Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder characterized by frequent and uncontrolled repetition of unwanted ideas, thoughts, or feelings. Until now, this syndrome has not been able to determine the specific cause, but if not treated in time, it will cause many negative effects on the daily life of patients.
What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, often abbreviated as OCD, is a special and quite rare mental disorder. People with this disease often have uncontrollable repetitive behaviors and thoughts. For patients, persistent thoughts and rigid behaviors and habits, if not implemented, will make them feel extremely uncomfortable and frustrated.
Many people with OCD have also shared that, even though they know their own behaviors are unnecessary or inappropriate, they can control and get rid of that obsession or stop their compulsive behaviors. self. Typically, symptoms of the disease will begin early in children, adolescents or adults, the average age is about 19 years old.
Although obsessive-compulsive disorder has little impact on health, it creates many difficulties and obstacles in patients’ daily activities, affecting their study, work and even life. Social relationships. Moreover, the syndrome is quite rare, in the world only about 0.05% of the population is affected. Accordingly, the proportion of women with the disease will be higher than that of men, specifically, women account for 1.8% and men accounted for 0.5%, subjects with high education and intelligence will have a higher risk of disease.
Take an example to make it easier to imagine a patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder. They will always ask themselves if they have locked the door, turned off the stove before leaving the house or not. They are always driven about it and sometimes have to go back home to check it properly. Even this can happen many times, even though they have checked very carefully before.
Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
According to research, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder will often have behavioral and thinking manifestations or even both. Although symptoms do not affect health, they interfere with work, study and many other aspects of life.
Some common symptoms seen in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder include:
- Constantly appearing images, thoughts in the mind with the nature of repeating in an uncontrolled way. This makes them feel anxious and extremely insecure. For example, fear of bacteria, germs, fear of dirt, obsession with numbers, etc. Some severe cases can even form thoughts of hurting themselves or harming those around them.
- In addition to thought disturbances, people with OCD may also perform repetitive behaviors and they are always driven by obsessive thoughts. Some of the more common compulsive behaviors in patients include constantly checking what has been done, washing hands excessively, cleaning constantly, keeping everything in order, demanding that everything be perfect.
Compared with people with normal health, the behaviors and thoughts of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder will be markedly different, such as:
- Every day they will be dominated for at least 60 minutes about the above-mentioned thoughts and behaviors.
- They may perceive the excess or inadequacy of those thoughts and behaviors themselves, but have no way of controlling them.
- When performing compulsive behaviors, the patient’s anxiety and stress will be reduced and vice versa, if not done they will feel extremely uncomfortable, angry, agitated.
- OCD patients seem to have no interest or interest in everything around them, including what they are thinking and doing.
- Their behaviors and thoughts affect their daily life and activities.
- In some cases, patients may experience symptoms of TIC disorders – abnormal muscle movements, repetitive but uncontrolled. This condition is characterized by abnormal eye movements, the patient will constantly blink or grimace, shrug, clear the throat, nod, snort.
Depending on each different disease condition, the manifestations of OCD will also be more diverse and richer. In addition to their abnormal thoughts and behaviors, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder still have stable health and intelligence. Not only that, they also have good organization ability, can pay attention to every detail and the symmetry of things. However, sometimes their excessive perfectionism can also cause many problems in life.
Be specific about the behaviors and thoughts that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder often do to help you identify, such as:
Excessive hand washing
OCD people are always obsessed with cleanliness and they think that their hands are always full of dirt and bacteria, so they will tend to constantly wash their hands. They will thoroughly clean their hands, wipe every finger and nail, constantly fearing unreasonably about germs that might appear everywhere.
Rigid house cleaning
Also because the obsession with cleanliness is too great, the patient will make up his own rules for cleaning the house and force himself to adhere to it rigidly. They will clean even when the body feels tired or even sick.
They are always worried about the appearance of germs and are fully equipped with cleaning tools to protect their home and living space. At the same time, if they cannot clean up according to the set rules, they will feel extremely frustrated, uncomfortable and worried.
Always feel the need to check
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder are often late because they have to struggle with checking electricity, water, gas cylinders, locks in the house. They tend to check the things they just had to do and even do it repeatedly (over 3 times).
Obsessed with numbers
The patient will be constantly obsessed with numbers, they will have the urge to count numbers about everything happening around, such as counting the number of people in the room, counting the stairs, counting the petals, etc. feel anxious and insecure when encountering numbers that they themselves consider unlucky and start thinking and obsessing about it for hours and days.
Excessive fear of violence
Perhaps all of us have a fear of violence, but for people with OCD, their fear is more extreme. They fear being abused by a loved one when they do something wrong, even if it’s just a small mistake. They always feel worried when their children go to school and leave their arms because they think that teachers and friends can beat them. At the same time, every time they go out, they are afraid because they are afraid that others will attack, abuse or sexually assault them.
If you have frequent outbursts of sexual situations that you don’t want or are taboo, you may have OCD. You can imagine having sex with someone you don’t even know, or someone of the same sex, a coworker, or a sibling.
Suffering in relationships
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder tend to make negative comments about co-workers or superiors. They will feel extremely insecure and do not know what to do to correct when they have made mistakes with others. They are overly obsessed and are always eager to know what the other person is thinking, so that they can feel more comfortable.
I hate my looks
This is also one of the common manifestations in OCD people. They always feel their body is ugly, the body parts are not perfect. At the same time, despite receiving compliments from the outside, they still do not trust and are always self-deprecating about their appearance. There are even many people who feel anxious, insecure and go to cosmetic facilities to surgically correct weaknesses on the body.
