OCD is a type of anxiety disorder distinguished by intrusive and frequent obsessions and repetitive and ritualistic behaviors. People with OCD believe they are driven to do things to relieve stress and feel better. This is very difficult for them because the urges will come back again. This disorder is often accompanied by shame or other feelings of embarrassment related to the symptoms of the condition.
OCD is experienced in obsessions and compulsions.
An obsession is a continued thought, image, or urge that enters the mind and generates distress. Some common obsessions are fear of contamination, fear of harm occurring such as forgetting to turn off a stove, excessive concern about exactness such as placing objects in a particular direction or order, excessive focus on orderliness, perfectionism. Some anxiety may be related to unwelcome thoughts including anger, sexual, religious content, hurting self or others, or inappropriate behaviors in public.
A compulsion is a recurrent behavior or mental act done to provide relief created by the distress of the obsessions. Some common compulsions are cleaning or hand washing excessively, repeatedly checking stoves or other objects, repeating words or phrases, mental rituals, arranging objects, counting, hoarding, continued asking for reassurance.
OCD is believed to consist of four basic parts: obsessions, anxiety, compulsions, and temporary relief. It becomes a vicious cycle because once you get pulled into it, it gains momentum and intensity, making it even more difficult to get out.
The main symptoms of OCD are obsessions and compulsions that interfere with normal activities. Symptoms usually begin gradually and vary throughout life.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help in treating OCD. It is important to learn the skills of how to direct your thoughts and move forward with a physical action to avoid being trapped in the OCD cycle.
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