Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD

What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder of the brain and behavior. OCD causes severe anxiety in those affected. OCD involves both obsessions and compulsions that take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person values.

How dose it feel having OCD?

Imagine that your mind got stuck on a certain thought or image…

Then this thought or image got replayed in your mind over and over again no matter what you did

Along with the thoughts come intense feelings of anxiety…

Anxiety is your brain’s alarm system. When you feel anxious, it feels like you are in danger. Anxiety is an emotion that tells you to respond, react, protect yourself, DO SOMETHING!

On the one hand, you might recognize that the fear doesn’t make sense, doesn’t seem reasonable, yet it still feels very real, intense, and true…Why would you have these feelings if they weren’t true? Feelings don’t lie… Do they?

Unfortunately, if you have OCD, they do lie. If you have OCD, the warning system in your brain is not working correctly. Your brain is telling you that you are in danger when you are not.

When scientists compare pictures of the brains of groups of people with OCD, they can see that some areas of the brain are different than the brains of people who don’t have OCD.

Those tortured with OCD are desperately trying to get away from paralyzing, unending anxiety…


Obsessions and compulsions?

Obsessions are thoughts, images or impulses that occur over and over again and feel outside of the person’s control. People with OCD do not want to have these thoughts and find them disturbing. In most cases, people with OCD realize that these thoughts don’t make any sense. Obsessions are typically by intense and uncomfortable feelings such as fear, disgust, doubt, or a feeling that things have to be done in a way that is “just right.” In the context of OCD, obsessions are time consuming and get in the way of important activities the persons life. This last part is extremely important to keep in mind as it, in part, determines whether someone has OCD a psychological disorder, rather than an obsessive personality trait.
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