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How to overcome obsessive-compulsive disorder?

We've all experienced instances when we focused on a certain thing - something the boss said at work, a song that ran in your brain all day, or an important impending event. And we've all experienced the sensation of feeling driven to do things just one more time - making sure the oven is off or checking just once more that the front door is secured.


What is obsessive-compulsive disorder?

OCD is a disorder in which a person has recurrent and uncontrolled thoughts and actions that impair normal function, lowers the quality of life, or both. The illness derives its name because the repeating ideas (obsessions) lead to repetitive acts, called compulsions. It's relatively common, affecting approximately 1 per cent of the population; roughly half of the cases occur during childhood or adolescent years.

The etiology of OCD is uncertain. However, a variety of risk factors have been found, including a history of OCD in a parent, sibling, or kid, especially if the relative had the condition as a child. Previous history of physical or sexual abuse, recent Streptococcal infection (while most strep infections do not cause or aggravate OCD) (though most strep infections do not cause or worsen OCD) and specific brain abnormalities (as revealed by MRI or other imaging techniques) (as demonstrated by MRI or other imaging tests).


The Four Steps to Overcoming OCD by Dr Jeffrey Schwartz
Relabeling 
Reassign.
Refocus
Revalue


I am always washing my hands and sanitizing my surroundings. Do I suffer from OCD?

What are 5 of the main symptoms of OCD?

Signs and symptoms: Some individuals with OCD have both obsessions and compulsions, whereas others are more troubled by one or the other. Over time, symptoms may improve or deteriorate. Many persons with OCD are aware that their ideas are irrational, yet they can only alleviate their worry about the obsessions by engaging in repetitive actions.

Obsessions that are frequently seen include the following:
*Wanting to have things done in a particular way. 
*Fear of contaminating or exposing oneself to filth.
*Doubt and an inability to tolerate ambiguity.
*Having to keep everything in order and symmetrical.
*worrying about germs. 
*Aggressive or frightening ideas of losing control and doing damage to yourself or others.
*Unwanted thoughts, including violence, or themes of sexual or religious nature.

Compulsions that are frequently seen include the following:
Repeated handwashing or cleaning of objects.
Rearranging objects repeatedly to ensure they are perfect.
Order rechecking that something has been done correctly, such as packing and repacking a bag.


What test is used to diagnose obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Diagnosis: While some of the thoughts and actions reported by persons with OCD are typical in healthy individuals, OCD should be addressed when the following occur:

Uncontrolled impediment to regular functioning that consumes significant time (for example, one hour or more each day) and is persistently present.

Doctors establish diagnoses using particular tests and criteria.

My adolescent son recently received an OCD diagnosis. Is this a condition he will have for the rest of his life?

Duration/Prognosis Expected: While OCD can last a lifetime, children and young people have a better outlook. 40% of these individuals recover completely by maturity. The majority of persons with OCD improve significantly with therapy, whereas only around 1 in 5 resolves spontaneously. When OCD develops in childhood, it can result in lasting social and developmental difficulties. For instance, young individuals with OCD may struggle to connect with their classmates, forming connections and relationships, and performing poorly in school. They may later find themselves unable to keep a job.


My family has a history of OCD. How can I avoid getting this condition?
How can I avoid getting this condition?

Prevention: There is no known method to prevent OCD from developing. However, avoiding some stressful circumstances may help prevent symptoms from being triggered, and therapy may help prevent symptoms from intensifying.

Is there a therapy for OCD that is effective?
Treatment: Psychotherapy, medicine, or a combination of the two is the standard treatment for OCD. Generally, therapy is effective. Many persons who have OCD also have an anxiety disorder or depression, and the presence or absence of these additional illnesses may influence treatment choices.

Certain "self-help" approaches, such as increasing awareness of "triggers" and learning how to avoid them, as well as employing relaxation techniques, yoga, and massage to alleviate OCD-related anxiety, may be useful.

Psychotherapy frequently incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioural treatment, including the following:

Education about OCD and the benefits of cognitive behavioural treatment.
Exposure and response prevention is a technique in which a person is exposed to events that trigger symptoms while learning that abstaining from obsessive activity would result in no damage. For instance, an individual may be exposed to an unlocked front door and urged to lock it only once. While this may create anguish (because of the inability to continually check and relock the door), the absence of harm may eventually reduce the urge to relock the door frequently.

Cognitive therapy is meant to assist individuals with OCD in reevaluating their erroneous ideas regarding their obsessions. For instance, discussing how locking the door once is sufficient to secure the house and how not locking it repeatedly is unlikely to result in a break-in.



Medications that may be effective for OCD include:
fluoxetine
fluvoxamine
sertraline
clomipramine
venlafaxine
risperidone.

While medication therapy can be beneficial, side effects are frequent, and it may take time to find the most effective and well-tolerated medicine.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a research-based treatment option for patients with severe OCD symptoms who do not improve sufficiently with medication or counselling. DBS involves implanting electrodes into particular regions of the brain by a surgeon, which enables the administration of electrical impulses to stimulate or inhibit certain areas. For unknown reasons, this technique may be beneficial for those who suffer from OCD.


The Conclusion
OCD is a prevalent and possibly severe disorder in which a person has recurrent and uncontrolled thoughts and repeated actions that impair normal functioning. The disease may be caused by aberrant brain activity, be hereditary, or be induced by infections or other environmental causes. Psychotherapy, medicine, or a combination of the two is typically beneficial.



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