Compulsive obsessive disorder a.k.a. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. In fact, it is normal for a person to go back and check if his or her car is locked, or the iron is unplugged on an occasional basis. But if you have to check and recheck if the car is locked or the iron is unplugged, you are suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. Compulsive behaviors and obsessive thoughts become so overwhelming that they interfere in your day to day life when you have OCD. This article provides information on compulsive obsessive disorder.
OCD is a certain disorder that is characterized by repetitive, ritualized behaviors and uncontrollable thoughts. Although you know that your thoughts and behaviors are irrational, you can’t seem to break free from them. Like a needle getting stuck in an old record, your brain is stuck in a thought and behavior pattern that are not serving you anymore. Obsessive thoughts are involuntary and uncontrollable. They keep on repeating themselves unnecessarily, and you cannot find a way to stop these thoughts. Unfortunately, these thoughts are also disturbing and distracting. Compulsions are behaviors that you feel compelled to act upon again and again. Most people suffering from OCD falls into one of the following categories.
- Washers – These are the people who are afraid of contamination. They suffer from cleaning and hand-washing compulsions.
- Hoarders – These people fear that something bad will happen if they throw away something.
- Checkers – These people repeatedly check things such as gas stoves, door locks, car locks, etc.
- Arrangers – These people are obsessed with order and symmetry. They may be superstitious about certain numbers, arrangements or colors.
- Doubters – They are afraid that if everything is not done perfectly something terrible might happen or they will be punished.
Although most people who suffer from OCD have compulsions as well as obsessions, some people suffer from just one of these things. The condition usually occurs during childhood or young adolescence. It may be related to a specific incident in their childhood life that they have forgotten already. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is the most effective treatment method for OCD. CBT involves two components such as:
- Response prevention – It involves the repeated exposure to the source of your obsession. Then, you will be asked to refrain from the normal compulsive behavior that you will perform under such circumstances. If you are a constant washer, you might be asked to touch the door knob of the washroom and then be prevented from washing your hands. As you sit with this anxiety, the urge to wash your hands will go away on its own. You learn to control your obsessive thoughts under such circumstances.
- Cognitive therapy – focuses on the catastrophic thoughts you feel. You will be thought healthy ways to respond to these obsessive thoughts.