Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Are you constantly repeating thoughts in your head, thoughts that are out of your character? Do you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again until you feel satisfied? You might have OCD. OCD is a mental illness that causes you to have uncontrollable and reoccurring thoughts and/or behaviours that you believe need to be repeated over and over again. The obsessive part is thought-based and the compulsive part is action-based.
You may solely have obsessions or compulsions or a combination of both. People with Obsessive-Compulsive disorder can see disruptions in their relationships and the way they live as a result of the obsessions and/or compulsions. OCD causes the focus to veer away from the importance of life and gear toward negative or repetitive thoughts and actions.
What are some of the common obsessions in OCD?
- Worries about contamination such as bodily fluids or germs and diseases
- A concern with getting a physical illness or disease
- Fear of losing control and acting violent or stealing things
- Unwanted sexual thoughts like forbidden or perverse sexual impulses about others
- A fear of harm, such as being responsible for a terrible occurrence
- Obsessing over perfectionism and performance, as fear of losing things or forgetting important information sets in
What are some common compulsions in OCD?
- Washing and cleaning compulsions, such as washing hands in a certain way for an excessive amount of time and cleaning objects excessively
- A need to check things over and over, like making sure you did not make a mistake or that nothing terrible happened
- Common repeating such as re-reading or re-writing
- Mental compulsions like mentally reviewing events to prevent harm to oneself or others
- Telling, asking, or confessing for reassurance
Why do you have OCD?
- OCD can begin for many reasons and some possibilities are listed below:
- Biology: You may experience changes in your body chemistry or brain function
- Environment: Infections
- Genetics: Specific genes
- Distressing experiences
You may realize your thoughts are a jumble of incomprehensible ideas, but you still can’t help but think and act in certain ways that follow your OCD pattern. It’s time to get help. The Family Psychology Place is here to get your OCD under control so that you can live your life without disruptions.
- OCD Treatments: A combination of CBT and medication have been known to help many people with OCD. Ask us as many questions as you need to fully understand why these treatments are right for you.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Our psychologists will teach you how to manage stress, problem solve, relax, and think realistically; all difficult actions to carry out if you are dealing with OCD. These learned processes will help you deal with any unwanted thoughts or actions when they creep in.
- Medication: Antidepressants are the most common medication for OCD but other medications that focus on anxiety are used as well. Speak to your family doctor first before taking any medication.
- Family and Friends: Keep strong ties to your family and friends, as being with loved ones is a great way to feel happy and supported.
- Extra-Curricular Activities: Spend time doing what you love; whether it be painting, writing, or reading. Doing what you enjoy will allow you to express yourself and feel a sense of freedom that OCD takes away from you.
When does OCD typically begin? It usually happens before you turn 40, but this can vary. Many people who have OCD typically start to experience it as a child. Children that have OCD may suffer from social phobia, depression, tic disorders, panic disorders, learning disorders, disruptive behaviour disorders, and body dysmorphic disorder. Children with OCD often worry far more than is normal. These worries might escalate as an adult.
It is important to learn how to deal with your obsessions and/or compulsions before they take over your life. Contact one of our friendly team members to speak on how our psychologists can help you with OCD so you can live a mentally healthy life.