Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Lewis Wright

Do you have to have everything in order?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental disorder that causes people to have obsessive, compulsive habits. These habits often govern peoples lives, and cause them to struggle with even simple tasks. Just in the United States, 2.2 million adults are slaves to this disease. The disorder causes peoples' brains to have increased activities in certain parts of it, resulting in, for example, having to have everything on your coffee table straight and line up with everything else in your house. OCD usually starts developing in adolescence to young adulthood, and is impossible to cure, though there are some treatments.

What's some quick statistics?

Here they are.

  • 2.2 million adults suffer from OCD in the United States alone.
  • It cannot be cured.
  • Usually starts to take effect in adolescence to young adulthood.
  • It can easily take control of your thoughts.
  • It effects millions every years.

What is OCD anyways, and how do you get it?

OCD is a mental disorder that creates a sense or drive to try to comfort yourself against irrational fears or anxieties by doing unrelated tasks. Though the causes are unknown, a couple theories have been raised. One such theory is that it comes from your natural biology. It says that your body stimulates certain parts of the brain more than that part is supposed to be stimulated, which causes the irrational fear or anxiety. Another theory is that your environment forms OCD. Weather it be infection heavy or full of stress, your environment may cause OCD.

Okay, what should I expect from OCD?

OCD sadly can create a multitude of problems for people. Here's a quick rundown of possible symptoms.

  • Germ-a-phobia. This creates an intense irrational fear of germs and illness.
  • Intense want of symmetry.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Sweating.
  • Mood swings.

And sometimes depression or suicidal thoughts

How can I get cured?

Unfortunately, the infamous OCD cannot be cured, but there are a handful of treatments to make it more bearable. Here's a quick list of those treatments.

  • Psychotherapy. This is a treatment that will expose you to your fear or phobia a little bit at a time over a long period of time. What this is supposed to do is to train your brain that your fear of phobia is as harmful as you may think.
  • Medications. When you take medications for your OCD, the medication you choose usually "numbs" the part of your brain that becomes hyperactive when you get exposed to your fear. The most common medication is antidepressant.
  • Both! When a doctor recommends this option, you take OCD medications but also have psychotherapy sessions.
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Fine then, if I can't get cured, what can I do about it in my normal life?

Even though patients can expect for it not to be cured, though they can look forward to the effects being reduced. You'll want to know that the long lasting symptoms of OCD is that your fears or obsessions never really go away, but constantly linger at least a small bit. For example, people without OCD may take one to two showers a day, while you take three or four. Because it can't truly go away, doctor suggest patients start going to a support group, or at least setting goals to complete, and that should help reduce some of the effects.

Okay, any last things I should know?

You should always keep in mind that OCD affects millions. Another thing to always know is that even if you don't have, you can still be affected by those who do have it. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a infamous and deadly disease, and we all should take a step to help those affected by it.