Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a common and chronic disorder where people have recurring, unwanted and uncontrollable thoughts (obsessions) or sensations that cause them to do some repetitive behaviors (compulsions). The repetitive behaviors include regular hand washing, checking on things again and again, always organizing, etc.
These behaviors can interrupt the smoothing functioning of a person’s daily-life. People with OCD generally have firm thoughts and rigid behaviors and not performing them regularly causes them distress.
Some OCD sufferers are aware of the fact that their obsessions and compulsions are not realistic but yet they just could not control them. On the other hand, there are people who believe that their thoughts and compulsions could be true.
Studies show OCD affects 2.2 million adults in the US. Along with traditional treatment, people also take cannabis products such as vapes, gummies, cbd oil to combat their symptoms. Now, let’s read about the symptoms of OCD –
Symptoms of OCD
Obsessions are recurrent thoughts, images and impulses that cause anxiety and excessive worry. People with OCD are aware that most of their thoughts are unreasonable but they can’t stop the pattern. The thought pattern of OCD comes in a cycle.
For a few weeks or days, you’ll be fine but after a few days those repetitive thought patterns will trigger you, causing symptoms of anxiety. Common symptoms include fear of germs, aggressive thoughts for oneself or others, unwanted thoughts involving sexual interactions, religion, etc.
Compulsions are basically repetitive behaviors that OCD patients feel the urge to do in response to a thought. Some of the common behaviors include-
- Repetitively washing your hands
- Checking on things like door lock, checking on the stove knob
- Organizing things till they’re perfect
A person with OCD generally spends at least an hour on their repetitive thoughts and ends up feeling helpless. Now is there any treatment? Yes. Read below-
OCD is generally treated by medications, psychotherapy or a combination of both, depending on a person’s personal choice.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the most common form of antidepressants given to OCD patients as these drugs increase the release of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates our moods, feelings, happiness, well-being, etc. Make sure you talk to your doctor about your condition and tell him all the symptoms you experience, so that he can give you the most-suitable treatment as per your condition.
Psychotherapy is another natural way of helping people with OCD. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is the most famous and widely used form of psychotherapy that teaches the patient a new perspective of looking at particular situations, making them less anxious and giving a positive outlook.
Based on personal preferences, some people might get a combination treatment of both medications and therapy, that generally works the best. Medications handle the chemical imbalance in the brain and while therapy gives a different outlook.
Doctors also suggest that taking medications along with therapy fosters fast results. Some even say OCD is incurable but following a proper treatment for a period of time and a changed lifestyle can improve things. There is always hope.