A Brief Introduction To Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Today we veer from the usual fitness-related topic to have a discussion about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). While perfectionism is something we all have from time to time, OCD is the equivalent of having that on steroids. Although this is a niche topic, we have found an article online about this, which the author has kindly allowed us to print. Here goes:

“People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, aren’t crazy. They simply have persistent behaviours that upset their daily lives. OCD ranges from very mild to severe, and some have even suggested that everyone has OCD, but it is simply a matter of controlling your thoughts and actions so that you can live a normal life.

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OCD, as its name implies, has two main components—the obsession and the compulsion. The obsession component is usually a fear or desire, such as the fear to contamination or the desire to be perfect. The compulsion is the repetitive behaviour that is a result of the obsession. For example, someone with the fear that a loved one will die may feel a compulsion to always count everything to a certain number. They irresistibly feel as though their loved one will somehow die if they do not count to this number.

Obsessions and compulsions can sometimes be relieved with rituals, which may help to temporarily relieve the stress. Although many people will joke that they “have OCD” when they are nit-picky about cleaning or do something odd, sever OCD is truly no laughing matter. A person who suffers severely from this condition will probably not be able to work, go to school, live alone, drive, or even go out in public.

OCD is chronic, although many people try to hide their symptoms from others and stop the compulsions at the very least. Most people with OCD understand that they are being irrational, but they just can’t help it. What causes OCD to develop in the first place? While many originally thought it was due to childhood environmental conditions, it is now reported that a specific neurological problem may be the cause. More than one factor is probably at work here and although there are treatments, there are no known cures to OCD.

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It is no surprise then that many sufferers prefer to remain at home. However, if you stay home all the time, you are actually hurting yourself even more. There are many ways to OCD-proof your home in order to move forward with your treatment and with overcoming OCD in your life completely.

First, you need to identify your obsessions. People obsess with everything from fear of dying to germs. Your obsessions will be the things you think about all the time, even when you wish you weren’t thinking about them. Next, identify your compulsions. Compulsions will be things that you feel like you must do because of you obsessions.

For example, you may feel like you need to clean you bathroom a certain number of times a day or say a phrase a certain number of times repeatedly. Knowing your specific obsessions and compulsions is not difficult, but it is nevertheless the first step to helping to improve your condition while at home.

OCD might become a regular part of your life while you are at home where as you might be able to control yourself more readily when you are in public. Why? You may simply find it embarrassing to give in to your obsessions when you are around other people. That proves that you can actually have control, you just don’t want to, for whatever reason, when you are at home.

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To combat this, invite friends into your home often. When your home becomes essentially, a public place, you’ll be less tempted to give in to your obsessions and compulsions, and over time your brain will be automatically programmed to perceive your home as somewhere where these activities are not ok.

Another great way to combat OCD in the home is to purchase a stopwatch. Whenever you begin to obsess about something stop the watch, and when you’re back in control, stop the watch. Do this throughout the day and then every night check out your total time for the day. You may be surprised about the time you’ve been wasting!

Chart your progress and keep in mind this waste whenever you begin to obsess—you could be doing more enjoyable things with your time. OCD affects everyone, not just you, so by stopping your OCD behaviour in the home you can work on a positive step towards recovery for yourself and those around you. Getting help, however, is very important.

With medication, behavioural therapy, and counselling, patients with OCD can truly start to lead somewhat normal lives one again. Talking to your doctor about your OCD concerns is the first step to controlling your life and health. At the very least, talk to a friend. He or she may be able to help you take the right steps toward treating your OCD.  This disorder can be devastating, but with a little hard work, one can overcome OCD.”

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