What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and How to Deal with It

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, and rituals. The person affected becomes obsessed with unwanted thoughts and engages in compulsive behavior to relieve the anxiety caused by these thoughts. Although it is a coping mechanism, it is disruptive to life.

OCD Symptoms

People with OCD are likely to exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Fear of contamination that keeps them from shaking hands, touching surfaces, etc.
  • Fear of harm occurring that can make one obsessed with locking the door and turning off the stove.
  • Fear of dirt.
  • An excessive need for orderliness.
  • Obsession with exactness so the person rearranges objects, so they are symmetrical or facing in a certain direction.
  • Anxiety related to thoughts of anger, sex, religion, hurting oneself or others, and inappropriate behavior in public.
  • Cleaning
  • Washing
  • Repeating acts
  • Repeating words or phrases
  • Repeatedly checking stoves, windows, or door
  • Mental rituals
  • Ordering  or arranging things
What Causes OCD?

OCD can be caused by a variety of factors including:

  • Biological: The disorder can be brought on by an imbalance in the person’s brain.
  • Psychological: Psychological factors leading to OCD may be linked to a traumatic episode that occurred at some point in the person’s life.
  • Environment: Someone who has dealt with a severe illness or infection may develop OCD.

OCD is more likely to occur along with other mental health conditions or substance abuse. The risk also increases if you have a family member with OCD.

How Can You Treat OCD?

OCD is not easy to deal with but there are treatments available. These include the following:

Medications: There are various types of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications that can be prescribed for OCD. Patients are advised to stick to their recommended doses to keep symptoms under control.

Eat Well: The right foods will boost your mood keeping anxiety that causes OCD behavior at bay. It’s recommended to eat foods that are rich in protein as well as complex carbs. These will keep your body balanced and your blood sugar levels steady.

Sleep Well: Anxiety can make it difficult for a person to sleep while a lack of sleep increases anxiety putting you in a vicious cycle. You can promote better sleep by setting up a sleep routine. This includes relaxing before bed and creating a bedroom environment that’s conducive to relaxation.

Engage in Physical Activities: Physical activity keeps the stress hormone, cortisol, in check. It also boosts serotonin levels, promotes better sleep, and keeps you healthier overall.

Seek Support: Don’t be afraid to talk about your issues. You can reach out to a friend, relative or mental health professional. Communicating with someone about your problems will put things in perspective and lower anxiety levels.

It can be hard to keep OCD under control. But once you understand the condition and how to treat it, you will come closer to finding the best ways to manage it. Here’s wishing you optimal mental health and happiness.