Do you have OCD? are you constantly checking things and wish you could stop? what are the symptoms and causes of obsessive compulsive disorder.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder which affects about 1 – 2 percent of the population. It causes someone to feel anxiety about something, for example leaving a household appliance on in case it causes a fire while you are out of the house.
This fear causes the sufferer to check and recheck everything is turned off and unplugged, the checking eases the anxiety. However we begin to doubt our checks and the anxiety comes back immediately after checking, which causes a person to check and check again, this can go on for some time. In more severe cases someone can spend an hour or longer a day checking and rechecking.
There are various different types of symptoms of OCD. Do any of the following apply to you?
Do you feel the need to constantly wash your hands or clean the house? afraid you might catch a disease and pass it on to a family member.
Do you repeatedly need to check things? for example making sure your windows and front door is locked, or that all electrical appliances are turned off and unplugged.
Do you have an uncontrollable desire to keep hold of things, even if you know you don’t need them anymore?
Do you need things to be arranged in a particular order, for example needing your DVD disks to all be facing picture upright, or all the cash notes in your wallet faced up the same way?
Do you have to perform an action or say something (ritual) after a particular event happens, or after a bad thought?
Are you superstitious about unlucky numbers or other superstitious that affect your decisions to an extreme extent?
Most people will be able to relate to one or more of these to some extent, it’s just when the impulses become excessive and it starts to negatively affect the person’s life, then something needs to be done. If you are reading this then your OCD is most likely causing you problems and you are looking for ways to control it.
OCD normally starts in early adult hood, however it can develop in people in their 30s however it’s less likely.
The symptoms of OCD can also change as we get older, one symptom may go or reduce and another may develop.
Causes of OCD
- Genetics has been found to be a cause, if you suffer from it then there’s a good chance it has been inherited from a parent.
- Many anxiety disorders are thought to be connected, so if someone has OCD there’s a good chance they also suffer from other forms of anxiety, for example social anxiety.
- A possible cause is having low self esteem or a low self image. Low self esteem causes self doubt which can lead to fear and anxiety, not having confidence in our own decisions and actions.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used to treat OCD. CBT aims to change the way you think about certain things which gets you out of negative thinking circles.
Fitness is known to be great for easing stress and anxiety, train, eat well and get good quality sleep. As the saying goes healthy body, healthy mind.
The effects of alcohol and other drugs can increase the symptoms of anxiety disorders, so cut down on the booze and whatever else you might be doing.
Checking things over and over is irrational, an irrational fear about something bad happening if we leave a plug switched on. Our minds can often go onto auto pilot when we obsess over things. One way to fight irrational thinking is with rational thinking. Sometimes we have to turn off the auto pilot in our minds and take control with rational thinking.
You can ease anxiety with positive self talk. If you find yourself worrying about something, keep telling yourself it will be ok, reinforce positive thinking by saying positive statements over and over again.
Self doubt can creep in when we are not living in the moment and paying attention to what we are doing. It’s easy to let the mind drift and lose focus. If you have to check everything is turned off make sure you are properly concentrating on what you are doing. This will help to reduce anxiety and help to prevent self doubt from setting in.