Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) goes far beyond the desire to have things ‘just right.’ It is one of the top 10 most debilitating mental health disorders worldwide. It is commonly used to describe activity by a fussy individual, which discredits the debilitating and insidious nature of OCD. OCD is a Noun, not an Adjective.
OCD is one of the top 10 most debilitating mental health disorders
Most people who have OCD feel misunderstood, shame and embarrassment. It might be helpful to better understand OCD so the term is not diluted in social media and casual conversation. OCD is centered around 4 areas: contamination, perfection, doubt/harm and forbidden thoughts. And, while experts are uncertain about the cause of OCD, it often starts in teenagers. However, there are a few cases where it begins in childhood. The obsessions are unwanted, intrusive and interrupt daily activities on a regular basis. And the obsessions and compulsions take at least one hour every day.
The truth is that the obsessions and compulsions often monopolize the person’s life much longer than one hour.
OCD is a Noun, not an Adjective
For example, for the father who has OCD related to doubt if he has locked up his home before leaving for vacation with his family. He may interrupt the road trip and turn around the entire family in the car and head back home after driving 4 hours toward the vacation destination to return to the home to check the locks, even though he checked every lock 20 times before he departed the first time.
The compulsive behavior of returning to check the locks for the 21st time is overwhelming and he will go to great lengths to complete the compulsion of checking. The anxiety and stress in his body is so pervasive, in fact, he can think of little else until he returns home to check.
The preceding example is one of many hundreds of thousands of stories occurring each day.
Overall, people with OCD often feel misunderstood by others. It should be noted that well-intentioned friends and family members often reassure the person with OCD that they don’t need to obsess or worry and that everything is okay. Ironically, providing the reassurance is reinforcing the OCD. It goes without saying that getting treatment often involves not just the client with OCD, but family members as well.
If you, or someone you care about, needs help, contact a local mental health professional today. www.PsychologyToday.com is a resource to start to find a licensed mental health specialist near you. You were not designed to live in a state of high anxiety filled with obsessional and compulsive thoughts. You matter. You are not alone. Get help today. Additional FREE resources listed below to get you in touch with a mental health specialist 24/7, 365 days/year: