What’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
What’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of mental disorder, where are people have uncontrollable and repetitive thoughts and urges (obsessions), as well as compulsive (compulsive) behaviors. An example of compulsive behavior is washing your hands 7 times after touching something that might be dirty. These thoughts and actions are beyond the control of the sufferer. Although the sufferer may not want to think or do this, he or she is powerless to stop it. In other words, OCD can significantly affect the life of the sufferer.
Causes and Risk Factor of OCD
OCD is a common disorder that affects adults, teens, and children around the world. Most people are diagnosed by age 19, usually at an earlier age in boys than girls. The exact cause of OCD is not known. However, several factors above affect the occurrence of this disorder.
OCD risk factors include heredity, brain structure and function (still unclear), and the environment. However, the thing that affects the most is the environment that does not support the psychic development of the sufferer as a child, when children are often humiliated or ridiculed for their imperfections. This can lead to a mutual feeling of wanting to do the perfect thing.
Symptoms of OCD
People with OCD have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both. These symptoms can interfere with all aspects of life, such as work, school, and personal relationships. An obsession is a recurring thought, urge, or mental image that causes anxiety. Meanwhile, compulsions are repetitive behaviors someone with OCD feels the urge to do in response to obsessive thoughts.
Common compulsions include excessive cleaning and/or hand washing, ordering, and arranging things in special and appropriate ways. Sufferers can also repeatedly check various things, such as checking repeatedly to see if the door is locked or the oven is off. Symptoms may come and go, subside over time, or get worse. People with OCD can prevent symptoms from appearing by avoiding situations that could trigger their obsessions, or perhaps using alcohol or drugs to calm themselves.
Although most adults with OCD are aware that what they are doing is unreasonable, some adults and most children may not realize that their behavior is out of the ordinary. Parents or teachers usually recognize the symptoms of OCD in children.
Diagnosis of OCD
Diagnosis Steps to help diagnose OCD are included in a physical exam. This can be done to help rule out other problems that may be causing the symptoms and to check for related complications. Next, laboratory tests are performed including a complete blood count (CBC), thyroid function tests, and screening for alcohol and drugs. Psychological evaluation, including discussing thoughts, feelings, symptoms, and behavior patterns. Diagnostic criteria for OCD are in the Diagnostics and Statistics of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Treatment of OCD
Unfortunately, OCD cannot be cured. However, sufferers can relieve symptoms that interfere with their activities by undergoing several treatments. Treatment for OCD consists of medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Although most people with OCD improve after receiving treatment, some people with OCD continue to experience symptoms. Sometimes people with OCD are also found to have other mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphic disorder (a disorder in which a person has the mistaken belief that a part of their body is abnormal). It is important to consider these other disorders when making treatment options. SRIs and SSRIs are two types of medications used to help reduce OCD symptoms.
In addition, several other drugs that have also been shown to be effective in treating OCD in adults and children are tricyclic antidepressants. Which are members of the older class of “tricyclic” antidepressants, and some newer SSRI drugs. If symptoms do not improve with this type of medication, studies show some patients may respond well to antipsychotic medications. In addition to drugs, psychotherapy is also effective for treating OCD in adults and children. Research shows that certain types of psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other related therapies (eg, habit reversal training) can be just as effective as medication for many individuals.
Research has also shown that a type of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP) is effective in reducing compulsive behaviors in OCD, even in people who don’t respond well to SRI medications. For many people, EX/RP is an additional treatment option when SRI or SSRI medications are not effective at treating OCD symptoms.
Prevention of OCD
There is no surefire way to prevent obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, getting treatment as soon as possible can help prevent OCD from getting worse and disrupting the sufferer’s daily activities and routines.