By Ajaiwant Cheema, owner of Cheema Medical Complex
Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, descriptions, needs or doubts that frequently occur in the mind; like you have been thinking that you are contaminated by dirt and germs, or undergoing a sudden urge to hurt somebody. These obsessions are usually terrifying or seem so awful that nobody will share them with others. The obsession disturbs person’s other thoughts and makes him feel very restless. These unwanted thoughts are very distressing and affects your interaction with others and also effects on your studies and work.
Compulsions are monotonous activities that you think you have to do. This might be something like frequently checking a door to make sure it is locked or repeating a specific slogan in your mind to avoid any damage coming to a loved one. The target of a compulsion is to try and deal with the suffering caused by the obsessive thoughts and discharge the anxiety you are feeling. However, any relief you feel is often for a short-term. Getting ready, every day includes so much hand washing, mental formalities, and doing things in the same order every day.
Symptoms of OCD
Though each person will have their own involvements, there are some common obsessions and compulsions that occur as part of OCD.
1. Unwanted thoughts about harm or violence
2. Unwanted sexual feelings
3. Unwanted offensive thoughts
Causes of OCD
There are different perspectives about why OCD occurs:
1. ‘Dysfunctional’ beliefs
One philosophy suggests that OCD grows because of ‘dysfunctional’ beliefs and explanations. If you have an OCD, you might rely on that you have more responsibility for a condition than you actually do. Because of this, your reaction may go out of the way.
2. Personal experience
Some specialists’ theories advise that OCD is initiated by personal experience. Myth has been created that if you have had a painful childhood experience or suffered trauma, you might learn to use obsessions and compulsions to handle with anxiety. Conversely, this theory does not enlighten why people who cannot have any agonising experiences might experience OCD.
3. Biological factors
Some biological theories conclude that a deficiency in the brain chemical serotonin may cause OCD. However, experts disagree about it, and it is unclear either the lack of this chemical causes OCD or is the effect of having the condition. Studies have also observed at genetic factors and how different parts of the brain might be involved in causing OCD but have found nothing worth.
How to tackle with OCD?
1. Peer groups
A self-help, or peer support group, provides a chance to meet up with those persons who have suffered from the same type of issues as you. It can make you feel less isolated and give you and other group fellows a chance to share their views, feelings and experiences in coping with OCD.
2. Physical activity
Add some physical activity in your daily routine, whether it is a short walk or playing any game, can help you in improving mental wellbeing. Exercise makes you active and can distract you from unwanted thoughts.
3. Share your thoughts
It’s not that easy to discuss OCD. But if you can succeed to talk to somebody you have faith about your situation, it could help you feel better and less isolated. It can also help other people recognise your OCD nature and how they can help you.