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What Is OCD and do you know if you have it

Posted by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:06 PM
  • 53 Replies
1 mom liked this

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder of the brain and behavior. OCD causes severe anxiety in those affected. OCD involves both obsessions and compulsionsthat take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person values.

Here is one way to think about what having OCD is like:

Imagine that your mind got stuck

on a certain thought or image...

Then this thought or image got replayed in your mind

over and over again 

and no matter what you did

You dont want these thoughts.....it feels like and avalanche

With these thoughts come the intense feeling of anxiety!

Anxiety is your brain's warning system. When you feel anxious, it feels like you are in danger. Anxiety is an emotion that tells you to responf, react, protect yourself, DO SOMETHING!

On the one hand, you might recognize that the fear doesn’t make sense, doesn’t seem reasonable, yet it still feels very real, intense, and true…

Why would your brain lie?

Why would you have these feelings if they weren’t true? Feelings don’t lie…  Do they?

Unfortunately, if you have OCD, they do lie.  If you have OCD, the warning system in your brain is not working correctly.  Your brain is telling you that you are in danger when you are not.

When scientists compare pictures of the brains of groups of people with OCD, they can see that some areas of the brain are different than the brains of people who don’t have OCD.

Those tortured with OCD are desperately trying to get away from paralyzing, unending anxiety…

Only trained therapists can diagnose OCD.
Therapists will look for three things:

The person has obsessions,

He or she does compulsive behaviors, and

The obsessions and compulsions take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person values, such as working, going to school, or spending time with friends.

Obsessions:

Thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again and feel out of the person's control.

The person does not want to have these ideas.

He or she finds them disturbing and unwanted, and usually know that they don't make sense.

They come with uncomfortable feelings, such as fear, disgust, doubt, or a feeling that things have to be done in a way that is "just right."

They take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person values.

What Obsessions Are Not:

It is normal to have occasional thoughts about getting sick or about the safety of loved ones.

Compulsions:

Repetitive behaviors or thoughts that a person engages in to neutralize, counteract, or make their obsessions go away.

People with OCD realize this is only a temporary solution, but without a better way to cope, they rely on the compulsion as a temporary escape.

Compulsions can also include avoiding situations that trigger obsessions.

Compulsions are time consuming and get in the way of important activities the person values.

What Compulsions Are Not:

Not all repetitive behaviors or "rituals" are compulsions.  For example, bedtime routines, religious practices, and learning a new skill involve repeating an activity over and over again, but are a welcome part of daily life.

Behaviors depend on the context: Arranging and ordering DVDs for eight hours a day isn't a compulsion if the person works in a video store. 

Common Obsessions in OCD

Contamination

  • Body fluids (examples: urine, feces)
  • Germs/disease (examples: herpes, HIV)
  • Environmental contaminants (examples: asbestos, radiation)
  • Household chemicals (examples: cleaners, solvents)
  • Dirt
Losing Control

Harm

  • Fear of being responsible for something terrible happening (examples: fire, burglary)
  • Fear of harming others because of not being careful enough (example: dropping something on the ground that might cause someone to slip and hurt him/herself)
Obsessions Related to Perfectionism

  • Concern about evenness or exactness
  • Concern with a need to know or remember
  • Fear of losing or forgetting important information when throwing something out
  • Inability to decide whether to keep or to discard things
  • Fear of losing things
Unwanted Sexual Thoughts

  • Forbidden or perverse sexual thoughts or images
  • Forbidden or perverse sexual impulses about others
  • Obsessions about homosexuality
  • Sexual obsessions that involve children or incest
  • Obsessions about aggressive sexual behavior towards others
 Religious Obsessions (Scrupulosity)

  • Concern with offending God, or concern about blasphemy.
  • Excessive concern with right/wrong or morality.
Other Obsessions

  • Concern with getting a physical illness or disease (not by contamination e.g., cancer)
  • Superstitious ideas about lucky/unlucky numbers, certain colors
   

Common Compulsions in OCD

   
Washing and Cleaning

  • Washing hands excessively or in a certain way
  • Excessive showering, bathing, tooth brushing, grooming or toilet routines
  • Cleaning household items or other objects excessively
  • Doing other things to prevent or remove contact with contaminants
Checking

  • Checking that you did not/will not harm others
  • Checking that you did not/will not harm yourself
  • Checking that nothing terrible happened
  • Checking that you did not make a mistake
  • Checking some parts of your physical condition or body
Repeating

  • Rereading or rewriting
  • Repeating routine activities (examples: going in or out doors, getting up or down from chairs)
  • Repeating body movements (example: tapping, touching, blinking)
  • Repeating activities in "multiples" (examples: doing a task three times because three is a "good", "right", "safe" number)
Mental Compulsions

  • Mental review of events to prevent harm (to oneself, others, to prevent terrible consequences)
  • Praying to prevent harm (to oneself, others, to prevent terrible consequences)
  • Counting while performing a task to end on a "good", "right", or "safe" number
  • "Cancelling" or "Undoing" (example: replacing a "bad" word with a "good" word to cancel it out)
Other Compulsions

  • Collecting items which results in significant clutter in the home (also called hoarding)
  • Putting things in order or arranging things until it "feels right"
  • Telling, asking, or confessing to get reassurance
  • Avoiding situations that might trigger your obsessions




Have you been sexually assualted? Been in a controlling relationship? Have you ever felt no one knows how you feel?  Well i do. Click on my siggy and join my support group! Hope to see you there!


by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:06 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:11 PM
Interesting, we fear my soon to be five year old has ocd. We have been seeing a counselor.
mommysangelface
by Emerald Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:12 PM

what makes you think he has OCD?

Quoting Anonymous:

Interesting, we fear my soon to be five year old has ocd. We have been seeing a counselor.


Have you been sexually assualted? Been in a controlling relationship? Have you ever felt no one knows how you feel?  Well i do. Click on my siggy and join my support group! Hope to see you there!


Anonymous
by Anonymous on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:17 PM
Such a long story. We have always worried about her excessive hand washing and fixation on certain things. We are pretty certain my dh has form of ocd. We had a scare awhile back where after visiting family she was obssessed with private parts which was what started us in counseling. We were fearing something happened to her when we traveled.

Quoting mommysangelface:

what makes you think he has OCD?

Quoting Anonymous:

Interesting, we fear my soon to be five year old has ocd. We have been seeing a counselor.


Anonymous
by Anonymous on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:19 PM

There seems to be a lot of self diagnoses for OCD these days.  It's annoying.  I have OCD.  I usually don't tell people because I hate hearing "oh yea! I have that, I hate when my house isn't clean."

um, no.  No you do not have ocd.  so there.


But I do, and it sucks.  I did the cognitiv e behaviour therpay and it did really help.

mommysangelface
by Emerald Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:22 PM

is she over the obsession of private parts now?

with the excessive hand washing could be.Most people dont know this, BUT

Hitler did that also. He would wash his hands 20 - 30 times a day i believe it was. He also changed underwear all the time. 

Please dont think i am comparing her to Hitler, im just using it as an example.  lol

Quoting Anonymous:

Such a long story. We have always worried about her excessive hand washing and fixation on certain things. We are pretty certain my dh has form of ocd. We had a scare awhile back where after visiting family she was obssessed with private parts which was what started us in counseling. We were fearing something happened to her when we traveled.

Quoting mommysangelface:

what makes you think he has OCD?

Quoting Anonymous:

Interesting, we fear my soon to be five year old has ocd. We have been seeing a counselor.



Have you been sexually assualted? Been in a controlling relationship? Have you ever felt no one knows how you feel?  Well i do. Click on my siggy and join my support group! Hope to see you there!


mommysangelface
by Emerald Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:25 PM

heres the thing, and i know YOU understand but some people dont. 

Yes alot of people self diagnose. like you said.  example, i hate when my house isnt clean"

no that in itself is not OCD

BUT it depends on how far they go with it you know. 

DH thinks i have OCD tendencies.  i laugh at him though. 

I HAVE to have towels folded a certain way. If i walk by and they are not, i WILL refold them. I have tried not to, but i always end up doing it. 

If the dishes are not in a certain order in the dish drain i will rearrange it so they are in a certain order. i cant leave it. it drives me nuts.  lol

I have to have the toilet paper on the roll a certain way. If not i change it, and yes i do it in other peoples homes. i cant help it.  lol

Quoting Anonymous:

There seems to be a lot of self diagnoses for OCD these days.  It's annoying.  I have OCD.  I usually don't tell people because I hate hearing "oh yea! I have that, I hate when my house isn't clean."

um, no.  No you do not have ocd.  so there.


But I do, and it sucks.  I did the cognitiv e behaviour therpay and it did really help.


Have you been sexually assualted? Been in a controlling relationship? Have you ever felt no one knows how you feel?  Well i do. Click on my siggy and join my support group! Hope to see you there!


AshletD
by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:26 PM
Yeah, I hate that, too. I have OCD as well, diagnosed at 15. I have mostly contamination fears, but I am much more in control than I used to be.

Quoting Anonymous:

There seems to be a lot of self diagnoses for OCD these days.  It's annoying.  I have OCD.  I usually don't tell people because I hate hearing "oh yea! I have that, I hate when my house isn't clean."

um, no.  No you do not have ocd.  so there.


But I do, and it sucks.  I did the cognitiv e behaviour therpay and it did really help.

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kansasmom1978
by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:27 PM

My son has OCD assocated with his Autism. It's sucks

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:28 PM


that's not ocd.  

Quoting mommysangelface:

heres the thing, and i know YOU understand but some people dont. 

Yes alot of people self diagnose. like you said.  example, i hate when my house isnt clean"

no that in itself is not OCD

BUT it depends on how far they go with it you know. 

DH thinks i have OCD tendencies.  i laugh at him though. 

I HAVE to have towels folded a certain way. If i walk by and they are not, i WILL refold them. I have tried not to, but i always end up doing it. 

If the dishes are not in a certain order in the dish drain i will rearrange it so they are in a certain order. i cant leave it. it drives me nuts.  lol

I have to have the toilet paper on the roll a certain way. If not i change it, and yes i do it in other peoples homes. i cant help it.  lol

Quoting Anonymous:

There seems to be a lot of self diagnoses for OCD these days.  It's annoying.  I have OCD.  I usually don't tell people because I hate hearing "oh yea! I have that, I hate when my house isn't clean."

um, no.  No you do not have ocd.  so there.


But I do, and it sucks.  I did the cognitiv e behaviour therpay and it did really help.




waffa
by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 9:29 PM

tl;dr but already know what ocd is tyvm op.

and what is it when you have the anxiety and compulsion but no obsessiveness?

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