Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic illness, characterized by a pattern of unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsession), leading to repetitive behaviors (compulsion). There is a difference between being a perfectionist, who is driven by doing things a certain way to attain perfection, and having an OCD. The effects of OCD interfere with the person’s day to day life, leading to poor work abilities and social relationships.
Obsessive Thoughts Lead To Compulsive Behaviors
The basic mechanism behind OCD is that the person going through is prone to uncontrollable thoughts like fear, overconcern, and cleanliness, leading to respective behaviors like rechecking on things, and cleaning surfaces. As a result, for every obsessive thought, the person shows a compulsive behavior.
Below are the symptoms of OCD which require medical help, and should be taken seriously, if you or a close one is experiencing it.
Symptoms That Confirm You Have OCD
Anxiety is one of the most prominent symptoms of OCD. This refers to having a constant fear of certain things going terribly wrong. For example, rechecking the stove repetitively to ensure it is switched off.
2. Fear Of Contamination
Fear of dirt, germs, or body odor, forces them to wash hands, brush teeth, or take showers repeatedly. Constant exposure of skin to water and soap further leads to problems like dermatitis.
3. Fear Of Bad Thoughts
The constant fear of bad thoughts, or doing something embarrassing, makes them check the doors, lights and other electrical appliances to ensure they are closed or turned off. It also makes them self-conscious, forcing to check the zippers/buttons of the bag or clothing consistently.
4. Worry About Neatness
Their concern of having things neatly arranged in an exact order, forces them to clean surfaces, rearrange stuffs, and recount them often.
5. Need For Approval
They seek approval for their behavior, and feel an urge to apologise. As a result they tend to ask the same question, or talk about the same thing over and over again.
6. Fear Of Hurting Self Or Others
The fear of bad thoughts further extends to the fear of harming self or others, and so, they avoid public places, and take extreme measures to not harm themselves.
7. Practice Uncommon Things
They silently pray often, or follow a particular religious ritual through out the day. Hoarding the newspaper is yet another symptom.
Having OCD can eat up a major amount of time every day, affecting the quality of life. Depression along with OCD can be life threatening, since the chances of suicidal thoughts are at the peak. Identification of symptoms, and taking adequate medical help reduces the illness to a maximum extent. However, few symptoms may still be prevalent, although at milder intensities.