OCD is a disorder in which a person has recurring unwanted thoughts or sensations that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (the compulsions). It has been suggested that OCD symptoms are in these main categories: cleaning and contamination, symmetry and ordering, forbidden or harmful thoughts and impulses. These behaviors take time and joy from a person’s life. The person does these behaviors because they believe they cannot stop. These behaviors infer with all areas of the person’s life.

Obsessive thoughts may include worries about yourself or other people getting hurt or you hurting others, suspicion about a partner or others without validation, or constant awareness of body sensations. Compulsive habits may include doing tasks in a specific order every time or doing them a certain number of times, needing to count things such as steps or adding car tag numbers or fear of touching doorknobs or other public objects, excessive cleaning or handwashing.

The person believes they cannot control the thoughts or behaviors, even though they recognize these behaviors are excessive. They do not get pleasure from these rituals or behaviors; however, they may feel brief relief from the anxiety caused by the thoughts. They are aware that these behaviors create problems and increase the long-term anxiety in their lives. OCD creates problems for the person with this disorder and for the people that are interacting with them on a daily basis. The person with OCD will often attempt to justify and defend their behaviors. Sometimes they are embarrassed or ashamed when others acknowledge their OCD behaviors.

OCD is a common disorder that affects people of all ages in all cultures. The causes of OCD are unknown; however, there are some believed risk factors: genetics, brain structure and functioning and environment. Other OCD related conditions may include: body dysmorphic disorder (your looks), hoarding disorder, picking at your skin, physical illness, olfactory reference syndrome (body odor or how you smell) or tic disorders.

Psychotherapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, can be effective for treating OCD symptoms. The person with OCD will begin to feel more confident about being able to control the obsessive thinking and the compulsive behaviors by learning skills of how to manage this disorder. Learn to stop the obsessive thoughts early on and then control the urges.

I know that is not an easy task. However, I do believe it is possible with continued practice of the skills. You get to decide if you are worth the effort to manage this disorder.

Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to:

Communicate Effectively
Problem Solve
Team Play/Work