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mental health

OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Definition - Causes - Symptoms - Treatment

Definition and Symptoms
               Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a mental abnormality which is
characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, anxiety, apprehension, fear and worry (obsessions).
Theses Obsessions force the patient to do some aggressive, abnormal or strange, repetitive acts. The patient is unable to restrain himself from these acts (compulsions).
The most common compulsive acts include;

  • Repetitive Hand Washing
  • Extensive Hoarding,
  • Preoccupation with sexual or aggressive impulses.
  • Aversion to odd numbers,
  • Nervous Habits, such as opening and closing the door several times when someone enters or leaves the room.

            A good deal of research has been carried out over the past few years regarding the causes of OCD. According to the researches following causes are stated.
  • Chemical And Brain dysfunction; It doesn't mean that the patient has damaged or severely abnormal brain. Some chemical messenger in the brain is involved in the pathology, especially serotonin. Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain, deficiency of this transmitter is linked to OCD. Problems in the orbital cortex, limbic systems and thalamus are also linked to OCD. 
  • Genetics: 30 % of Americans with OCD have a family history of OCD.
  • Infection: Streptococcal infection of throat occasionally causes cellular damage. If cells of the brain become damaged it can result in brain disorder and OCD can be one of them.
  • Depression
  • Psychodynamics: This is the theory that states that disturbances in early sexual or general development and unconscious wishes are at the heart of OCD. Regarding development, the theory is that conflict between the thinking and reasoning part of the mind and the part that wants its own way is dealt with in an unstable way by the child and that causes mental problems in later life.  An example might be a compulsive checker of taps who, according to this theory, wanted to flood the house as a child. With unconscious wishes, the theory could be that, for example, the person who fears running over people in his car really wants to do this. To keep the awareness out of his consciousness he uses a huge amount of energy which gives the thought an obsessional quality.
  • Stress, Guilt, Shame
                 Cause of OCD directs its treatment. 
  • Obstacles to Treatment

Hiding symptoms.  Some people choose to hide their symptoms, often in fear of embarrassment or stigma.  This causes many people with OCD to not seek the help of a mental health professional until many years after the onset of symptoms.

Less public awareness of OCD.  

Lack of proper training in health professionals

Difficulty finding local therapists who can effectively treat OCD.

Not being able to afford proper treatment.   

Treatment of OCD.
 On average, it takes 14-17 years from the time OCD begins for people to get the right treatment. 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, unlike a heart attack or a broken leg, is difficult to diagnose at the onset. The sufferer may be ashamed to talk about their obsessive thoughts or rituals with other people, or might even think that their compulsions (whether constant hand washing or continuous repentance) are necessary for their well-being. It may take years, in fact, before an OCD patient ever contacts a psychologist or psychiatrist for help.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This the treatment method that focuses on thoughts. This should be done under the supervision of Qualified experienced psychiatrist.

Medication and OCD Treatment

Medication Helps by correcting the chemical balance of the brain. They offer great help in the treatment of OCD. Medications for obsessive-compulsive disorder exist simply to counter the chemical imbalances in the OCD patient’s brain. They make valuable aids to exposure-response prevention.
This article does not introduce or recommend specific medications; that is a task reserved for professional health care providers. It should be understood, however, that medication can greatly assist in the OCD treatment process for some patients.

Patience, Effort
It is said that God helps those who help themselves. Patient and his family should put all their effort into correcting the disorder.


  1. Thanks for sharing this great and valuable information! My nephew has this and has gotten help, and is doing much better, living life to it's fullest!

  2. well feels good to hear that he is fine..

  3. can I know the doctors name, as i want to include this work in my research :)

  4. hi. All information about us is over here.


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