• What
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosed
  • Outlook

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

In our day-to-day life there have been few occasions when we may worry that we have left with house without locking the doors or we stove was left on. This worry makes us to return to our house soon and make sure if everything is okay. These worries are normal in our life, however few people experience extreme anxiety during these occasions. Often the anxiety which the person experience is so intense that it affects their normal life. The person may engage in repetitive action to reduce their anxiety level; however the person experiences an increase in anxiety if those repetitive actions are not performed. When the person experiences this level of anxiety, the person is diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder. People who are victims of obsessive compulsive disorder, experiences thoughts and fears which are beyond their control. Victims with this obsession carry out repetitive behaviours in an effort to stop their obsessions. Victims with this disorder often realize that they have an unreasonable obsession, and often try to stop their compulsive behaviour. Unfortunately quitting their compulsive behaviour increases their anxiety and distress which instantly resume the victim to perform their repetitive behaviour.

What Causes Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

The cause for obsessive compulsive disorder is not clearly understood. The victims of obsessive compulsive disorder usually develop it before they reach the age of 30. The condition is linked to head injuries and few certain types of infections. Till this date, there is no evidence which showcase that the victim of obsessive compulsive disorder show any brain abnormalities. With few victims, condition is linked to Tourette syndrome.

There are basically 3 theories which are developed to explain the reason for the condition which includes

  • Biological reasons: The condition may develop due to genetic abnormalities. Victims usually have relatives with same disorder.
  • Environmental reasons: The condition may develop due to behaviours which are learned with time.
  • Insufficient levels of serotonin: The condition may develop if the level of serotonin in the brain decreases. Serotonin is a chemical which helps to control the emotions

What are the Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

The symptoms associated with obsessive compulsive disorder are generally broken into two types which are: obsessions and compulsions. Most of the victims who experience obsessive compulsive disorder generally show both symptoms, however few others only experience only one symptom.

Even though the symptoms associated with obsessive and compulsive vary from one victim to another, still there are few common obsessive thoughts. Few examples of common obsessive thoughts include:

  • Fear of germs, illness or disease
  • Fear of hurting oneself or others
  • Violent thoughts regarding sexual activities
  • Fear of losing things which victim considers to be important
  • Focus on meticulousness and order
  • Focus on superstitions
  • Strict devotion towards religious beliefs

Compulsions are part behaviours and behaviours vary from one victim to another, however there are still few common compulsions which are:

  • Repeatedly rechecking a completed task
  • Frequently calling family and friends to check if they are safe
  • Counting or repeating words
  • Obsessively cleaning or washing
  • Frequently keeping things in order
  • Obsessive prays
  • Collecting trash which has no value

How is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Diagnosed?

Consultant psychologist will recommend therapy for the victim so that the victim can easily cope up with the symptoms associated with obsessive compulsive disorder. For treating obsessive compulsive disorder, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) shows better results for the victims as it has shown to decrease obsessions and compulsions with the victims.

Adding medication along with cognitive behaviour therapy will enhance the success rate of the treatment.

What is the Long-Term Outlook for Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

If the victim is diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, cognitive behaviour therapy will help the victim to the great extend. As condition is long-term or chronic illness, victim may experience periods of active symptoms. After showing improvement in the victim, victim again experiences the period of active symptoms. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is recurring for several victims and the symptoms do not disappear from the victim even with the treatment


We’ve experienced practising clinical hypnotherapist, consultant psychologist and Forensic Hypnologist in our team to work with people with a full range of mental health problems and emotional distress.

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