It is natural to worry throughout life. Parents worry about their children. Practically everyone worries about doing a good job at work. However, there are some people who have worries that turn into obsessions. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder occurs when the brain gets stuck on a single urge or thought, such as checking to make sure you turned off the stove 10 times because you worry it will burn the house down. It is paramount to be aware of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Symptoms, so you can get it under control.
What Are the Symptoms of OCD?
OCD symptoms typically start in childhood. Some may come and go while others are constantly present. Without treatment, it is a lifelong problem, and some of the most common symptoms include:
- Worrying about throwing away items with little to no value
- Need for order and symmetry
- Anxiety about dirt and germs
- Counting, repeating certain words or performing rituals
- Checking on the same thing over and over again
- Excessive hand washing
- Inability to break out of a routine
- Continual need for reassurance
- Fear of touching things in public or shaking hands
OCD symptoms in children tend to be the same as those for adults. As a result, parents should take note if their children engage in any of these thoughts or behaviors. A child will be better off if treatment is sought quickly.
What Are the Categories of OCD?
Researchers have discovered the four main categories of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Each category involves its own compulsions and obsessions.
- Doubt and Harm: The person worries about accidental harm and constantly checks for people’s safety.
- Symmetry and Arranging: Everything needs to feel “just right.” The person will repeat actions, including touching and tapping.
- Unacceptable or Taboo Thoughts: The person ruminates on negative thoughts and emotions, which results in needing reassurance.
- Contamination: The person worries about germs and experiences routine feelings of disgust.
There is a myth that OCD symptoms in adults make them tidy. This is far from the truth. Many people with OCD are hoarders, and although they may wash their hands often, they do not clean their houses with any regularity.
What Are Treatments for OCD?
The most common treatment for OCD is cognitive-behavioral therapy. First, this involves exposure and response prevention, which requires the sufferer to be exposed to the obsession’s source. Next, the therapist teaches the person ways to have healthy thoughts and actions toward the source without having to resort to the compulsive behavior.
People can also take medications, including antidepressants, to cope with OCD. Family therapy is highly useful as it allows everyone in the person’s circle to better understand the mindset at play. Additionally, lifestyle changes can help keep OCD compulsions at bay. Exercising regularly, avoiding nicotine and alcohol and getting enough sleep can ease anxiety and worrying.
Where Can You Get Help for OCD?
Mental health problems are nothing to be ashamed of. Millions of people in the United States suffer from some kind of mental health problem. The way you treat it is the same as any physical ailment. Contact Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare today to help get your OCD symptoms under control. Together, we can help you live a happy life.