Just what is OCD?
Although the cause of OCD is
technically unknown, obsessive compulsive disorder has been
known to be onset by stress and is defined as an anxiety
disorder. It is a condition that can affect anyone, no matter
their age, sex or social
If you have been
diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, you may be
wondering just what it is and where it came from.
Obsessive compulsive disorder, otherwise known as OCD, is
defined by the APA as "A mental disorder characterized by
obsessions and compulsions, repetitive, purposeful acts
performed according to certain rules or in a ritualized
manner." Although the cause of OCD is technically unknown,
obsessive compulsive disorder has been known to be onset by
stress and is defined as an anxiety disorder. It is a
condition that can affect anyone, no matter their age, sex or
social status. In fact, according to recent studies, OCD is a
leading cause of disability and affects approximately 5 million
people just in the United States alone.
OCD, like other anxiety disorders such as bipolar disorder, is
very complicated. There are numerous symptoms and not
every person has all of the symptoms. Generally speaking,
obsessive compulsive disorder manifests itself as the presence
of persistent and even obsessive ideas, thoughts, and images or
in extreme cases, impulses and irrational behaviors.
People with OCD many times become isolated because their state
of mind is apparent even without talking. It is not
uncommon for people with OCD to be very depressed because they
are at a constant war with themselves. They are
forever repeating the same thoughts over and over in their head
and when they are unable to stop thinking these thoughts; they
spend all of their time trying to get their minds on something
else. For this reason, people with OCD tendencies don't
always make the best of friends.
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder In fact, did you know that bulimia and anorexia are often associated with OCD because it normally starts as obsessive thoughts geared toward being thin and good looking? OCD can be a very debilitating disorder. Not only is the person bombarded by troublesome thoughts all of the time, but it can lead to serious behavioral problems such as cutting, eating disorders and the like. For example, kids may become obsessed with thoughts of becoming popular or staying thin. Although it is common for kids to go through generalized thoughts such as these, when the thoughts consume who they are, the issue is a deeper one and should be addressed. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Case Study
Where some people get into trouble is that they spend so
much time trying to curb their obsessive thinking that they get
into compulsive irrational behaviors, which takes their mind
off the compulsive thoughts. Unfortunately, it is really
a vicious cycle that never ends. It has been studied
however, that people with OCD can benefit greatly from learning
a new skill. Learning something new such as music, yoga,
or anything that takes a lot of concentration, can greatly
reduce or even temporarily eliminate the obsessive thought
pattern. If you or someone you love suffers from OCD, the
best thing you can do is keep their mind preoccupied on
something meaningful or at the least productive.
Many people think that perfectionism is the same as
OCD. Being a perfectionist can make you exhibit some of
the same behaviors as someone with OCD, however when you are
strictly a perfectionist, you can control your behavior.
Wanting everything the best it can be is one thing, maximizing
your potential is a great trait of someone who is defined as a
perfectionist. However, people that suffer from OCD
tendencies take perfectionism to a whole new level.
Breaking down because something has been moved or touched by an
outsider, numbering your socks or labeling them left and right
is way over the top. These are not uncommon behaviors for
people with OCD; it is however, not something a perfectionist
would relate to.
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