Wednesday, April 17, 2019

O - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness

Obsessions are thoughts, images or impulses that occur over and over again and feel outside of the person’s control. Compulsions are the second part of obsessive compulsive disorder. These are repetitive behaviors or thoughts that a person uses with the intention of neutralizing, counteracting, or making their obsessions go away.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that affects people of all ages and walks of life, and occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions

Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease his or her distress.

Obsessions are typically accompanied by intense and uncomfortable feelings such as fear, disgust, doubt, or a feeling that things have to be done in a way that is “just right.” In the context of OCD, obsessions are time consuming and get in the way of important activities the person values. This last part is extremely important to keep in mind as it, in part, determines whether someone has OCD — a psychological disorder — rather than an obsessive personality trait.  

Obsessive-compulsive disorder usually includes both obsessions and compulsions. But it's also possible to have only obsession symptoms or only compulsion symptoms.

A few common obsessions are:

·         Contamination
Ø  Germs/disease (examples: herpes, HIV)
Ø  Environmental contaminants (examples: asbestos, radiation)
Ø  Dirt

·         Losing Control
Ø  Fear of acting on an impulse to harm oneself
Ø  Fear of blurting out obscenities or insults
Ø  Fear of stealing things (Kleptomania)

·         Obsessions Related to Perfectionism
Ø  Concern about evenness or exactness
Ø  Inability to decide whether to keep or to discard things
Ø  Fear of losing things
·         Unwanted Sexual Thoughts
·         Religious Obsessions (Scrupulosity)
·         Other Obsessions
Ø  Concern with getting a physical illness or disease (not by contamination, e.g. cancer)
Ø  Superstitious ideas about lucky/unlucky numbers certain colors

Common compulsions include:
Ø  Washing and cleaning everything or certain things
Ø  Checking things again and again
Ø  Mental compulsions
Ø  Repeating

A diagnosis of OCD requires the presence of obsession and/or compulsions that are time-consuming (more than one hour a day), cause major distress, and impair work, social or other important function.

Some individuals with OCD also have a tic disorder. Motor tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements, such as eye blinking and other eye movements, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Common vocal tics include repetitive throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds.

OCD is typically treated with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two.
There's no sure way to prevent obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, getting treatment as soon as possible may help prevent OCD from worsening and disrupting activities and your daily routine.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.


  1. A really informative post! A lot of people label their need to just put things in the right place as having OCD which may not actually be true and which shouldn't be done.

  2. I have some mild OCD things, but I am able to keep them from really interfering in my life. People don't even know the things I do unless I admit them.

    I cannot climb a set of stairs until I know how many steps there are. I count my steps but always start over at 8. On stairs, the last step has to land on the number 8. So, I have to know how many steps there are to be able to start at the right number to end it correctly.

    I break every set of numbers I see down to their prime numbers. I've had times I lost track of conversations because I am too busy doing math in my head to keep track of what is being said.

    I must complete any sequence that I start (finger tapping, arm waving, etc. - doesn't make sense, I know). Once started, it must be completed before I can concentrate on something else. It generally only takes a few seconds, but it must be done.

    I have many more and have no idea where these things came from.

    I am at Transformed Nonconformist. I usually write humor pieces, but I am getting serious this month. I'm writing about people who have deeply impacted my life.

    1. Thanks Brett for sharing your personal experience

  3. I do compulsive checking due to anxiety, and it bothers me even though it has ab upside (I have never lost my keys or any other important thing). A lot of people throw OCD around nowadays as a synonym for being a cleanly person, which is wrong...

    The Multicolored Diary

    1. Well, it mustn't interfere with your daily life

  4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in most commonly we see in fascination for cleaning and cleanliness. Though many other variants are possible. Monica's character in Friends had a kind of OCD for organisation and neatness. Though not dangerous beyond irritation at mild level, I have not seen and do not know what happens in a serious case when a person is not under medication.

  5. I have heard so many people use this term very loosely when it is a serious disorder. Thank you for sharing all the information, Pooja.

    1. Yes Rachna that is true for many mental health terms

  6. Very detailed post about OCD. You also covered the common OCD. Nice post.

  7. I for sure have the OCD for not being able to decide whether to keep something or discard it. Thank you for these insights regarding OCD.


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