Defining Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The fact that most of us nowadays find it foolish that a person is suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder is proof that we are ill educated on the issue. Our lack of understanding of the condition is what creates a stigma among those who suffer from it.

People who have OCD are usually ashamed to admit the clinical nature of their problem because there are those of us who have the audacity to say that OCD does not merit medical concern and can be overcome simply by taking control of ourselves. If you have OCD, you will not say the same thing. That’s why it is called a ‘disorder’. It means that science has found that it is not as easy to stop as counting from one to ten and blinking everything away.

In this article, we hope to gain a greater understanding of obsessive compulsive disorder. First up, we need to recognize and acknowledge that it is a medical condition that merits medical attention. Second, we should realize that people who are suffering from OCD are so because they find themselves unable to get ahold of their obsessions and compulsions. And, third, we must understand that OCD can also be treated.

How can we say that a person has obsessive compulsive disorder? OCD is an anxiety problem wherein the person is compelled to perform certain calculated rituals in order to assuage the feelings of distress or anxiety over a particular obsession.

For instance, if a person always fears that he might lose his father, he might do everything in his capacity to protect his father from harm, including disallowing the parent from getting out of the house (for fear that he might get nabbed or that he might get sick from outside or whatever). An extreme form of this anxiety might result in the person locking his parent inside a room to drastically reduce his ‘exposure’ to harm.

Some people think a person who has OCD is crazy. However, let us not be quick to judge. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a condition that requires attention, but it does not necessarily entail that the person is insane. Insanity is considered the total incapacity to exhibit self control. OCD sufferers still have control of themselves at some level ? and that is why they need to be subjected to medications or therapy.

How is obsessive compulsive disorder treated? There are generally two ways to do this. The first treatment is via regular medication. People with OCD are asked to take drugs like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft for a certain period or for the rest of their lives. Opposers of medication based therapy say drugs only make a person dependent in the long run and does not really address the behavioral core, bringing us to the second type of treatment ? cognitive behavior therapy.

Cognitive behavior therapy requires a lot of patience and endurance on the part of the patient and the people who surround him or her because it deals with the alteration of habits and the changing of mindsets.

Obviously, this type of obsessive compulsive disorder treatment takes a relatively longer time to be successful. However, patients who have gone this route found themselves better placed after the treatments, because the method tackles the problem at the very nucleus.

Treatments for OCD vary according to the person who is taking them. One person might be asked to take medications alone or undergo behavior therapy alone, or he or she might be subjected to a combination of both. There is no single way to tackle obsessive compulsive disorder and each method is unique to the patient. Doctors will first have to study the patient’s response capabilities to certain methods before subjecting him or her to full treatment.

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