Could You Have OCD? Understanding the Invisible Struggle
Obsessive-compulsive disorder refers to the symptom of being unable to stop a particular behavior due to anxiety. This disorder is common enough to affect about 2% of the world’s population. However, many people hide their symptoms for fear of stigma or are unaware of their condition. We have looked into the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, its types, and treatment methods.
Could I have obsessive-compulsive disorder?
When you engage in repetitive actions as a means to alleviate obsessive thoughts, it’s referred to as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Obsessive thoughts encompass recurring and uncontrollable thoughts, images, concerns, or anxieties that persist even when irrational and undesired. Compulsive behavior, on the other hand, entails repetitive actions taken to mitigate or escape from these obsessive thoughts.
It can also occur in young children
In the case of children and adolescents, they tend to experience relatively less anxiety compared to adults. Instead, they often express regret and resort to repetitive behaviors to alleviate these feelings. Mild cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder may emerge during this developmental stage as the child’s brain grows and matures. However, if the condition becomes severe enough to interfere with daily functioning, it is advisable to initiate treatment early on.
Adult ADHD patients have a high probability of ‘hoarding obsessive-compulsive disorder’
ADHD is a mental disorder characterized by deficient attention, high distractibility, excessive activity in behavior, and challenges in impulse and behavior control. Recent announcements suggest that adults with ADHD may exhibit particularly severe symptoms of hoarding obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Furthermore, experts argue that individuals receiving treatment for hoarding OCD may go undiagnosed as ADHD patients. Given that OCD symptoms tend to worsen over time, it is crucial to understand the relationship between these disorders to facilitate effective and long-term treatment.
Common characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder patients
Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder often exhibit tendencies to overestimate both personal and environmental dangers. They may also have an exaggerated sense of responsibility for potential negative outcomes. These individuals often struggle to tolerate uncertainty and display strong perfectionist tendencies, attempting to control their thoughts, mental images, and impulses excessively. Furthermore, they have difficulty distinguishing between thoughts and actions and tend to place excessive emphasis on their thoughts while attempting to exert control over various aspects of their lives through their thoughts.
Cleaning Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Individuals with cleaning obsessive-compulsive disorder are often perceived as meticulous and excessively clean. They engage in frequent cleaning rituals, take lengthy showers, and struggle to endure any form of dirtiness. These individuals may repeatedly clean well-organized spaces and frequently wash already clean clothes. Handwashing is a familiar ritual, with individuals washing their hands dozens of times daily and showering for extended periods.
Alignment Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Individuals with alignment obsessive-compulsive disorder experience anxiety when they encounter misaligned objects. In the presence of two or more items, they are plagued by obsessive thoughts that compel them to arrange these objects symmetrically or at precise right angles. As alignment obsessive-compulsive disorder becomes more severe, the amount of time spent arranging items increases, diminishing their ability to focus on work or study and potentially disrupting daily life.
Diagnosis method for obsessive-compulsive disorder
If you wish to assess your symptoms, it could be helpful to consult a self-diagnosis chart based on the Obsessive-Compulsive Symptom Checklist developed by the National Institutes of Health in the United States. Evaluate the level of obsession according to the symptoms you’ve experienced in the past 30 days. If you are deemed to have a high level of obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is advisable to seek assistance from the Department of Mental Health.
Drug treatment method
The most effective drug treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder primarily involves using serotonin reuptake inhibitors to regulate serotonin. Patients typically see effects after 4 to 6 weeks, with more apparent impacts emerging after 8 to 16 weeks. It’s important to remember that treatment might take a long time, even if it doesn’t happen quickly. Also, due to frequent relapses, it’s advisable to undergo drug treatment for at least 1 to 2 years.
Non-drug treatment method
If patients combine cognitive-behavioral therapy with drug treatment, it lowers the recurrence rate of obsessive-compulsive disorder. This approach suits patients who experience significant drug treatment side effects or have difficulties with drug administration. In this method, patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder assess the validity of their automatic obsessive thoughts through cognitive and behavioral therapy. The non-drug treatment directly confronts and overcomes obsessive thoughts, making the patient’s willingness to improve their condition essential.
Is surgery possible?
Surgical treatment, used when drug and non-drug treatments are ineffective, involves operating on the brain area responsible for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Surgeons partially cut the brain area in the thalamocortical circuit that responds to pain to alleviate obsessive-compulsive symptoms. About 30 to 40% of patients experience the effects of this surgery.
By. Shin Young Jeon