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Debamita Banerjee

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Get Rid Of OCD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that causes a person to obsess over specific things or thoughts that builds a tendency in them to act compulsively. One might have the same thought playing in their head over and over again or the desire to do a certain action repeatedly. This can disrupt their peace of mind and prevent them from leading a normal daily life.  

OCD can surface in the form of things that seem illogical from an outsider's point of view. People can have urges varying from switching their lights on and off 5 times before going to bed or wearing the same pair of socks every day. These habits often feel nonsensical to others, but a person suffering from OCD cannot hold themselves back from such urges. They might start feeling like their whole life depends on it.  

Types of OCD  

There are majorly 4 broad categories that people suffering from OCD fall into.  

1. Checking  

Individuals with this type of OCD constantly keep checking on various things such as alarm clocks, games, ovens, safety systems, financial documents, etc. They might also live in a fear of getting infected with certain diseases or getting pregnant. They're perpetually worried about things going out of their control and causing them serious damage.  

2. Ruminating thoughts  

A person suffering from OCD might deliberate on the same thought over and over again. These thoughts are often negative and disturbing in nature. They might also instate a fear regarding something completely mundane in someone.  

3. Organization  

It's a great habit to stay organized in one's daily life but people suffering from OCD can tend to compulsively organize everything around them to achieve symmetry and perfection. Although, perfection is unattainable in real life and hence, the slightest disruption to their thought-out system can cause them to panic.  

4. Contamination  

People with OCD can be bothered by both physical and mental contamination. One might have an incessant urge to keep every surface in sight squeaky clean. Mental contamination might cause them to be fearful of particular thoughts or sights.  

Causes of OCD    

Medical professionals are not sure what causes OCD yet but certain factors can induce the condition or further aggravate it.  

Here are a few causes for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  

Genetic Endowment 

People with parents, siblings, or close family members suffering from OCD are much more likely to become a victim of the condition. Mental disorders of all kinds are heavily dependent on the brain's chemical activity, a lot of which is determined by genetics.  

Depression, Anxiety or Tics  

People who have had depression, anxiety, or tic disorders in the past, or are currently suffering from them are furthermore vulnerable to OCD. Depression and anxiety bring in a wave of negative thoughts anyway that are difficult to push off. These can eventually spread their roots in our brain so strongly that we start obsessing over them.  

On the other hand, Tics are repetitive motor or vocal movements which can break out in a person suddenly at any point in a day. As an individual gets used to the recurrent actions, it can over time cause OCD in them.  

Trauma 

If a person has suffered from deep trauma, then it can create inhibitions in their brain about certain things or places. They might also obsess over irrelevant things as a coping mechanism. Trauma can be caused by a variety of reasons such as the death of a loved one, major accidents, failure, etc.  

Brain Impairments 

Research shows that a traumatic brain injury can cause an individual to have OCD. In such cases, the OCD tendencies splurge pretty soon after the injury.  

OCD might also be caused by disparities regarding the size of various parts of the brain.  

Symptoms of OCD  

A person with OCD might show either obsessive or compulsive behavior solely, or both at the same time. It's important to note that just because you've had an urge to carry out certain actions recurrently does not mean you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A person suffering from OCD is severely distressed by their tendencies and spends at least an hour every day in pursuit of them.    

Here are a few symptoms segregated based on Obsessive and Compulsive that might emerge in a person suffering from OCD.  

