Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an illness that traps people in endlesscycles of repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions).
Althoughwe all have habits and routines that help us organize our daily lives, peoplewith OCD develop patterns of behavior that take up too much time and interferewith their daily lives. Obsessions are unwanted and intrusive ideas, images andimpulses that run through the person’s mind over and over again. Sometimes thesethoughts come only once in a while and are only mildly annoying, but at othertimes the thoughts come constantly and cause great distress. A compulsion is abehavior that is performed on purpose in response to an obsession. Peopleperform these compulsive behaviors according to “rules” they make upthemselves to try to control the nervous feelings that come along with theobsessive thoughts.Order now
Sometimes compulsive behaviors are called rituals. Forexample, a person may have a profound fear of germs and spend hours washing hisor her hands after using a public toilet. Rituals like this do make the nervousfeelings go away, but usually only for a short while. Then fear and discomfortreturn, and the person repeats the routine all over again.
Most people with OCDknow that their obsessions and compulsions are ridiculous and make no sense, butthey can’t ignore them. Most people with OCD experience common obsessions suchas: fear of dirt, germs, or contamination, fear of harming a family member orfriend, concern with order, symmetry (balance) and exactness, worry that a taskhas been done poorly, even when the person knows this is not true. Also fear ofthinking evil or sinful thoughts, and A constant need for reassurance are commonobsessions. What Causes OCD? OCD may be connected with an imbalance in a brainchemical called serotonin. Serotonin serves as a “bridge” in sendingnerve impulses from one nerve cell to the next, and in regulating repetitivebehaviors. The great improvement that people have when they take certainmedicines makes this idea more believable.
How can OCD be treated? Behavioraltherapy can be used to lessen unwanted compulsions. First, people are exposed tothe situations that produce obsessions and anxiety, and then they are encouragedto resist performing the rituals that usually help control the anxiety. Overtime and with practice, OCD symptoms gradually go away. The person with OCD mustreally want to use this method, though, to be able to tolerate the high levelsof anxiety that result.
Finally, family therapy is a way to educate therelatives of a person with OCD about their part in the recovery process, and howto deal with their own feelings of frustration and unhappiness.Psychology