Obsessive Compulsive Disorder : Its Causes and Symptoms

What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterized by an anxiety disorder driven by obsessions. People with obsessive-compulsive disorders are hit by irresistible thoughts or images and behave very weirdly. This disease is very rare and is present in 1 out of every 50 across the world.

Do you have the habit of washing your hands every hour? Do you consistently keep on checking the position of your things? You are certainly the victim of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The thoughts are repetitive in nature and based on groundless fears.

What Causes OCD?

There is no certain reason behind the occurrence of OCD. However it is strongly believed that OCD is the result of interfusion amongst neurobiological, genetic, cognitive or external environment factors that set in motion the disorder in an individual at some point of juncture.

For instance, prior to taking your lunch, you may wash your hands and get rid of any dirt that you might have accosted during the day. Washing your hands is considered as an impulse action directed by your brain. People having OCD, find it problematic to take the directions from brain. The brain could not turn off the impulses so easily. Therefore, hey end up washing their hands again and again.

Symptoms of OCD

  1. Heavy checking of things and their positioning like locks, switches, gas stove and other appliances.
  2. Repeating their behavior consistently like washing hands.
  3. Scared of harming themselves or others
  4. Scared of acquiring dirt on any part of their body
  5. Heavy emphasis on religious virtues
  6. Exercises excessive superstition
  7. Gathering trash like empty boxes, old paper material or discarded items.

Quick Facts on OCD

Prevalence about 2% worldwide
Age of onset is 20 years
Female to Male ratio is 1.5 : 1.0
Heritability: unclear, evidence mixed so far
Comorbidity: Depression 30%, Panic Disorder and Social Phobia 15-25%, Tics 10-20%, Personality Disorders Common mainly Avoidant, Dependent and Obsessive Compulsive.

Ways to Help your child with OCD

Get Help – OCD usually only gets worse without treatment. Don’t think it’s just a phase or it’s not that bad, because when it does get bad it will be much harder to work with.

Don’t Rush Him – A child with OCD often cannot move on to something else until fixing what he thinks needs fixing.

Don’t Say “Can’t you just stop” – No he can’t stop, or he would.

Don’t bring attention to it if you can – If possible just ignore it, or wait patiently for the moment to pass. If you are in a rush, you can always help.

Don’t talk about it like it’s a problem – Don’t single him out, or talk about with your friends and family in front of him. Kids with these disorders are at very high risk of developing low self esteem. Seeing themselves as different from everyone else will only add to a feeling of not belonging.

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