Obsessive symptoms  

1. Fear of losing control and causing harm to oneself or other people.  

2. Harboring superstitions over what is lucky and what is not.  

3. Being scared of contamination by germs, dust, and dirt.  

4. Excessive attention to order and symmetry.  

5. Serious contemplation over religious ideas and what is morally acceptable.  

6. Intrusive sexually explicit, violent, and disturbing thoughts. 

Compulsive Symptoms  

1. Counting, tapping and repeating certain phrases to reduce anxiety or feel safe.  

2. Intemperate communication with loved ones to make sure if they're okay and alive.  

3. Spending hours cleaning and washing the same things repeatedly.  

4. Accumulating things that might be considered as junk such as food wrappers and old newspapers.  

5. Excessive checking of appliances, locks, and switches as one dreads any possible disaster at all times. 

6. Carrying out rituals out of fear for a supernatural force or religion.

Ways to getting rid of OCD   

There is no foolproof way to cure Obsessive Compulsive Disorder devised by science yet, but you can surely control the severity of your OCD and its impact on your everyday life. This can be achieved by a combination of self-help techniques, lifestyle changes, and medical treatments available.    

Some ways to alleviate and get rid of OCD are given below.  

Psychotherapy 

Based on your needs and preferences, consult a therapist who can help you with effectively managing your thoughts and urges that accompany OCD. Your therapist will likely include cognitive behavioral therapy in your treatment regime to help you alter your thinking patterns.    

You might be subjected to exposure and prevention methods where the doctor will put you in a situation tailored to set off your compulsions. You will then learn how to compose yourself in such situations.  

Practice Relaxation Techniques  

Getting rid of your OCD is all about conquering your mind. Through relaxation techniques such as yoga, mindful meditation, and breathing exercises, one can calm their mind and try to retain control over their thoughts and actions. It can also help you lower your overall stress and tension index.  

Identify Your Triggers  

Certain situations trigger an individual's OCD more than others. One must identify what provokes them most so that they can systematically get over their inhibitions. If you can anticipate your urges, then you're in control of the situation. You can avoid circumstances that bring out compulsive behaviors.    

Conquer your Fear Step-wise  

People suffering from OCD often feel like their world is going to crumble down if they do not listen to their obsessive and compulsive impulses. To conquer this fear, you must face it. Do it step-by-step so that you're not overwhelmed. You can also track your daily progress by journaling.  

Create a Worry Period  

Instead of trying to avoid your urges, try scheduling a particular time of the day when you give in to your OCD thoughts and behaviors. Let's say for 15 minutes you unabashedly let your brain obsess over the same idea but right after that you go back to your daily life and prevent yourself from going back to it. By maintaining the cycle, you can train your brain to effectively ignore your OCD tendencies whenever you want. Over time, you can also gradually decrease your worry period every day till it finally comes down close to none at all.   

Get Adequate Sleep 

OCD heavily drains a person out mentally and emotionally. To cope up with a mental condition so severe, you need adequate sleep every night. You can only retain your emotional balance when you're well-rested. Sleeping well also relieves you from obsessive negative thoughts during the period that you sleep and lets you have a break.

Reach out for Support  

When you're suffering from OCD, being alone in your struggles can cause serious damage to your self-worth because of your inability to stop seemingly absurd conduct.    

Confide in friends, family, and loved ones who are understanding and sympathetic regarding your condition. Isolating yourself might irk your condition. A healthy social life will help you stay accountable to make progress.  

 

Being listened to can make you feel better about your current mental state, but as a result of the stigma surrounding mental health, it is very difficult to talk about your issues with the people around you. They also lack the empathy to truly understand why you act the way you do. If you're looking for a place to vent out regarding your mental health condition amongst like-minded individuals, Visit www.iamears.com. Iamears is home to a community of kind people who can anonymously express all their concerns on the platform while connecting with people who've had similar experiences.    

Iamears also has a panel of experts and medical professions who use their experience to assist you with any concerns that you might have. You can also attend consultation sessions with talented and renowned psychiatrists and therapists.

Conclusion  

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a very difficult condition to go through. Patients often feel misunderstood and scared of doing things wrong, but through a systematic treatment approach, one can control their tendencies and live a happy and healthy life.  

Linked below is a video of renowned psychiatrist Dr. Ashish Mittal where he briefly discusses Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and its treatment options.  

References

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder after traumatic brain injury - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15276956/