Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviours that feel compelled to perform. These thoughts and behaviours are often followed by rituals which are patterns of behaviour developed to relieve the anxiety generated by the original obsession. These cause tremendous distress, take up a lot of time, and interfere with daily routine, job, or relationships
Obsessive compulsive disorder includes many ritualized behaviours. These can be also called its types.
- Washers usually have a cleaning or hand-washing compulsions.
- Checkers repeatedly check things (oven turned off, door locked, etc.) that they associate with harm or danger.
- Doubters and sinners are afraid that if everything isn’t perfect or done just right, something terrible will happen or they will be punished.
- Counters and arrangers may have superstitions about certain numbers, colours, or arrangements.
- Hoarders fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don’t need or use.
Symptoms and signs of Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others
- Fear of causing harm to yourself or others
- Intrusive sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images
- Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas
- Fear of losing or not having things you might need
- Order and symmetry
- Excessive double-checking of things( locks, appliances, and switches)
- Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they’re safe.
- Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety.
- Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning.
- Ordering, evening out, or arranging things “just so.”
- Praying excessively or engaging in rituals triggered by religious fear.
- Accumulating junk (old newspapers, magazines, and empty food containers) or things not in use.
- Exposure and response prevention
It involves repeated exposure to the source of obsession. Then refraining from the compulsive behaviour usually performed to reduce anxiety
- Cognitive therapy
The therapy teaches healthy and effective ways of responding to obsessive thoughts, without resorting to compulsive behaviour
- Recognising obsessions and compulsive behaviours
- At that time engage yourself in other activities (at least for a few minutes)
- Stay connected to family and friends
- Practice relaxation techniques (meditation, yoga, deep breathing)
Obsessive compulsive disorder can be treated with Ayurvedic medicines like Vatkulantak ras, Chaturbhuj ras etc and dhyana.
Spending quality time with family, and involving oneself in kids’ work helps a lot.
Through interaction with fellow Obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers, group therapy provides support and encouragement and decreases feelings of isolation.