Obsessive-compulsive disorder - how to escape from obsessions?

obsessive compulsive disorder obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition in which a person regularly have obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior is observed.For example, people who are afraid of germs may wash your hands too often, or even to take a shower every time after using the toilet.



OCD Symptoms vary in severity from mild to strongly expressed.

Some patients may devote compulsive actions, in total, only about an hour a day.Other R & D leads to a radical change in lifestyle.

Although OCD is manifested in different people in different ways, most of them there is one and the same pattern of thought and behavior.The scheme consists of four elements:

obsessions - the mind seizes an obsessive fear or anxiety, such as fear of robbery.

anxiety - obsession causes severe anxiety and distress.

compulsions - actions that are caused by the desire to suppress the anxiety and distress, such as a person checks whether the closed windows and doors at least three times before you leave home.

temporary relief.Compulsive behavior brings man temporary relief, but obsession and anxiety soon returned, and the cycle repeats again.

Obsessions.Such thoughts from time to time begin to torture of any person;for example, one might worry about the possible loss of work (even while at work everything is fine), or the suspect's wife in adultery, and someone tormented by the fear of losing documents or money to travel.Most people manage to calm down quickly, and obsessive thoughts do not begin seriously to affect their lives.Only if these ideas do not really give a person to live quietly, and provoke a certain behavior, you can suspect that he has OCD.The most common obsessions in OCD:

  • Fear deliberately hurt another person - some patients with OCD worry that might attack someone, though they usually do not have a tendency to aggressive behavior;
  • fear of accidentally hurt yourself or another person - Patients may fear that left the iron on at home, do not turn off the gas stove, and so on, but not before leaving again check appliances;
  • fear of infection;
  • obsession for symmetry and order - puts people mugs, so that all the knobs are in the same direction, arranges things on shelves and in cabinets in strict order, and expressed extreme dissatisfaction, if someone violates this order;
  • fear to commit an act contrary to the religious beliefs of the individual.

compulsive behavior.In most cases, compulsive behavior in people with OCD is irrational, but they can not stop doing the action dictated by obsessive thoughts.

Some of the common types of compulsive behavior:

  • cleaning (several times a day, although the house has long cleanliness);
  • Handwashing;
  • checks - are closed doors, whether the stove is off, and so on;
  • constant questions to others (for example, the patient may ask, whether he closed the doors and windows, shut off the iron, and so on);
  • repetition of certain words aloud or to themselves;
  • Attempts to use neutralizing thoughts to deal with obsessive thoughts.



  • Genetics

Despite numerous studies, to determine the cause of OCD is still not possible.However, scientists believe that a role in the development of mental illness can play a genetic predisposition.Although genes that may be associated with OCD, have not yet been identified, some evidence suggests that predisposition to this disturbance can be inherited.A person whose close relative suffering from OCD, the likelihood of developing this disorder is four times higher than average.

  • Features of functioning brain

increased blood flow in specific brain regions, the lack of certain chemicals and other aspects of the functioning of the brain, studies have found many people with OCD.It was also found that the operation returns to normal brain using cognitive-behavioral therapy and receiving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

  • Serotonin

Apparently, serotonin plays a role in the development of OCD.It is a neurotransmitter that regulates many body functions, including - memory, sleep Dreams: how to understand our dreams Dreams: how to understand our dreams , mood.It is not known exactly how serotonin levels associated with OCD, however, found that people with this disorder serotonin levels below normal.

  • Traumatic events

death of a loved one, divorce, and other difficult events in a person's life can become triggers of OCD, if he already had a predisposition to the development of this disorder.From what it was a traumatic event, may depend obsession, from which people will suffer.For example, the death of a loved sometimes causes obsessive fear of harm to others.

  • infection

Some children and adolescents OCD develops after a severe infection caused by streptococcus.It is expected that antibodies Antibodies - "soldiers' immunity Antibodies - "soldiers , which are produced as a result of the invasion of bacteria affect the activity of certain parts of the brain, which leads to the development of OCD.



If you suspect that OCD is very important to immediately consult a doctor.Depending on the severity of symptoms and possible causes of OCD, it can assign the following types of treatment:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is recognized as very effective in OCD.

doctor with the patient identifies situations that cause anxiety anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease? Anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease? , and identifies the situations in which anxiety is the most and least powerful.Then the doctor offers patients perform exercises by which he will be in situations close to those that cause anxiety, and it will have to abstain from compulsive behavior.Initially, such therapy may seem intimidating, but in practice it turns out to be very useful.People with mild to moderate OCD requires about 10 hours of therapy to learn well enough to cope with the symptoms of OCD.In severe OCD therapy lasts much longer.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are appointed under a reduced level of serotonin in patients with severe OCD.

Clomipramine - a tricyclic antidepressant, which is used as an alternative to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for the treatment of OCD.

If medication and psychotherapy have been ineffective, the physician may prescribe a surgical operation.