All About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
There are a few categories of symptoms that are common subtypes of OCD,
although it is important to note that OCD can assume many forms and is not limited to
the list presented below. These are:
- People who are afraid of contamination from germs, dirt, or toxins
- Those who need to repeatedly check that they and others are safe, such as checking that items such as appliances are switched off or that things are in the right position
- Those who are concerned that they might have made a legal or moral mistake, for which they will be punished or who those fear that they could harm someone else despite not wanting to do so
- Those who require a certain order or symmetry in order to feel safe or to achieve a ‘just right’ feeling
- Those who are preoccupied with religious, existential, sor superstitious fears or worries
*It should be noted that those with OCD may also suffer from other mental health conditions such as depression and other anxiety disorders. Sometimes, people with OCD may also engage in substance abuse problems in an effort to self-medicate and decrease their anxiety and distress.
If you, or someone you know, suspects they have OCD there are some ways of getting a professional diagnosis. There are a few tests that will be performed. Your medical doctor will likely do a physical examination, which can include things like taking a blood sample to rule out any physical health problems that might be triggering your symptoms. A therapist or psychiatric provider will ask you a series of questions to better understand your symptoms and may also administer psychometric instruments designed to clarify both type and intensity of symptoms.
It is important that you seek treatment from a mental health professional who is trained in the evaluation and treatment of OCD symptoms specifically, as these symptoms can be easily overlooked or misdiagnosed by practitioners who do not understand the condition.
Another way that people help identify Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is by taking online OCD quiz. Although, these tests do not provide a medical diagnosis of OCD, they can help sufferers quickly identify if OCD is present in their life, what level of severity, and which type of OCD they have. There are many different types of tests to help identify OCD.
What Causes OCD?
As yet, the research into what can cause OCD is still ongoing but appears to have both genetic and behaviorally reinforced components.
What Increases the Risk of Getting OCD?
There are a few factors that might increase the chances that you will develop OCD. First, your risks are higher if you have a blood relative that has been diagnosed with OCD, and OCD can be linked with other mental health conditions. For example, those with ADHD and social anxiety disorder also tend to be more likely to develop OCD.
Finally, it should be noted that the effects of OCD tend to become more pronounced when you are going through serious life changes. The more stressful a situation becomes, the more intense the OCD can become.
Getting the right OCD treatment is invaluable for your mental health and quality of life. Finding the right type of treatment and support is imperative to learning how to manage your condition and to live a joyful and meaningful life.
The gold standard treatment for OCD is Exposure with response Prevention (ERP), which will support you in gradually being exposed to your fears while resisting the urge to engage in compulsive behavior. This will be done in a controlled environment, with the support of a therapist.
A psychiatrist or medical provider can also prescribe medication to help manage OCD symptoms. Research shows, however, that OCD sufferers achieve the best outcomes when pharmacological and therapeutic strategies are combined to alleviate symptoms and teach you new skills to live gracefully with OCD.
OCD Recovery Tips
Once you are diagnosed with OCD, you can start your recovery. Part of this might include therapy or taking medication. But there are a few tips you can use to help overcome your OCD. First, it’s important to make sure that you can identify what triggers you.
Try tracking for a week. Take note of any event that stokes your anxiety and the type of compulsions it triggers. You might also want to record how long they last. If you can understand the situations that cause compulsive behaviors you can try to find ways of eliminating them from your life. For example, if touching a handrail triggers handwashing you might want to take a different way to work. It’s also important to learn when these compulsive thoughts emerge. This will allow you to relabel them. Sometimes, you might want to write them down on paper. Looking at phrases can remove their power. It can also allow you to judge the thought more subjectively, seeing how irrational your obsessions are.
Finally, you might want to try mediation. This can be a good way of reducing anxiety. Additionally, you can take a few deep breaths when faced with a stressful situation. Focus only on your breathing. This will help you center your thoughts and remain calm. Though it might take a while, these techniques can help you lower your anxiety level when faced with situations that would normally trigger compulsive behavior.
Track Your OCD Recovery Progress
As mentioned above, it is important to track your OCD recovery process so that you’re able to gauge that you are heading the right direction. One of the best ways to do this is to take our OCD Severity Test every other week to ensure that your number is going down, indicating you are in the process of OCD recovery.
OCD is a relatively common condition, affecting over two million Americans. Untreated, this condition can have a big impact on your life. Sometimes, these compulsive routines can take an hour. But there are effective treatment options that you can explore. Plus, there are some OCD recovery techniques that you can experiment with to help you better manage your compulsions.