Note: Obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms often begin with small, everyday habits. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to observe in order to promptly detect the insecurities of yourself or those around you to quickly overcome effectively.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – What Causes It?
Until now, the cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder has not been clearly and specifically identified. However, based on the results of a number of studies, scientists have also found a number of factors that can increase the risk of disease as follows:
- Subjects aged 15 to 25 years.
- Women have a higher risk of getting the disease than men
- An imbalance of the neurotransmitter serotonin is likely to be responsible for the development of the disease.
- Genetic factors are also found in some cases.
Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Dangerous?
As shared above, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder will be characterized by repetitive behaviors and thoughts. Although currently scientists have not been able to determine the exact cause of the disease, it cannot be denied that it affects the daily life of patients.
This disease does not pose a direct threat to health like other mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, mania, etc. However, daily living activities, as well as The patient’s work and study performance will be strongly affected.
Some serious effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder include:
- Patients have to spend a lot of time on their superfluous behaviors and thoughts.
- The constant repetition of unnecessary behaviors causes them to encounter many problems in work, study, and relationships. For example, they are always late to appointments, unable to complete tasks on time, etc.
- Due to distorted thoughts, the sex life of OCD people also becomes abnormal.
- Increased conflicts in family and social relationships
- Effect on appearance
- There is a risk of harming yourself or those around you.
- Difficulty adapting and harmonizing with self-obsessions.
- Making the patient feel anxious, stressed, and long-term can trigger depression.
Although the effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder are many, most patients will not experience too many severe effects, mainly affected and impaired in quality of life.
Diagnosis and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder
Typically, symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder begin between the ages of 15 and 25, and men have an earlier relapse rate than women. Although there are many symptoms to recognize, this disease can also be easily confused with people’s daily habits.
To be able to determine specifically whether you are suffering from this disorder, you need to directly go to a hospital, a specialized facility for a full examination and examination. If the disease is suspected, the doctor will conduct a clinical examination.
The diagnosis of OCD is usually made by a neurologist or psychiatrist. Depending on the patient’s trust in the doctor, the diagnosis time will also be different. Especially for young patients, it takes a lot of time for children to share and talk about their obsessions.
After giving the most accurate diagnosis, the specialist will advise and give the most suitable treatment for each different case. Usually, medication and psychotherapy are the two most frequently used methods for cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Currently, psychotherapy is considered to be the most effective and safest measure, which is regularly applied to most cases of mental disorders, including OCD. In many countries around the world, this therapy is currently being used to help patients adjust their thinking and perception, reduce the likelihood of developing dangerous complications and prevent side effects when using them. treatment drugs.
Often, for OCD patients, psychologists will prioritize cognitive and behavioral therapy.
- Cognitive therapy: Helps patients assess and re-evaluate their anxiety levels and dangers about surrounding objects and phenomena. As a result, they reduce obsessive thoughts about bacteria, germs, cleanliness, etc.
- Behavioral Therapy: Includes 2 skills, one is to reveal obsessive thoughts to reduce stress, the other is to implement some relaxation techniques to stop compulsive thoughts and behaviors.
Patients will be able to talk directly with a psychologist to talk about their own thoughts and feelings. From there, experts will help them control their worries and fears and gradually adjust their thoughts and behaviors more appropriately. In addition, psychologists also help patients improve some necessary skills, such as communication skills, relaxation skills, skills to deal with difficulties, management and arrangement of work, time. so that they can quickly settle down.
2. Use of therapeutic drugs
In some cases of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, medication may also be considered to alleviate symptoms of instability. However, there are currently no drugs specifically recognized for the definitive treatment of OCD, but they are only used with a temporary improvement effect, preventing the progression of the disease.
Therefore, the use of drugs still needs to be applied in parallel with psychotherapy to bring the best effect. Currently, drugs of the tricyclic antidepressant or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors group will be the most commonly used. Certain medications such as Fluoxetine, Clomipramine, Sertraline, Paroxetine, or Fluvoxamine.
However, most of these drugs have the potential to cause some unwanted side effects. Therefore, patients need to be really careful during use and strictly follow the instructions of the specialist. If you have any problems while taking the medicine, you should notify your doctor for prompt treatment.
3. Home improvement
In addition to good application of specialized treatment methods, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder also need to know how to improve themselves and improve their quality of life at home by the following ways:
- Share your health status with friends and family members, only then will you receive their sympathy and support. Their words of encouragement, encouragement and some supportive actions will greatly contribute to improving the effectiveness of the treatment process.
- You should also learn to take notes of everything around you, about the things you have just done to reduce anxiety and insecurity, thereby limiting compulsive behaviors.
- Actively participate in healthy and rewarding social activities to prevent time spent thinking and performing abnormal behaviors.
- Try to improve the quality of sleep, sleep on time, avoid staying up late to get a comfortable mind, full of positive energy.
- Regular exercise is also an effective way to help you improve your physical health and balance your psychological state.
- Eat a nutritious diet, supplement with foods rich in vitamins and minerals, increase the intake of green vegetables, nutritious vegetables and fruits.
- Take time to rest and relax after tiring and stressful working hours.
Here is some information about obsessive-compulsive disorder. The early diagnosis of the disease will greatly contribute to the treatment process and increase the effectiveness of the treatment methods.