Learning about OCD Symptoms
What is OCD? OCD stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder which is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by the obsessions that are followed by compulsions.
Obsessions, which is the first of the OCD symptoms, are obsessive thoughts that may include images or ideas that repeat themselves. These thoughts persist in the mind and ruminate over and over again. This constant repetitive thinking causes much anxiety in the person having them because they are unwanted and the harder they try to push them out of their minds, the more persistent they become.
Common obsessions usually revolve around the thoughts and fears of losing control and having something happen that they do not want to happen. For more information please visit Signs of OCD.
These obsessions are usually so strong that the person feels they need to follow through with certain actions (compulsions) as an attempt to alleviate the anxiety they feel and to make the thoughts go away. Compulsions usually do not make things better, and in most cases with moderate to severe Obsessive-compulsive disorder, compulsions make things more difficult.
OCD symptoms can range from mild to severe and usually fit into 5 different types of OCD. In severe cases, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) can interfere with everyday life making normal living almost impossible.
What if I only experience obsessions?
Unlike true Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder where both obsessions and compulsions are exhibited, many people who suffer from anxiety only experience Obsessive Thinking.
This symptom of anxiety, even without compulsions, can be extremely distressing to anxiety sufferers. Many people would say that this symptom alone is considered the one of the worst symptoms that anxiety produces. The thoughts that are experienced are considered unwanted and intrusive which seems to be out of their own control.
If this sounds like you, please visit Obsessive Thinking to learn some tips and techniques that will help you overcome this particularly disturbing symptom.
Recommended Reading for Obsessions without Compulsions
A helpful book in regards to obsessive thinking is called "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 doesn't have compulsions but mainly obsessive/scary thoughts.
OCD treatments vary depending on the individual. As all people are different, what works best for one, many not work the best for someone else. For some, it may take a combination of treatments, including professional therapy.
OCD Medication - Many people choose to use medication to help with them with their OCD symptoms and have had great success.
CBT Techniques for OCD - According to the National Institute of Mental Health CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) is a blend of two therapies: cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses on a person's thoughts and beliefs, and how they influence a person's mood and actions, and aims to change a person's thinking to be more adaptive and healthy. Behavioral therapy focuses on a person's actions and aims to change unhealthy behavior patterns.
Psychotherapy - Also known as "talk therapy". Through talking with the patient and learning what they fear, what they avoid, the therapist is able to work out a plan for recovery that is specifically designed for that individual person. Psychotherapy is done by a qualified professional.
Exposure and Ritual Prevention (ERP) - Exposure therapy, which is the behavioral therapy from CBT, helps to slowly desensitize people from those things which cause them the most anxiety.
Natural Remedies for OCD - For people who have a hard time tolerating certain medications and want to try an alternative approach for their OCD symptoms, there are natural remedies that can help.
Who suffers from OCD Symptoms?
People of all types, from all over the world, experience Obsessive-compulsive Disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder tends to run in families and effects both men and women equally. Much of the time, OCD symptoms begin during the teenage years as well as the young adult years. OCD in children is also not uncommon. Although less common than teens and young adults, about one third experience OCD symptoms in children.
It may interest you to know that there are famous people with OCD.
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