All You Need to Know About OCD: Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

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OCD can hinder your everyday activities, affecting the quality of life. The compulsion to do something over and again – and the anxiety that follows – can negatively impact your productivity, relationships, and other aspects of life. 

At Cadabam’s Hospitals, we offer tailored OCD treatment. Our multi-specialty team of experts has extensive experience in addressing every type of OCD and taking care of cases of any severity. For more than three decades, we have worked with countless patients, helping them with their OCD and enabling them a better (and healthier) life.

What is OCD? 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by persistent unwanted thoughts and urges to do something over and again. It is a type of mental health disorder that significantly affects nearly every aspect of life, often resulting in various other mental health problems. 

People who suffer from OCD follow these urges as temporary relief from the anxiety that unwanted thoughts cause. As the condition progresses, these urges may become such a large part of the person's life that they can no longer hold down a job or perform daily duties. 

OCD treatment

Many people who suffer from OCD feel deeply ashamed and hide their condition. This only adds to the anxiety and can make their conditions nearly unmanageable. There is an effective treatment for OCD. Although it can't be cured; it can be managed to the point where a person can live a normal and healthy life relatively free of anxiety and obsession. But prior to that, let’s understand what causes OCD and how to know if you or someone has OCD disorder. 

What Causes OCD?

The exact cause of OCD has eluded scientists and researchers. However, some factors have been linked to OCD. It is thought to run in families and linked to an imbalance in brain chemistry. People may exhibit symptoms of it early in life or develop it later in life. One-third of the people who suffer from OCD develop the condition as teenagers or younger. It affects just as many men as women and knows no racial or economic boundaries.

Symptoms of OCD- A Brief Explanation

The most persistent OCD symptoms include-

  • Thoughts of harming loved ones
  • Sexual acts that are disturbing or prohibited by a person's religion, or thoughts that if the person doesn't perform their rituals something bad will happen to themselves or a loved one. 
  • Excessive hand washing is a common symptom of excessive grooming.
  • A person with OCD has a set ritual when getting dressed or leaving the house. They may count items, get dressed in a specific order, or any other pattern that if not done correctly facilitates starting over.
  • Hoarding is another symptom of OCD.

Some common OCD behavior includes counting and recounting the bills in the wallet, frequent hand washing, nail-biting, double-checking to see if the doors or windows are locked, and frequent repositioning of objects.

Also, anxiety and depression usually accompany OCD, and in severe cases thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts may occur. Hence, it becomes increasingly important to seek treatment at the early stages when the chances of recovery are higher.

Offering Support to Loved Ones With OCD:

You must communicate with your loved ones and tell them that you understand the difference between behavioral symptoms of OCD. Clear communication can help the patient feel confident and reduce their stress/anxiety levels. Here are some ways you can support a loved one suffering from OCD compulsive disorder:

  1. Encourage your loved one to talk about their disorder. This will allow you to learn how it affects their life and help you to be more supportive of them. However, you need to be careful and not engage in topics about the logic behind OCD because the patient knows that their compulsions and obsessions are irrational or excessive. They don’t need to be reminded about it.
  2. Motivate them to seek professional help because it won’t go away without treatment. Whether it’s emergency OCD help or a normal OCD treatment, you can help your loved one by locating a good treatment center that has experienced therapists. An effective treatment plan will help you and your loved one learn about the best ways to cope with OCD symptoms and help the patient live a normal life.
  3. Talk about OCD; don’t treat it like a taboo subject. Have discussions about OCD being a common treatable anxiety condition, and that there is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. Support your loved ones and talk about their OCD experiences with family and friends. This will break any secrecy or shame about OCD disorder.
  4. You have to be patient and maintain a non-judgmental stance around a patient affected by OCD. This will help them focus on recovery rather than worry about dealing with anger and resentment from a family member or friend.
  5. If your loved one feels that they should stop treatment and their motivation begins to fade, you have to remind them of how far they have come in recovery and all the benefits they have received from the treatment.
  6. Try maintaining normal routines at home, wherever possible. This includes strengthening family and social connections while bringing a sense of stability to positive occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. Also, practice positive communication and behavior like sharing, hugging, and helping each other with chores at home.
  7. Offer to attend an OCD session with your loved one. This will help you gain advice about how you can offer support and help with the recovery journey. You can also attend support groups for family and friends of OCD patients. Look for information and workshops on stress management, mindfulness meditation, healthy living.
  8. You must understand that OCD compulsive disorder is a form of anxiety, and you must encourage your loved one to seek treatment in a positive and kind way. Don’t bully or ridicule them into getting treatment. It won’t work and will make them feel helpless and like a failure. 

