Obsessive-Compulsive "Disorder" (OCD)
Obsessions are unwanted and repetitive thoughts, urges, or images
that don’t go away. They cause a lot of anxiety. For example, someone
might worry about making people they love sick by bringing in germs.
Obsessions can focus on anything. These obsessive thoughts can be
uncomfortable. Obsessions aren’t thoughts that a person would
normally focus on, and they are not about a person’s character. They
are symptoms of an illness: a reaction to something.
Obsessions are persistent, recurrent, intrusive and upsetting thoughts,
impulses, or images (obsessions) that are perceived as inappropriate,
grotesque, or forbidden. Obsessions are perceived as uncontrollable,
and the sufferer often fears that he or she will lose control and act upon
such thoughts or impulses.
Common themes include contamination with germs or body fluids,
doubts (i.e., the worry that something important has been overlooked
or that the sufferer has unknowingly inflicted harm on someone), order
or symmetry, or loss of control of violent or sexual impulses.
|Obsessive Compulsive "Disorder"
Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside Assistance For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman M.A. © 2007-2019
Questions and comments welcomed.
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that reduce the anxiety that
accompanies an obsession or “prevent” some dreaded event from happening.
Compulsions are actions meant to reduce anxiety caused by obsessions. Compulsions
may be behaviours like hand-washing or checking, cleaning, or ordering things in
a certain way; even counting, or praying. Other actions are not obvious to others.
For example, some people may count things, or repeat phrases in their mind. Some
people describe it as feeling like they have to do something until it feels ‘right.’ It’s
important to understand that compulsions are a way to cope with obsessions
Someone who experiences OCD may experience distress (or panic) if they can’t
complete the compulsion.
Not uncommonly, compulsive rituals take up long periods of time,even hours, to
complete. As well, actions such as repeated hand-washing, intended to remedy
anxiety about contamination, is a common cause of contact dermatitis - thus adding
to the discomfort and distress.
The rituals (compulsions) are attempt to control the anxiety these obsessive thoughts
produce. Instead, most of the time, the rituals end up controlling them. Healthy people
also have rituals; the difference is that people with OCD perform their rituals even
though doing so interferes with daily life, and they find the repetition distressing.
Obsessive-compulsive "disorder" typically begins in adolescence to young adult life
(males) or in young adult life (females). For most, the course is fluctuating and,
like generalized anxiety disorder, symptom exacerbations are usually associated with
Commonly, major depressive "disorder" and other anxiety "disorders" accompany
TREATMENT: Psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of
psychotherapy, is effective for many people with OCD. Exposure and response
prevention (ERP), a type of CBT therapy, involves gradually exposing you to a feared
object or obsession, such as dirt, and having you learn healthy ways to cope with
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Dawn Cove Abbey
Deerfield, (Yarmouth County) Nova Scotia, Canada - 2008 rev: 2019
How to stop, or prevent an Anxiety Attack: