Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) involves recurring thoughts, often uncontrollable, that can cause extreme distress and behaviors — or compulsions — that are repeated many times to help relieve that distress, such as handwashing, putting things in order, and repeatedly rechecking to make sure things are locked or turned off.
It can be hard to tell the difference between being detail-oriented or experiencing OCD. The distinction is important because when unaddressed, OCD can impact your health, quality of life and relationships. Find more information and effective treatments below.
WHAT IS OCD?
This five-minute video from Psych Hub describes OCD, its symptoms and effective treatments for managing the condition.
Signs and Symptoms
Here are some common signs of OCD that may require support and treatment. Remember, the earlier you’re diagnosed and start treatment, the sooner you can start feeling better and get back to your life.
Repeated thoughts, urges or mental images that cause severe anxiety. Examples include fear of germs/contamination, fear of losing things and unwanted disturbing thoughts.
Urges to repeat certain behaviors to reduce anxiety around obsessive thoughts. For instance, excessive cleaning or hand washing, repeatedly checking if things are locked or turned off, compulsively counting or doing an activity a certain number of times.
People with OCD often try to avoid situations that trigger their obsessions in an effort to help themselves. Some people may also use drugs or alcohol to “disconnect” themselves from the obsessions and compulsions.
If the thoughts and behaviors involved with OCD become overwhelming, it’s time to take action. The tips below can be a helpful first step toward feeling better.
Trying to figure out how to deal with emotional struggles while we’re actually experiencing them can be challenging. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to breathe, move, meditate or even make a gratitude list to help manage those feelings. Headspace offers a range of free videos to help.
TALK ABOUT IT
Too many people struggle with anxiety disorders like OCD in silence because they’re afraid of what people will think or that they’ll burden others. OCD is a treatable medical condition, so there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Lean on your support network and talk about how you’re feeling (trust us, it helps).
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Our mental and physical health are intertwined, so it’s important to pay attention to both. Not getting enough sleep or the right nutrition can trigger or worsen anxiety and OCD. It’s okay to step back and take some time for yourself while you’re also reaching out for help and taking actions to feel better.
Symptoms of OCD typically don’t go away on their own, and when unaddressed, they can negatively impact work, school, relationships and overall wellness. Don’t wait until things get worse. Reach out for help from a professional. You can find resources below or visit our help-seeking page to learn more.
These resources can help you find professional support online, on the phone or in person. And if you or a friend are having thoughts of suicide, reach out immediately for a free, confidential chat with a trained counselor anytime.
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|The Trevor Project||Website||Visit website|
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