Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is broken down into two main parts:
Obsessions - intrusive thoughts, worries, images or doubts that continuously appear in your mind. Constantly worrying about these often leads to constant feelings of anxiety.
Compulsions - routines and activities that you repeatedly carry out to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession.
Repeatedly checking the doors are locked
Repeatedly checking appliances such as the oven and the iron is off
Repeating certain phrases in your head
It is not clear what causes OCD. Most likely causes include:
Genetics - if a family member has a history of OCD or mental illness
Life events - there are certain events that may trigger OCD and anxiety, such as, a bereavement, childbirth or those that have been abused or neglected
Differences in the brain - some of those who experience OCD have areas of high activity in their brain or low levels of a chemical called serotonin.
Many people describe OCD as having no control over negative thoughts and by not doing a certain activity they will cause harm. Many people feel they can control their urges, although it can get worse with stress. If you are experiencing OCD it is likely that your compulsions and actions have a big impact on your life. Its unlikely that your OCD will get better without treatment.
How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help me.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy helps you understand the link between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. CBT is known to help find ways to overcome your anxiety by identifying any negative patterns which cause your anxiety and transform them with healthy, positive thoughts and feelings.This is achieved by a concept called Systematic Desensitization, which is also known as exposure therapy. Your therapist will gradually expose you to situations which would normally trigger your anxiety. Eventually you will learn to replace any negative thoughts and feelings with positive ones.