If you’re like most people, you probably have a few quirks and habits that are just part of who you are. But for some people, their quirks develop into full-blown obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is a mental health condition that causes intense anxiety and distress. It can be extremely disruptive to your life, making it difficult to do things that other people take for granted. If you think you may have OCD, it’s important to see a doctor so you can get the right diagnosis and treatment.
What is (OCD)?
OCD is a mental health condition that affects about 1 in 100 adults and less than 10% of people who have OCD develop it after the age of 18. It’s a condition that causes intense anxiety and repetitive, compulsive behavior. If you’re affected, you might spend hours each day repeating routine tasks like hand-washing until they feel “just right” or checking things repeatedly to make sure nothing bad has happened. You may be so worried about leaving the stove on or locking your house that you can’t sleep properly or concentrate at work. Some people with OCD know the compulsive behavior isn’t rational but they still feel compelled to do it anyway.
OCD is a lifelong condition. But the treatment, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication, can help most people lead productive lives with the condition. This leaflet will help you understand what to expect if you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with OCD. It explains more about the symptoms of OCD and how it’s treated.
What causes (OCD)?
Scientists aren’t completely sure what causes OCD but they think that some combination of genetic and environmental factors probably contribute to it. A certain gene called SERT is involved in transporting serotonin, a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger), which helps nerve cells communicate with each other throughout the brain.
Environmental factors may also play a role in OCD. Traumatic life events, such as a death or divorce, can increase your risk of developing the condition. Stressful life circumstances, like moving to a new house or starting a new job, can also trigger OCD symptoms in some people.
How is (OCD) treated?
OCD is usually treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medication, and/or a combination of both. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps you change the way you think about and behave around your obsessions and compulsions. It’s thought to be one of the most effective treatments for OCD.
Medication, such as antidepressants, may also be prescribed to help control OCD symptoms. However, not everyone with OCD needs medication and some people only need to take it for a short time.
What should I do if I think someone in my family has (OCD)?
If you think that someone in your family has OCD, the best thing to do is to take them to see their doctor. The doctor will ask about the person’s symptoms and how they’ve been affecting their life. They may also do some tests to rule out other conditions that could be causing the symptoms.
If the person is diagnosed with OCD, the doctor will discuss the best treatment options with them. Treatment usually involves CBT and/or medication. Family members can also be involved in the person’s treatment by attending therapy sessions or providing moral support.
If you’re finding it difficult to cope, don’t hesitate to seek help from your doctor or mental health professional. They will be able to provide you with the support you need to manage your OCD.