OCD is characterized by a pattern of unpleasant thoughts and anxieties known as obsessions that cause you to engage in repetitive actions known as compulsions. These compulsive thoughts and behaviors disrupt our daily life and cause severe distress.
The distress and worry would only grow if you try to ignore or put an end to your obsessions. In the end, you get compelled to engage in obsessive behaviors in an effort to reduce your stress. Despite the attempts to suppress or ignore unwanted thoughts or urges, they persist. This feeds the OCD cycle which results in a more ritualistic behavior.
Obsessions and compulsions are frequently present in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Obsessions with OCD are intrusive, recurrent, unwelcome thoughts, desires, or visions that are distressing or anxious. By engaging in a compulsive habit or ritual, you might try to ignore them or get rid of them. Usually these obsessions interfere when trying to think or do something else. Obsessions frequently have underlying themes, such as:
- Intolerance to dirt or contamination
- Having doubts and finding it challenging to accept ambiguity
- Requiring symmetry and order in everything
- Ideas that are violent or horrifying about losing control and hurting oneself or others
- Unwanted ideas, such as those that are hostile or deal with sexual or religious issues
Compulsions are recurrent activities you feel compelled to carry out. These recurrent actions whether physical or mental, are intended to ease tension brought on by your obsessions or avert negative outcomes.
Compulsions frequently have themes, similar to obsessions, such as:
- Cleaning and washing
- Counting and Orderliness
- Maintaining a rigorous schedule
- Requesting assurance
Although it could develop in childhood OCD typically manifests in adolescence or early adulthood. The onset of symptoms is typically gradual, and their intensity tends to change with time. You may encounter different kinds of obsessions and compulsions over time. The symptoms would get worse if your level of stress increases. OCD could have mild to moderate symptoms to be so intense and time-consuming that it becomes incapacitating.
A WORD FROM SOCIALLY SOULED
There is a distinction between having OCD and being a perfectionist, such as someone who demands faultless performance or outcomes. OCD thoughts go beyond excessive worry about actual issues in your life or a preference for order or cleanliness. Consult a medical or mental health expert if your obsessions and compulsions are impacting your quality of life.