Today I want to break the stigma on OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) It is such a common disorder, yet often stigmatized against and often poorly understood. I have traits of it, So I am particularly keen to tackle this topic.
OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is a disorder, which causes an individual to have intrusive thoughts of a frightening or disturbing nature, which in turn may cause the person to do things repeatedly. They might perform certain rituals to guard against danger, or clean one’s self or personal areas of home or work repeatedly.
Some of the stigma bashing starts from me now
Are all people with OCD ‘washers’ or ‘checkers’??
Absolutely not. OCD displays itself in a large variety of ways, and individuals usually suffer from a combination of symptoms. Most people with OCD also share common difficulty with daily activities, such as tardiness, perfectionism, indecision, discouragement and family difficulties.
OCD is Uncommon??
OCD affects up to 5 million Americans.
The disorder doesn’t discriminate and is found in men, women, children, and people of all races and socio-economic backgrounds.
OCD just a made up illness??
Absolutely not. Cases of OCD have been documented throughout the centuries. Initially it was hidden due to stigma. After treatments were developed, more people came forward,. Regretfully stigma prevents people coming forward from treatment to this date
Why doesn’t an individual with OCD “just stop” their behavior??
We all wish we could, Probably the biggest reason why we do not “just stop” is anxiety. The person with OCD suffers intense anxiety over whatever their symptoms focus upon. They want to be sure that whatever they are focusing upon is taken care of.
OCD is a disease of doubt, therefore the person with OCD feels they can never be sure that whatever it is really taken care of.. With a compulsion, the anxiety rises to unbearable and terrifying levels if the compulsion is not allowed to take place.
Is OCD acquired or are people born with it??
Persons are generally considered to have been born with a predisposition for OCD. This predisposition however does not always manifest itself. Sometimes the OCD is triggered by a traumatic or stressful event, but one must first have the predisposition toward OCD to develop the disorder.
You cannot have OCD and Depressions??
Approximately 70-90% of OCD sufferers have also suffered at least one major episode of Depression at some point in their life. Some schools of thought feel the OCD causes the depression while others believe the OCD and depression simply tend to co-exist. Many people with OCD also suffer from Bipolar
Are their chemical causes to OCD??
Time to be a nerd!
This issue is being discussed in the medical community. OCD appears to begin from increased activity in the orbital frontal cortex and caudate nucleus of the brain. The orbital frontal cortex, located behind the eyebrows, is involved in the perception of fear and danger. The caudate nucleus is involved in one’s ability to start and stop different thoughts and activities. OCD may also involve abnormal functioning of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.
Is OCD curable??
No, but it is usually manageable. Meds and therapy and support can do great work…
Why do so many people with OCD hide their symptoms??
Thanks for asking: Stigma!! Hopefully this piece changes stigma a little. We are not freaks or aliens!
Is there any hope for OCD??
There is plenty of hope, especially if the patient is determined to work hard. Up to 80% of OCD sufferers improve significantly with proper treatment of behavioral therapy and medication. Relapses of thinking or behavior may occur but if the person is determined, these slips can usually be caught and treated before blossoming into a full blown OCD episode.
What are some of the treatment methods for OCD??
The two most effective treatments for OCD are meds and behavioral therapy. Meds might be Anafranil and therapy could be CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) or “Exposure Therapy” (facing your fears gradually)
What medications are used??
The most effective medications for OCD are the SSRI – Luvox,and, as well as the tricyclic Anafranil. These are the primary medications proven effective for OCD thus far.
Is medical marijuana a good treatment for OCD??
Although medical marijuana is now legal in certain states in the USA, it is not a good treatment for OCD. It may provide some short-term relief, but it causes symptoms to later worsen. Marijuana can also interfere with OCD medications and make depression more severe.
Does stress affect OCD??
Yes!!! It is typical to notice a worsening of OCD symptoms during periods of stress. In itself, . Stress does not cause OCD, but a stressful event (like the death of a loved one or a divorce) can actually trigger the onset of the disorder or exacerbate it.
Do people with OCD need to be hospitalized??
The vast majority of people with OCD can be treated without ever having to be admitted to a hospital. Medication and behavioral therapy allow most people to improve while being treated as outpatients. Hospitalization, however, is a valuable option for people with severe or profound OCD who are unable to function as outpatients.
Do the obsessions ever change over time??
Obsessions may change themes over time. Sometimes a person simply adds new ones to old ones and sometimes the old ones are completely replaced by newer ones.
IS OCD contagious??
No, it is not!! Yhe answer is as simple as that. Very important to remember too..
If a parent has OCD, what are the chances that the children will have it too??
In general, about 10% of relatives of people with OCD have the disorder, and another 5-10% has mild “subclinical” OCD symptoms. But the risk of having a child with OCD varies, depending on whether someone has childhood- vs. adult-onset OCD (higher risk of genetic transmission) and on whether someone also has Tourette’s or Tics.
Interestingly, If both parents have OCD, the risk is doubled, around 20% on average.
Doesn’t everyone with OCD have obsessions and compulsions??
No. It’s mixed. Approximately 80 percent of people with OCD have both identifiable obsessions and compulsions; about 20 percent have only obsessions or compulsions.
I hope that’s helped End the stigma on OCD a little. That is 19 points I randomly picked from the plethora of material I read, see and receive. 19 is a lot. That was a fair amount of work. Pls read it again or share!