Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), definition, symptoms and treatment

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), definition, symptoms and treatment

Who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ,, manifest obsessions and compulsions, which are recognized by the same individual who suffers them as “excessive and irrational” in nature, but to which he cannot oppose, and they present themselves as a discomfort that interferes with their daily routine and life, in their daily lives (working life, family, etc.).

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder that falls within the Anxiety Disorders in the DSM-V diagnostic manual.


  • 1 What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
  • 2 Types of Obsessions
  • 3 The most common compulsions
  • 4 Start and causes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • 5 OCD diagnosis
  • 6 OCD treatment

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

It is an angiogenic disorder, which makes those who suffer from it have a thought, fear or concern, which can discriminate as irrational, but that to overcome the anxiety that it produces, many times or always it develops an activity in the form of ritual.

As for those thoughts and mental images that you feel are disturbing and frequent, they are the so-called obsessions and the rituals that you perform to avoid them or decrease them in anxiety, they are called compulsions.

Types of Obsessions

There are many and varied obsessions suffered by OCD sufferers. These manifest in form of thoughts, fears and worries.

These obsessions are repeated very frequently and produce a great deal of anxiety in the patient, and although he often discriminates that they are exaggerated by reasoning in this way, he cannot nevertheless control his repetition, appearance and anxiety and anguish that These produce.

Here some more common obsessions, although in the clinic I have found some totally different from these:

  • Before dirt or germs, an excessive or exaggerated concern
  • Permanent doubt (if he closed the door, if he closed the gas, if he set the alarm, etc.
  • Rigorous in placing objects in a specific order, if someone changes them, he places them again
  • Fear of harming loved ones, although it discriminates that it would be impossible for them to harm them, for example their children, parents, brothers, etc.
  • It takes a lot of time to order tools, cutlery, wax, etc.
  • May feel intrusive thoughts that are contrary to their deepest values, or beliefs that may be religious, political, etc.
  • Thoughts of performing aberrant acts and totally contrary to their convictions

It is important to know that who suffers from OCD is clear that his intrusive thoughts and images are irrational, but this does not help him to stop or prevent them, he can not do it.

Then in the search for a solution, and as a way to get rid of them, it is then that he adopts compulsive behavior, and here the rituals appear.

Then and to make it clear, compulsions are repetitive and ritualistic behaviors that the patient performs and as a way to reduce or curb the anxiety that obsessions produce.

The most common compulsions

Here is an enumeration of the most common compulsions:

  • Wash your hands repeatedly
  • Check again and repeatedly that you have closed the door
  • Put in order all the objects of the cupboard (the kitchen, the bathroom, etc.)
  • Put the vase back in the exact center of the table, and observe from different angles that it is exactly in the center, equidistant from all points.

Task that can take you from minutes to hours, every day. This therefore affects him throughout his life of relationship, work, family, social, etc.

Onset and causes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

It usually begins in adolescence, or youth, but there are also cases in which it has occurred in children. There is no relation in terms of sex, that is, it occurs in both men and women and may have a family origin, although I have noticed in the several cases that have been presented in the consultation, which in many, not in all, could be assumed which is related to a very rigorous education, and I have also seen cases in which it has been related to violence in this education, on the part of the parent who manifested his behavior also obsessive and rigorous.

It is possible that OCD is also accompanied by other types of anxiety, phobias, sometimes manifests depression, and on the other hand it is also common that as a way to avoid situations of facing your obsessions resort to alcohol or drugs to relieve your anxiety, without success Of course.

OCD diagnosis

There are three characteristics that must be present in the patient to be diagnosed with OCD and are:

  • Your activity takes at least one hour a day
  • He feels a lot of anguish for his obsessions and compulsions
  • It cannot because of impediments of these develop a normal life

OCD treatment

Generally Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a method most used in the treatment of OCD. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that aims to help the patient change their way of thinking, feeling and behaving. Different treatment techniques are usually used:

  • Exposition. It consists in exposing the patient to situations and objects that activate fear and anxiety. Over time, the anxiety generated by these obsessive signals decreases and they significantly decrease the level of anxiety they cause. This is called habituation.
  • Response Prevention. Response prevention refers to the ritual behaviors that people with OCD use to reduce anxiety. This part of the treatment helps patients learn to resist the compulsion to perform these rituals.

Other techniques focus on purely cognitive therapy (CT). People who participate in this type of therapy work to eliminate compulsive behavior. This is done by identifying and reassessing your beliefs about the consequences of carrying out or not in compulsive behavior.

Once these intrusive thoughts and the meanings that the person applies to them are recognized, the therapist encourages the person to:

  • Identify cognitive distortions in obsession evaluations
  • Develop a less threatening and alternative response to the current intrusive.

Psychopharmaceuticals can also be used as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), anxiolytics and antipsychotics.

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