Written by Haifa Ghaith
What is the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?
OCD is a psychological disorder resulting from constant anxiety, which generates a group of irrational thoughts and fears that translate into repetitive compulsive behaviors. The symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder differ in severity from one person to another according to the level of the disorder in each case, as this disorder leads to disruption of the performance of daily tasks and wastes a lot of time for the affected person. Sometimes people with this disorder are aware of the fact that their obsessive behavior is irrational and they try to ignore or change it. However, these attempts increase the feeling of distress and anxiety, and it is treated using cognitive-behavioral therapy in addition to pharmacological treatment, depending on the person's condition
What are the causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder?
Specialized research has not yet come up with specific and direct causes for obsessive-compulsive disorder, but the main theories have indicated several factors, namely: Vital biological factors, such as a change in the chemistry or functions of the brain, genetic and hereditary factors, where the risk of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder increases in the presence of family history, and psychological factors such as exposure to constant stress and psychological or emotional trauma
What are the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder?
The symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder vary in intensity from one person to another. These symptoms are represented in the fears that the disturbed person experiences, such as fear of disease, fear of causing harm to others or oneself, fear of pollution or dirt, fear of sin or guilt, in addition to fear of embarrassment or failure in front of others
These fears lead to compulsive and irrational behaviors and practices that the person undertakes to relieve these fears and anxieties, and these behaviors are represented in repeating ablution, prayer, showering, washing hands frequently, refraining from shaking hands with others or touching surrounding objects such as door handles, and checking things frequently such as locks or stoves, in addition to constantly arranging and organizing personal items according to certain patterns of colors or sizes, in addition to disturbing fantasies and thoughts that are not real which may cause sleep disturbance
When should you visit the doctor?
Most people may experience some fears or anxiety at some point in their lives, or practice some obsessive behaviors, but that does not mean that they have obsessive-compulsive disorder, but when these fears and compulsive behaviors impede the performance of daily tasks and lead to waste a lot of time, then a visit to the doctor is required
How is obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnosed?
When visiting a doctor, a clinical examination and psychological evaluation is done through the use of special measurements and standards, in addition to the laboratory tests that the doctor requests according to his observations
What are the complications of obsessive-compulsive disorder?
If the patient does not receive the proper treatment from a specialized, it would lead to complications such as disturbance and severance of social relations, inability to go to work or school, depression, feeling suicidal, in addition to allergies and allergic infections as a result of excessive bathing, hand washing and the use of detergents
How is obsessive-compulsive disorder treated?
Treatment differs according to the severity of the condition and the extent of the impact of the OCD in the patient’s life. There are two basic types used in treatment, psychological and pharmacological. In the form that is usually comfortable for the patient, and there is another method called (cognitive-behavioral therapy) which is considered the most successful in treating this disorder. In advanced cases, medication is used, often antidepressants, and sedatives to treat the effects of anxiety, according to the doctor’s observations and evaluation of the situation