Are You Suffering From Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Plenty of people enjoy routine and like things to be done in a specific way. This does not represent any kind of emotional issue, but when that routine turns into ritual, that is when you should start to seriously consider the possibility that you may be suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, commonly shortened to OCD, usually starts in your teens or in your early twenties, and it affects both men and women. The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person, and can also change over time. Symptoms include having recurring or ‘obsessive’ thoughts that make you feel anxious. These can sometimes be in the form of repeated phrases in your head, or specific images, and they are often unpleasant. Many people with OCD also have compulsions, which mean that they do things over and over again in a bid to try to make themselves feel less anxious, such as saying special words, counting, or hand washing.
OCD occasionally runs in the family but it can also be brought on by a stressful life event (about one in every three cases starts like this). Sometimes, an imbalance of the chemical in the brain known as serotonin can affect your wellbeing, and this can also be particularly the case after an important life event such as going through puberty or having a baby.
There are a variety of treatment options available, and the mildest of those is to employ self-help methods. This can involve writing down any troubling thoughts and working through them rationally, rather than giving in to compulsive behaviour. Alcohol is best avoided too as it can be a depressant.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is also useful for this type of disorder, as it helps you to change the way that you think about things, and to avoid negative, unrealistic or critical thoughts. Exposure and response prevention are often used as part of this, to help you gradually face situations and learn that anxiety can be overcome.
In some cases, antidepressants can also help to restore wellness.
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