OCD can affect every single aspect of a person’s life- this could include having to spend an hour in the shower, and having to do that a few times a day, to get rid of germs or else they may experience a very intense level of anxiety.
Individuals may have nagging, unwanted thoughts that keep popping up, involving very disturbing themes; often of a violent or sexual nature, and making the person worry that if they may act on those thoughts unless they counter these thoughts with some compulsive rituals.
OCD can cause one to feel extremely distressed if they do not perform their compulsions when needed. Resisting the compulsions is not always an easy solution for those suffering from OCD.
OCD can take on many different shapes and forms. While one person may find their OCD leaving them intensely afraid of germs and feeling the need to wash their hands multiple times a day, another person may find their OCD forcing them to turn their light switch off and on a certain number of times when they enter a room.
Regardless of the form your or your loved one’s OCD takes on, there are a few symptoms that one can watch for. The symptoms of OCD include:
- An inability to control thoughts or behaviors, regardless of the awareness that the thought or behavior may be irrational
- A significant amount of time spent on these thoughts and behaviors
- Feeling a slight and temporary relief from the anxiety caused by the thought or behavior, but gets no joy from it
- Experiencing a negative impact on their daily life (relationships, work, education, mental health, etc.) due to the thoughts and behaviors
As mentioned before, OCD consists of two factors: obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions are excessive, often intrusive thoughts a person cannot seem to shake. A person may struggle with fears or feel unable to let go of certain ideas as their brain obsesses over the thought. The obsessions can cause a significant amount of distress for the sufferer prompting a need to act compulsively.
Compulsions are the repetitive behaviors a person feels they must do in response to their obsessive thoughts. Compulsions may be seen as an excessive response to others but provide the sufferer with temporary relief from their obsession. In severe cases, compulsions can take up a significant amount of the sufferer’s day, interfering with their ability to live and enjoy their life.
OCD symptoms will likely go through phases, causing one to deal with intense bouts of OCD, mild bouts of OCD, and possibly even a brief break from their OCD.
Coping with OCD
If you believe you or a loved one may be struggling with OCD, contact a health professional immediately. If left untreated, OCD can negatively impact your entire life. Pairing the recommended treatment by a health professional with the following coping mechanisms can help you feel happier and healthier- getting you on the right path to healing.
Learn More About OCD
Educating yourself on the mental health disorder can be one of the best things you can do to help yourself work through your OCD. So, spend some time on Google, read some books on the subject, and talk to a health professional to make sure you educate yourself to the best ability. The more awareness you have surrounding the condition, the better you will be able to cope with it.
Learn Ways to Calm Yourself
OCD can trigger intense feelings of anxiety. Learning ways to calm yourself in moments of anxiety will allow you to work through the stressful moments in a healthy and productive way.
Treatment for OCD
OCD can be difficult to deal with. Fortunately, with proper treatment, there are ways you can get through it. Treatments for OCD include:
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and, in some cases, low doses of newer-generation antipsychotics, may be prescribed to those struggling with OCD. Research has shown that these types of medications can be very effective for treating OCD.
Psychotherapy, otherwise known as “talk therapy”, is a treatment that can be helpful to those struggling with OCD. In particularly, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the main type of therapy that is recommended, as it is the one that has been the most extensively researched.”
If you believe that you are struggling with OCD, reach out to a professional as soon as possible. You will learn why you feel the way you do, learn healthy and productive coping mechanisms, and get you feeling happier and healthier.
How Telehealth Can Help
If you are dealing with OCD, life can become difficult to enjoy. Reaching out to a mental health professional is one of the most important things you can do to get yourself on track to feeling happier and healthier. If you are struggling to find the time or motivation to seek help in-person, telehealth may be right for you. Telehealth allows you to seek the help you need from the comfort of your home, allowing you to feel better in no time.