Have you ever felt that something extremely wrong is going to take place and in order to avoid the situation; you ended up either repeating the task assigned or panicking too much. If yes, it means that you are suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD can be described as an anxiety disorder, which is quite common in people now-a-days. In this disorder, a person has involuntary, unwelcome thoughts, which result in certain compulsive behaviors that restrict or interfere with his/ her daily functions in the social, educational, and professional arena.
One of the most common mental disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder can disrupt the routine life of a person, if it takes a severe form. In this case, a person indulges in irresistible repetitive behavior, so as to avoid certain adverse circumstances from taking place, like washing hands to prevent germs from entering the body or checking the lock repeatedly to avoid thefts. However, the probability of the circumstances actually taking place tends to be zero or at the very best - minimal.
OCD results from either fear or distress faced by a person. Though the illness has been officially accepted by the medical fraternity, it can't be diagnosed using a blood sample, X-ray or other medical test. It can only be interpreted by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or a psychologist, using his/her medical judgment on the basis on the signs observed. In the following lines, we have listed the signs and symptoms of the disorder. If you find them in yourself or any person around you, know that it is the time to seek help.
Signs & Symptoms Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Fear of contamination by germs or dirt
- Disturbing sexually explicit thoughts and images
- Fear of causing harm to self or others
- Violent thoughts and images
- Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas
- Fear of losing or not having things that might be needed
- Obsession that everything must in 'order'
- Excessive belief in superstitions
- Intense fear of making mistakes or behaving inappropriately
- Double-checking things every time, like locks and switches
- Seeking assurances time and again
- Doing the same action repeatedly
- Checking in on loved ones, every now and then, to ensure they’re safe and sound
- Counting, tapping, or doing other absurd things, repeatedly, to reduce anxiety.
- Repeating certain words again and again
- Obsession with washing or cleaning
- Arranging and re-arranging things, in a specific way
- Praying excessively
- Engaging in religious rituals, triggered by fear
- Accumulating junk/ useless things
- Hoarding of possessions
- Avoiding taking responsibility for the simplest of tasks
Scientists believe that the situation can be triggered either due to some genes that are inherited from parents or from some changes in the body's own natural chemistry or brain functions. The genes associated with it are yet to be identified.
Insufficient Serotonin In Brain
This can be one of the major contributors of the illness. When the flow of serotonin is blocked, the brain's "alarm system" overreacts and misinterprets information. The ineffective communication between the front part and the inner structures of brain leads to ‘false alarms’ in the mind, resulting in unrealistic doubts and fears in the person.
A person can suffer from OCD owing to rigid cultural attitudes; say in context of basic cleanliness and neatness. The person’s attitude towards the same is thus shaped by his origin, which leads him to repeat his actions.