CBT, involves gradually exposing you to a feared object or obsession and learning strategies and techniques to cope with anxiety in a healthy and adaptive way.
  • Certain psychiatric medicines such as antidepressants and antipsychotics can also help to reduce the symptoms and distress of OCD.

Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

Obsessions

An obsession is a persistent and unwanted thought, image, or urge that enters your mind and triggers distress.

Common obsessions in OCD include:

  • Fear of contamination
  • Doubts about harm occurring
  • Excessive concern with exactness or symmetry

Compulsions

A compulsion is a recurrent behavior or mental act that people with OCD feel they need to carry out to provide relief brought on by the distress of obsessions.

Common compulsions include:

  • Checking
  • Repeating acts
  • Mental rituals
  • Ordering or arranging things

Diagnosing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

A diagnosis of OCD is based on symptoms and is made after making sure there is nothing else going on that might be causing it such as other prescribed medications, drug use, or an underlying medical condition. 

Rating scales such as the Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) can be used to assess the severity of OCD.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Complications:

OCD often interferes with day-to-day life and can cause considerable distress. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed OCD in the top ten most disabling illnesses in the world. OCD can:

  • Prevent you from going to school or work and from socializing
  • Place a tremendous amount of stress and strain on close relationships
  • Cause health complications such as contact dermatitis from compulsive handwashing (out of fears of contamination)

Causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

The cause of OCD remains unknown.

It is thought that OCD results from a combination of the following factors:

  • Biological — such as a change in the chemistry of a person’s brain
  • Psychosocial — adverse childhood or adult experiences such as sexual abuse
  • Environment — such as infections

People who have a family history of OCD are at increased risk of developing this condition themselves.

Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective form of treatment for many people with OCD.
  • Exposure and response prevention (ERP), a component of CBT, involves gradually exposing you to a feared object or obsession and learning strategies and techniques to cope with anxiety in a healthy and adaptive way.
  • Certain psychiatric medicines such as antidepressants and antipsychotics can also help to reduce the symptoms and distress of OCD.
Source Mayo Clinic | WIKIPEDIA – Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale