Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental condition that causes individuals to experience unwanted and recurring thoughts or ideas. There’s no clear-cut cause of OCD, but there are different contributing factors. The disorder may also be connected to conditions like separation anxiety disorder and addiction. This article offers a detailed review of OCD, including the signs, symptoms, and treatment.
OCD is a condition characterized by repetitive and unwanted thoughts that lead to compulsive actions. Individuals diagnosed with OCD typically feel an obligation to perform certain rituals or activities during the day. Without those rituals or activities, they may feel high levels of discomfort.
Like most complex neuropsychiatric disorders, the origins of OCD are not conclusive.1 From the estimates of heritability in the range of 40% to 50%, it is evident that there’s a genetic connection to the risk of OCD. Other less reviewed environmental factors like infection and trauma are also significantly linked to the mental health condition.2
According to the Psychiatric Clinics of North America, OCD affects around 2.3% of people at a period in their lives. Rates of mental health condition during any particular year is approximately 1.2%. Research also proves that OCD affects around 2.2 million adults or one percent of the individuals in the United States of America.3
One of the significant signs of OCD in an individual is the continuous urges, thoughts, or ideas that result in anxiety. There are a wide variety of signs and symptoms of OCD, and several of them may occur together. According to the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, there are thirteen predefined categories of symptoms.
Obsessions or obsessive thoughts are repetitive ideas that persist despite the individual’s effort to subdue or ignore them. Individuals experiencing obsessions typically perform tasks to relieve themselves from anxiety due to obsessions. Every individual has a unique level of initial obsession or intrusive ideas in terms of vividness or clarity.4
An example of obsessions in a person is when he or she believes that life cannot proceed as normal while there is a specific imbalance. Some individuals with the disorder may also feel a sensation of an invisible protrusion from their bodies. Common types of obsessions include:
Long-term effects of obsession may include depression, anxiety, and the risk of substance use. Research proves that approximately two-thirds of individuals with obsession experience major depressive disorders (MDD), which may also result in substance use.5
Addiction is closely linked to obsession. Since obsession results in depression and anxiety due to intrusive thoughts, there’s a higher risk of addiction. Drugs typically appear as a way out for individuals experiencing major depressive disorders. Substances may be effective at temporarily subsiding emotional pain and allowing a feeling of happiness.
People with OCD typically perform compulsive actions because they feel a need for those activities. Individuals taking such actions feel it is essential to control their compulsions. Here are some of the significant types of compulsions:
Like obsessions, the effects of compulsions may include depression and consistent anxiety. These conditions may have significant negative results on an individual’s school, work, or personal relationships with loved ones.6
Compulsions are repetitive actions that individuals take to reduce the anxiety that is linked to obsessions. Addiction may also occur due to the need for suppressing anxiety. Hence, addiction and compulsion are related because they are both for eliminating discomfort.
There’s a strong connection between OCD and drug use disorder or addiction. According to the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, over a quarter of individuals needing OCD care have a substance use disorder. People who first develop symptoms of OCD as young adults tend to develop an addiction.7
In many people, obsessions and compulsions can take different forms due to the variation in severity. It is essential to undergo the necessary test, especially when the symptoms are evident. One of the significant ways in which taking an OCD test can benefit you is by instilling awareness for an immediate OCD treatment. If you ignore the signs and symptoms, they may become more severe.
For a proper treatment of OCD and drug addiction after OCD test or diagnosis, here are some reliable techniques:
Obsessive compulsive disorder requires early diagnosis and treatment. With an OCD test, individuals can discover the need for recovery and obtaining substantial relief from the symptoms. Note that it’s essential to follow the doctor’s prescription or treatment technique for OCD and drug addiction. Self-medication is strongly discouraged.