Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is one of the five major types of anxiety disorders. This disorder is characterized by repetitive obsessive thoughts that are most commonly followed by acts of compulsion.
Most commonly, people who suffer this disorder feel extreme anxiety when their obsessions or intrusive thoughts are active. They have an intense need to follow through with a compulsive act that provides them with a temporary sense of relief.
Much of the time, these obsessions are chronic and extremely repetitive which means they are constantly repeating the compulsive behavior over and over again. These chronic obsessions and compulsions can be so extreme that they completely disrupt the normal flow of healthy living.
Depending on the compulsion, some may even cause non-deliberate harm to their body as in chronic hand washing, skin picking, and other physical compulsions.
There is no limit to obsessive compulsive disorder. While some people may have a mild case, others exhibit a more serious case that can grossly affect their quality of life, interfering with their ability to hold a job or care for their families.
The symptoms of this particular anxiety disorder varies depending on the person, the intensity of their obsessive thoughts and their compulsion. Everything from chronic hand washing, hoarding, as well as preoccupations with sexual, religious, or aggressive impulses. They are also known for nervous habits such as counting or repetitions such as opening and closing doors or windows a specific number of times.
Although it seems that the person who suffers with OCD doesn't realize their behaviors are irrational, they are fully aware that what they are thinking and feeling is abnormal. They don't like their situation and because they feel they can't control it, it usually causes them more anxiety as a result.
Their repetitive behaviors are usually based on the doubt that they followed through properly the first time. Their behaviors are carried out as an attempt to rid themselves of the unwanted thoughts they have.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, obsessive compulsive disorder affects more than 2.2 million adult Americans. This doesn't even account for the millions that are suffering all over the world.
This disorder can vary in intensity. It commonly waxes and wanes depending on the intensity of ones own life stressors.
What about Obsessive Thoughts without Compulsions?
It is true that some people only experience obsessive, intrusive thoughts without compulsions. While some people consider this a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, others feel it is completely different. Undoubtedly, they hold some real similarities.
These obsessive, intrusive thoughts still produce intense anxiety and panic as a result. The sufferer is usually so disturbed by these thoughts that by trying to push them out of their minds, they remain all that much more.
For more information on obsessive, intrusive thoughts without compulsions, visit Obsessive Thinking.
Help for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Although the most common treatment for OCD is medication and psychotherapy, there are other options that have been proven to help as well. It really depends on the person and their personal choice for treatment.
Other options include:
If you are suffering with symptoms that seem to be related to obsessive compulsive disorder, make an appointment with your doctor. There is real help that will make a difference in your quality of life. Always educate yourself so that you are fully capable of making the best choices for yourself.
Brain Lock, Twentieth Anniversary Edition: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, MD. with more than 68 positive reviews, this book comes highly recommended! A must read for those suffering with with obsessive compulsive disorder.
If you are looking for a workbook style book, consider The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Bruce Hyman, PhD.
The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts by Lee Baer, Ph.D. This particular book focuses primarily on obsessive, intrusive thoughts and less on compulsions found in Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder. Since many of us experience scary, repetitive thoughts, this book is best suited for the person who does not have compulsions but mainly obsessive/scary thoughts.