That urge to check on your door even after locking it, double check on the gas burner or washing your hands for fear of germs might be plain good habits, but be on the lookout, for these obsessions might become compulsions. And when obsessive compulsions consume more than an hour the day, then one is said to be affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
OCD is a mental health disorder that can affect people of all ages and walks of life, and it occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are redundant, interfering thoughts, images or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in an attempt to get rid of the obsessions so that the distress is decreased.
Due to its symptoms, one often tends to overlook OCD or misunderstand the disorder, making way for a lot of myths about it. In common terms, anyone who has an extra sense of hygiene or tends to wash ones hands more number of times is labelled as OCD, but technically that alone does not mean anything. In fact most of those affected with OCD are also hoarders by nature, they can’t throw away even the most redundant of things as a result neatness and cleanliness around them does go for a toss. So contrary to popular myth, those who are super clean and neat are not OCD affected.
General notion is that women are the ones more prone to OCD, but the fact is that both men and women are equally prone to acquire OCD. What causes this however, is still unclear. Most of it is said to be the genes, which play a role in triggering this disorder. But some other factors like certain illness or daily life stresses may be reasons to induce the activity of the concerned genes that play a role in triggering OCD. According to psychiatrists, OCD is a brain disorder wherein the communication between the front part of the brain and its deeper structures is impaired.
The onset of OCD can be seen from anywhere between preschool age to early 20’s. It is rarely seen to develop after that. Though OCD can be seen in children as well, it is mostly seen after the age of 6 years. It is said that globally about 2.3 per cent of the population gets affected with this at some point in their life. But the positive thing about OCD is that it is completely treatable, so identifying the disorder and seeking medical intervention is the best thing to do. Treatment mechanism for OCD includes Cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling and some medications.
So watch out for those repetitive thoughts or actions, if they consume way too much of your time, then maybe it’s not a simple obsessive compulsion.
Common myths about OCD: