Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Many people would have heard about Obsessive-Compulsive disorder. Some think it’s exaggerated. Some other people think it’s cool.  The stone-cold truth is that this disorder is not as trivial as many people take it to be. This disorder affects about 2 million Americans, or 1% of them, affecting their daily lives. It’s not just about wanting to keep your room clean as many people believe; it’s more than that.

In this article, we would discuss what Obsessive-compulsive disorder really is, and what types of obsessive-compulsive disorders exist.

What is This Disorder?

This is a mental illness that makes you feel or think about doing something repeatedly. These habits can be perceived as “good”, or “bad” by other people. Some people have both obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals. These obsessive thoughts could always be counting your house’s ceiling partitions, and these obsessive habits could be checking if your door locked every five minutes. You may not like thinking about these things, but then you can’t control these thoughts and actions.

If you have OCD, these habits will take a good portion of your time every day, and you wouldn’t be able to stop it. It would also significantly affect your work life, social life, relationships, and other parts of your life.

Some symptoms include:

  • Irrational fear of germs
  • Aggression towards self
  • Compulsive counting
  • Repeating checking things
  • Excessive cleaning things

The next time you see someone being irrational about checking things, or wanting things perfect at all times, you should suggest they take a trip to a therapist, just in case.

Types of OCD

  • Obsessions: As we said before, obsessions involve you thinking about something repeatedly. Many people who have OCD know that their thoughts are obsessive, but they also think they have no power to stop them. Any attempt at abruptly stopping would propel them into sadness, and self-hate. Eventually, they would get back to doing it, sometimes more extremely. Some examples of obsessive thoughts include worrying about yourself or other people getting hurt, always getting aware of your breathing, and continually playing scenarios in your head.
  • Compulsive habits: These involve doing something repeatedly, in a particular order with little or no control. Like obsessive thoughts, many people with this variant know that they can’t stop doing these things, but can’t stop themselves. Some examples include feeling the need to count things like bottles, fearing touching things due to germs, and doing things in a specific order every time.

Who Is At Risk?

OCD is a disorder that can be found in people of all ages. They are diagnosed mostly during adolescence, from ages 19-25. Reports have shown that it is diagnosed earlier in boys than in girls. Scientists do not know what causes OCD, but some factors that can put people at risk are:

  • Brain Chemistry: In several studies, scientists have discovered that the brain’s frontal cortexes and subcortical structures in people with Obsessive-compulsive disorder differ from the norm. Scientists are still researching to determine how that difference affects OCD.
  • Environmental Factors: Although less common, an association between childhood trauma and Obsessive-compulsive disorder has been reported.
  • Genetics: Genetics, more or less have a large association with OCD. If you have an immediate relative with OCD, then the chances are that you got it from them. There has been further research to determine an even stronger association between Genetics and OCD.

What We Think

Suffering from OCD can feel like you’re running around in circles, and it could be your biggest weakness. If you think you are suffering from some or most of the symptoms mentioned above, it will help if you got some help through therapy, medication, and even support groups. You can begin to get your life back and turn the tables on this deadly disorder with these.

Jubril Lawal

Jubril Lawal is a content writer and strategist. He is a student of Obafemi Awolowo University, and is a mental health and human rights advocate.

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