Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one of the most common brain disorders in the world. It affects millions of people around the world. Due to its nature, spotting OCD symptoms can be difficult. In order to understand the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, it is necessary for one to understand what OCD is and how it affects the person with it as well as those around them.
Background on OCD
As stated, obsessive compulsive disorder is a brain disorder. Its main characteristics are compulsions to perform certain acts in a ritualistic fashion such as knocking on a door for a set number of times before entering. Moreover, OCD is also characterized by certain compulsions that may fill the person's mind. These obsessions are often in the form of unwanted thoughts that one cannot seemingly shake off. These thoughts may contain different themes. These include violence, self harm, fear, etc. Such thoughts may cause the person with OCD constant fear and worry.
OCD symptoms may range depending on the age of the affected person. There are some symptoms that are more common in adults than there are in children. Moreover, these symptoms may be carried over by the person from their childhood into their adulthood. To better comprehend the different symptoms, they are divided into two major categories. These are obsessions and compulsions.
Some of the obsessive symptoms common in adult sufferers are violence- or fear-themed thoughts such as the fear of water or dirt, and constant anger/aggressiveness. At times the thoughts may manifest themselves in sexual fantasies. Other people with OCD may feel sick or dirty when touched by people. These people tend to form a phobia of other people touching them or what they own. Some fear driving as they have the constant feeling that they will knock someone when driving.
Adults and children suffering from OCD will have compulsions based upon a particular theme. The nature of the theme varies. Mostly it involves repetitive actions over some period of time.
Some of the common compulsions include:
- knocking on a door, as mentioned above, for set number of times before entering
- counting steps as one climbs up the flight of stairs
- counting all the black or white dots in a polka dot dress
- hoarding junk that is completely useless
These are just some of the ways through which OCD can manifest itself. Majority of the symptoms listed here are noted in adults but begin during the person's childhood. OCD can be treated through therapy and medication and these compulsions can thus be controlled.