Treatment for OCD

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy has shown to be very effective in treating OCD. In cognitive therapy, the counselor teaches new ways to think and react to situations that cause anxiety. This can help you to break the cycle of anxiety and rituals common with OCD. 
  • Medications are also available that help to balance your brain's serotonin levels. The important thing to remember about these medications is not to stop them suddenly. A sudden drop in serotonin can lead to severe depression and anxiety. Our OCD specialists do a comprehensive evaluation of the patient to provide them the right medicines – along with other relevant recommendations – that offer the best (and lasting) result.
  • In addition, there are several other ways to treat OCD. Psychology treatments like exposure and response prevention therapy are quite popular. It involves identifying triggers, exposing yourself to those triggers, and gradually learning to deal with them effectively.
  • There are also a few second-layer treatments. It includes outpatient programs, day programs, and residential programs. These are intensive treatment programs wherein the OCD specialists will work closely with the patient in helping them manage their conditions in a better way. At Cadabam’s Hospitals, we offer the best first-layer and second-layer OCD treatments. Our team of psychotherapists and other specialists strive to deliver patients not just the best solution but also an exceptional experience.
  • In severe cases where other treatments didn’t yield the desired result and the condition isn’t improving, the doctor may recommend neuromodulation and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Neuromodulation involves changing electrical activity in a particular area of the brain, while TMS uses a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells. These treatments are opted in only very severe cases of OCD where other measures have failed.

You may never be completely rid of OCD, but with therapy and medication, you can start to live a life free of anxiety, persistent thoughts, and the rituals that interfere with normal activities.

Want to learn more about OCD treatments? Check out the link

Treat Your OCD: Why Cadabam’s Hospitals

Cadabam's Hospitals is one of the leading mental health care and psycho-social rehabilitation centers. Offering a comprehensive solution under a single roof for more than three decades, our multi-specialty team of experts specializes in treating OCD.

We rely on an evidence-based approach that enables us to deliver better results to our patients. Our solutions are tailored to suit your unique needs, requirements, and preferences. So, if you need more information and insights about OCD treatment or have any queries, do send them to us at info@cadabamshospitals.com. Or visit us at Cadabam’s Hospitals. Alternatively, you can reach us on our 24/7 helpline number- +91 97414 76476.

FAQs About OCD

  • Do you have OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a mental health disorder. There are various signs and symptoms that underline the person has OCD. However, these signs are not always obvious. Plus, their presence can also mean other problems like GAD. Besides, different people may show different symptoms. So, self-diagnosis is never a good idea.

You must get in touch with an OCD specialist for a proper diagnosis. In general though, if you feel compelled to do something, see things in a particular order or obsessively control everything around you, which is now affecting other parts of your life, that’s not a good sign.

  • Is OCD genetic?

OCD is known to have a genetic basis. So, if anyone in your family has this condition, you are more likely to have it too.

  • How long does OCD treatment take? 

There’s no definite timeline to this. It depends on the severity of your case and what kind of OCD you have. With proper counseling from a psychotherapist, some may be able to control their OCD in just a couple of weeks, while others can take months and years. It’s best to discuss this with your doctor who can answer it more objectively after doing a proper diagnosis and evaluation.

  • Will OCD go away without treatment?

No. OCD is a chronic condition and it cannot be cured. It can only be managed and controlled. So, the earlier the treatment plan starts, the better. If you have OCD, don’t expect it to go away magically. Seek proper treatment before it gets worse and becomes unmanageable.

  • Can OCD go away with treatment?

There’s no “cure” for OCD. So, it won’t permanently go away. With proper treatment though, you will learn how to control it effectively. You will eventually be able to manage your OCD well to a point that it may not look like a problem anymore.

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