OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Commonly know as OCD. Obsessive compulsive disorder displays as the need to control some or many aspects of life. This is displayed through obsessive thoughts, tidying, counting, constant bouts of cleaning the house or your surroundings or concerns about personal hygiene. To name a few

Some of us are quite obsessive about getting things just right, tidy, clean in the right order, having the correct number etc. A trait which can be useful and beneficial in many settings People who constantly tidy the house, or cannot bare to see furnishings out of position can be behaving compulsively.


For some people this extends to constant cleaning or ordering sessions which disrupt theirs and the lives of others.


There are two parts to OCD Obsession and Compulsions.


Obsession can just be the thought part. Obsessive thoughts can be ideas or images. They could be about harming others, not having done something such as turning off the light or locking the door. One client I had had thoughts about touching a young child inappropriately. He could not remove the thoughts from his mind. But he never carried out the action and was appalled by the idea.

The ideas are easily recognise as inappropriate and dismissed but they keep coming back into mind again and again.


Compulsions

Are where the action is carried out in a ritualistic way. These can include the following and other very personal specific compulsions

Hand washing

Checking to see if things are turned off

Door lock checking /security

Counting to a certain number before something maybe carried out

House cleaning

Showering / bathing to ensure there is no contamination

People who react in these ways are often secretive about it. They know that they are sane but have a fear that their ways of doing things are a sign of madness.


What we have here is a stuck way of behaving. We all behave in habitual ways but these do not generally limit our lives. Usually they make it easier to just carry out our daily routines. But with OCD these routines can really limit our lives.


The best kinds of changes seem to be brought about by a mix of talking therapy and medication.


As with other types of anxiety a sense of depression may also add to the to the comlexity of the picture.


As with other similar disorders I would suggest the following


Practice a relaxation or medication technique


Build in an exercise programme to your weekly routine


Reduce caffeine and other stimulants and sugary foods


Begin to tackle negative self talk.

 


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