Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder that involves a series of human behaviors that are considered as distracting, debilitating, and eventually destructive if left unchecked.
Symptoms of OCD
Yes, many individuals tend to fall into a natural inclination to be preoccupied at one point or another; however, a number of signs and symptoms must be present in an individual to be diagnosed as suffering from OCD. For example, if a certain thought becomes recurring and magnified to the point it causes stress or anxiety, and if that thought is considered as logically inappropriate, then the individual harboring such thoughts may be suffering from OCD. Initially, efforts to distract oneself from the obsession may be successful, but in more severe cases, the individual fails to achieve success.
Psychiatrists note that OCD is an internal condition - obsessive thoughts which the mind dwells on even without the presence of any external source or logic. In conjunction to obsession, compulsion refers to the repetitive behavior of an individual, usually having the internal urge to perform an action to satisfy or neutralize their obsessive thoughts.
Usually, individuals with OCD reach the stage in which their obsessions and compulsions spiral out of control, in which the act of constantly gratifying the obsession by compulsive actions becomes a vicious cycle. Thus, the condition progresses into a disorder when the individual's behavior eventually replaces his or her daily routines - affecting both social life and career.
Do I Suffer from OCD?
Individual differences play a major role in the severity and frequency of this potentially debilitating disorder. For one, an individual may manifest destructive behaviors such as inflicting harm or injury to oneself or another person. In some patients, OCD is manifested by inappropriate sexual behaviors or thoughts, while others inflict harm in fear that they are losing ground in controlling their own behaviors.
Compulsive behaviors are generally categorized into two major classifications: mental and physical. Mental compulsive behaviors involve frequent counting, murmuring, confessing and praying. Physical compulsive behaviors may involve overly frequent washing of the hands or other parts of the body; frequent checking of doors and appliances, ensuring that the doors are locked and appliances are switched off; and even constantly arranging the furnishings and wall displays, making sure they're all aligned and spotless.
People who experience obsessive thoughts and compulsions may not necessarily suffer from the disorder. However, if the obsessive and compulsive thoughts become uncontrolled and progressive, the individuals who find themselves trapped in a cycle should consult a psychiatrist, who in turn will recommend a course of treatment or prescribe medication.