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The monotonous pre-occupation Cycle. An appraisal on OCD
15 Jan 2022
The monotonous pre-occupation Cycle. An appraisal on OCD image

Leaving the house to buy groceries on a Saturday morning when you are bombarded with a million questions in your head. Did I leave the gas stove on? Did I turn off the lights, fans, TV, and treadmill? Do you find such questions throbbing frequently within you whenever you step out of your house? If so, then worry not, you’re like most people on the face of the Earth. But, what if your neighbor spots you standing in front of your apartment and asks you –

“Hey, is there something wrong with your door? ‘Cause, you seem to be going in and out of your flat a dozen times.”A sudden release of adrenaline rushes up your spine and the next moment you ask yourself “Am I alright?”

Washing or cleaning for a long period. Putting things in order or organizing them, redoing tasks, or even refusing to touch certain objects with bare hands are all linked to a particular kind of disorder or a ritualistic behavioral pattern 

Commonly known as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

The odd life of mr. clean

The levels of OCD in a particular individual can vary in different ways. From the fear of keeping numerous Google Chrome tabs open on a single-window to brushing teeth for more than a couple of minutes are all examples of OCD with a 4 on a scale of 1-10.  

Obsessions are ideas, images, or urges that repeat themselves and feel out of control to the person. OCD sufferers hate having these ideas and find them distressing. The majority of people with OCD are aware that their thoughts and actions are illogical. Obsessions are sometimes accompanied by strong and unpleasant emotions such as fear, disgust, doubt, or a sense that everything must be done picture perfect. 

Obsessions take up a lot of time in the case of OCD, and they get in the way of important things that the individual cares about. So this last point is critical to remember since it helps to establish whether someone has OCD, a clinical condition, or an obsessive personality trait.

Compulsions are the second domain of obsessive-compulsive disorder. These are habitual activities or beliefs that a person engages to neutralize, nullify or eliminate their obsessions. People with OCD are aware that this is simply a short solution. However, in the absence of a more effective coping mechanism, people rely on the compulsion to provide temporary respite.  Avoiding events that provoke obsessions can also be a compulsion. Compulsions take up time and interfere with key tasks that a person enjoys.

When should one worry about OCD symptoms? 

Scientists don’t understand what exactly causes OCD. A person’s chances of having the illness are projected by certain conditions, experiences, or cause an episode of OCD:

  • Changes in living situation, like moving, getting married or divorced, or starting a replacement school or job
  • Death of a beloved or other emotional trauma.
  • Illness (getting the flu, for example, will set off a cycle of stressing over germs and washing obsessively)
  • Low levels of serotonin, a natural substance within the brain that maintains mental soundness
  • Over-activity in specific areas in the brain
  • Problems at work or school
  • Problems with an important relationship

What should one do to get control of this behavior?

The treatment for OCD is a long way down the road which is quite understandable but a step-by-step daily plan or routine can surely work wonders and at the same time it requires the patient’s complete cooperation throughout the process.  

Talk therapy with a mental health professional can be a direct solution to provide you with the tools that allow changes in thought and behavior patterns. Many people benefit from cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and exposure and response therapy, both of which are kinds of talk therapy. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is aimed at allowing a person with OCD to deal with the anxiety associated with obsessive thoughts, rather than engaging in compulsive behavior.

What are the solutions?

Antidepressants are preferred to be the go-to solution during the early stages of OCD (even though you might not realize that you have OCD at that time). It doesn’t necessarily mean that you simply are depressed; it’s just that antidepressants also treat OCD.

It can take a few months for OCD drugs to start out to process. They can also offer you side effects, like reduced saliva flow and nausea. Take your medications regularly on a schedule. If you don’t just like the side effects or if you are feeling better and need to prevent taking your medicine, ask your doctor the way to taper off safely.

Therefore if you miss a couple of doses you’ll have side effects or relapse. Sometimes OCD doesn’t respond well to medication or therapy. Experimental treatments for severe cases of OCD include

  • Clinical trials:  You’ll join research trials to check unproven therapies.
  • Surgical implantation of electrodes: bring about deep brain stimulation 
  • Electroconvulsive therapy: Electrodes attached to your head offer you electric shocks to start out seizures, which make your brain release hormones like serotonin which ultimately help you reach a state of peace.

Conclusion

Talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist if you’ve got obsessions or compulsions. Confirm to mention:

  • How often do you experience the symptoms
  • How long do they last
  • If they cause you to be late for work or social activities
  • Whether you avoid social situations to reduce anxiety
  • Whether you’re coping with alcoholism or drug usage

OCD is probably a chronic, weakening condition that affects every aspect of your life. Symptoms can sometimes be severe. A combination of medication and therapy is typically quite effective, but it can take time to figure out. There are various promising new treatments for severe OCD.

A vital element of successful treatment is strong doctor-patient communication. It is also important to continue practicing what you’ve learned in therapy between the sessions. The bottom line is that you simply don’t need to remain stuck or unaffected. There’s help for severe OCD.

Ask your doctor about subsequent steps toward managing your condition. Be honest together with your healthcare provider about how the symptoms influence your life. Treatments are simpler when your provider understands how the condition affects you.

-Bibin Benny

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