Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Written & Researched by Lucy Coran



What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD is a chronic psychiatric disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and/or behaviors that a person with OCD feels the urge to repeat over and over again. These actions interfere with people's lives, and they cannot control or stop them with-out help. Many people with OCD do know that their thoughts and behaviors don't make sense, but some fully believe those thoughts. OCD is still so mysterious and even psychologists don't actually know the exact causes of OCD but merely have theories but they still have developed effective therapy to help people with OCD.



Types of OCD

There are many types of OCD that are centered around obsessions. The obsessions may be different for everyone with OCD but some people may have the same type of compulsions. Some types of OCD may be checking, symmetry and ruminations.



Causes of OCD

While the exact causes of OCD are unknown but personal experience, biological factors and genetics may play a role in the cause of OCD. Though many people may disagree with this statement, your personality can actually make you most likely to develop Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. If you are more neat and methodical with higher-standards than others you may be more likely to develop OCD. But biological factors are also a reason a person could have OCD. Some psychologists theorize that a lack of serotonin (an important brian chemical) may have a role in having OCD because sertionin is what the brain uses to communicate with the multiple parts within it. Also, you're more likely to get OCD if your parents have it because of the genetic process. But you can actually develop OCD by experience. For example, if you had a painful childhood you may use obsessions and compulsions as anxiety coping skills. Also, even being pregnant can cause OCD. The term of developing OCD while pregnant is called perinatal OCD.



Treatment

OCD has many effective treatment options such as medication and multiple types of theapries. First, your healthcare provider might tell you to go to a therapist. Your therapist may recommend Exposure and Response prevention which exposes you to situations that will provoke your obsessions and the goal of this therapy is to not do your compulsion thus resulting in distress. The overall goal of ERP is to free people from the OCD cycle. And along with therapy, medication might also be used as treatment. A Psychiatrist will prescribe you medication based on your age and OCD severity.



What is Excoriation Disorder and Trichotillomanina and How Does it Relate to OCD?

Excoriation disorder or skin picking is when one repeats the action of picking one's own skin. Individuals with Excoriation will rub, scratch, pick at and into one's skin as a coping skill for anxieties. Trichotillomania is a disorder in which a person has a recurrent and irresistible urge to pull out hair from their body. OCD is closely related to excoriation and trichotillomania. because of the repetition and how people with this disorder will compulsively pick.



References:

Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trichotillomania/symptoms-causes/syc-20355188#:~:text=Trichotillomania%20(trik%2Do%2Dtil,body%2C%20despite%20trying%20to%20stop.


Is Skin Picking A Sign of OCD?, https://www.treatmyocd.com/blog/skin-picking-sign-of-ocd

5 Common Types of OCD, https://www.stlukeshealth.org/resources/5-common-types-ocd


How is OCD Treated?, https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/ocd-treatment/

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), https://www.psychguides.com/ocd/

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/causes-of-ocd/#PersonalExperience









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