Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Symptoms, Treatment And Diagnosis

Antidepressants are commonly used medicines for the treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Tavishi Dogra
Written by: Tavishi DograPublished at: Jul 22, 2020
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Symptoms, Treatment And Diagnosis

OCD that is, obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder. It is a type of mental health disorder in which the afflicted person experiences repeated compulsions and obsessions that conflict with his/her ability to function occupationally, socially, or educationally. A person with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) has unreasonable fears and thoughts (obsessions) that lead him/her to do repetitive compulsions (behaviours). Hence, their capacity to function normally is impaired because of the amount of time spent in the marked fear, symptoms, or other distress/pain suffered by the person.

Experts have classified Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder into four types

  • sexual, aggressive, harm-related or religious obsession with checking compulsions
  • passions about balance, leading to repeating or arranging compulsions
  • obsessions of contamination leading to cleaning compulsions
  • signs of hoarding

The term passion or obsession can be defined as an impulse, thought, or image that either persists or recurs and causes critical anxiety. Many people with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) understand that their needs are unreasonable and therefore, try to stop or ignore them. Do you know what does it leads to? More anxiety and distress, and at the end, the person does the necessary actions to ease stress and tension.

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What Causes Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

The exact cause of the obsessive-compulsive disorder is not understood. Some parts that probably have a role in OCD include chemical imbalances in the brain, family history, and stress. As per experts, if you have a relative with obsessive-compulsive disorder, it raises your chance of developing the disease; however, many people with the obsessive-compulsive disorder have no such family history. Some study suggests that a specific gene or chromosome abnormality possibly increases the likelihood of developing the obsessive-compulsive disorder by almost 2 times. According to experts, the inequality of neurotransmitter serotonin in the head also increases the risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some stressful events, including being the victim of child abuse or sexual abuse as a child, probably raise the prospect of suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder as an adult.


Symptoms of OCD

A person with the obsessive-compulsive disorder has symptoms of both compulsions and obsessions, which are often linked to a particular theme or topic such as:

  • fear of becoming dirty or getting infected
  • checking and counting
  • putting things in a symmetrical manner


Some symptoms of obsessions may include:

  • using or touching objects that some other person has touched, fear of getting infected by shaking hands
  • repeated uncertainties as to whether you've switched off the heater locked the door or turned off the stove
  • Undue anxiety and stress when objects aren't kept in a systematic way

Some symptoms of compulsion include:

  • Washing hands until the skin starts becoming sore
  • checking the heater frequently to make sure it's off or checking doors repeatedly to confirm they're locked
  • organising things in the closet, such as canned goods, soaps etc.

Treatment of OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a life-long disorder that cannot be cured. Many patients with this disorder may need a prolonged treatment that may even last for the rest of their life. Although it is seen that medication may not cure this disorder, it can only help control signs so that they don't intervene with your daily functioning. Treatment options for the OCD include medications and psychotherapy.

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