Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a chronic disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress that requires treatment.
Signs & Symptoms of OCD
You may or may not realize that your obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable, but they take up a great deal of time and interfere with your daily routine and social, school, or work functioning. These are the symptoms:
OCD Obsession Symptoms
These symptoms involve unwanted thoughts or ideas that disrupt your life and make it hard for you to focus on other things. These are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. Common symptoms include:
- Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands
- Fear of germs or getting contaminated by people or the environment
- Disturbing sexual thoughts or images
- Fear of blurting out obscenities or insults
- Extreme concern with order, symmetry, or precision
- Recurrent intrusive thoughts of sounds, images, words, or numbers
- Fear of losing or discarding something important
- Doubts that you have locked the door or turned off the stove
OCD Compulsion Symptoms
These symptoms involve things you feel you must do in a specific way in response to the obsessions. These are repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought. Common compulsions include:
- Excessive or ritualized hand washing, showering, brushing teeth, or toileting
- Constantly arranging things in each order
- Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it is off
- Checking parts of your physical condition or body
- Silently repeating a prayer, word, or phrase
- Arranging your canned goods to face the same way
Main Categories of OCD Symptoms
- Cleaning and contamination
- Symmetry and ordering
- Forbidden, harmful, or taboo thoughts and impulses
- Hoarding, when the need to collect or keep certain items relates to obsessions or compulsions
Types of OCD
These are the types of OCD and may include:
- Contamination – fears of illness, germs, and dirt.
- Ruminations – contamination or mental checking.
- Checking – Repeatedly checking or counting.
- Hoarding -Saving and collecting things even when they have no space or purpose.
- Intrusive Thoughts – Uncontrollable thoughts that can be violent or disturbing in nature.
Categories of Intrusive Thoughts:
- Sexual Thoughts
- Magical Thinking
- Religious Thinking
- Violent Thoughts
Categories of Hoarding
- Preventing harm hoarding
- Deprivation Hoarding
- Emotional Hoarding
Causes of OCD
There are many possible causes that include:
- Biology – A result of changes in your body’s own natural chemistry.
- Genetics – OCD may have a genetic component
- Learning – This is obsessive fears and compulsive behaviors that can be learned from watching family members.
Treatments & Therapies for OCD
Effective OCD treatments include:
- Medication is one of the treatments and it used the Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to help reduce OCD symptoms. This medication requires a higher daily dose in the treatment of OCD. It may take 8 to 12 weeks to start working. For faster recovery, talk to your doctor to make sure you understand the risks and benefits of the medications. Do not stop taking medication without talking to your doctor first. Report any concerns about side effects to your doctor right away. Report serious side effects to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone at 1-800-332-1088. You or your doctor may send a report.
- Psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for adults and children with OCD. types of psychotherapy may include:
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is also known as Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP).
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a supplement in the treatment of OCD in adults and it was approved by FDA last 2018.
Risk Factors of OCD
OCD has multiple known and researched risk factors. These include:
- Genetics. The risk is higher if the first-degree relative developed OCD as a child or teen.
- Brain Structure and Functioning. There appears to be a connection between the OCD symptoms and abnormalities in certain areas of the brain, but that connection is not clear.
- Environment. This is called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS). For more information, please read NIMH’s fact sheet on PANDAS.
Complications from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Problems resulting from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder may include:
- Excessive time spent engaging in ritualistic behaviors
- Health issues, such as contact dermatitis from frequent handwashing
- Difficulty attending work, school, or social activities
- Troubled relationships
- Overall poor quality of life
- Suicidal thoughts and behavior
At the We Level Up OCD Treatment Center, we provide world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope with OCD. All working as a team providing anxiety treatment for successful recovery. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
Your call is private and confidential and there is never any obligation.