What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one of the five most common psychiatric diseases. It considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the 20 most disabling conditions. It is a neurological problem that translates into an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts. That is recurrent and persistent fixed ideas that generate restlessness, fear & anxiety.
These obsessive thoughts also expressed in multiple ways and are lived with feelings contrary to them. May cause compulsive behaviors to calm the anxiety they generate. These are transformed into exaggerated rituals or reactions of resistance to one’s obsessive ideas.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder usually begins to manifest itself during childhood or adolescence. Its evolution is progressive, although it may also appear suddenly due to stress or a particular event that acts as a trigger.
It is considered as a chronic disorder, although it goes through periods of distinct improvement. Although the total disappearance of the symptoms only occurs in 20% of the cases.
Obsessive thoughts can be of different types:
Impulses, which are characterized by being aggressive and cause an irrational fear of harming the nearest people.
Fears or phobias usually focused on the fear of being contaminated by touching anything or being touched by someone. The obsession with physical defects that harm his hypochondriacal attitudes.
Ideas, which are manifested by an obsession with order, cleanliness, the passing of time, etc.
Doubts that lead them to check everything repeatedly to avoid problems: the house lock, gas spigot, windows, light.
Obsessive thoughts, in turn, generate in the person who suffers a defensive reaction that translates into compulsions. That is repetitive acts whose purpose is to avoid the consequences of one’s thoughts. You may recognize that they are stupid actions, but if you do not do it increases anxiety.
Symptoms of OCD
The symptoms of OCD result in specific attitudes that are reflected in the international clinical guidelines:
Intolerance of uncertainty: Everything has to be under control as the only way to obtain security. It has great difficulties in dealing with unexpected situations or to operate in ambiguous situations.
Overestimation of threat: Magnifies the probability of a catastrophe occurring.
Perfectionism: No mistakes are tolerated, and everything has to be perfect, so you check things over and over again.
Excessive responsibility: Rules and behavioral schemas based on the trust always to do the right thing. This put into practice when particular circumstances occur.
Beliefs about the importance of thoughts: The importance of own thoughts is magnified and especially of their meaning. Which is none other than that which he attributes to them?
The importance of controlling one’s thoughts: they need to monitor their thoughts so that they cannot think of certain things.
The rigidity of ideas: Immovable ideas, without taking into account any arguments that can modify them, is a means to gain security.
Causes of OCD
The causes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are not well understood, although different factors have been identified that can intervene in the development of this psychiatric disease. From a biological perspective, it has been verified that the people who suffer it present alterations of the frontal lobe of the brain and in the secretion of serotonin.
This neurotransmitter is involved in the regulation of mood, aggressiveness, and impulsivity, in addition to modulating the transmission of information from one neuron to another, a process that lasts in people with OCD develops more slowly than in people Normal.
It is also known that genetic factors exist that condition the development of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Although the way in which they are transmitted is unknown. However, it must also be borne in mind that there are occasional events or situations in the life of a person that can act as triggers: they can be diseases of the family, the death of a loved one, separation or divorce, Rigid during childhood, some trauma, etc.