What you May Not Know about OCD

OCD is short for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which manifests itself with obsessions that are beyond a person’s control. People with this disorder do know that their thoughts are wrong and senseless, even disturbing but they cannot stop them. The brain centers in on the obsession and nothing else will matter. This goes far beyond a typical preoccupation and causes anguish in the individual’s life and like any type of addiction or addictive behavior, OCD does destroy lives and relationships and hinders daily functioning.

There is also the compulsive component of OCD to consider. Those who suffer from OCD know that what they are doing is only a temporary fix. Some compulsions are positive but for those with OCD they are obsessed to act compulsive as a way of escape or to reduce their own anxiety. They don’t want to do the things they do but they have to. Some examples include the fear of contamination through germs, dirt, body fluids, chemicals, or contaminants. Some fear losing control, harm, unwanted sexual thoughts, washing and cleaning, repeating, checking things over and over, and doing things in exact sequences.

People can develop OCD at any age really but it is most likely to occur in people between the ages of 8-12 or in early adulthood. It is thought that OCD is caused from communication issues between the front part of the brain and serotonin. It is also believed that OCD runs genetically. The general treatment for OCD usually includes both medication and Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the success rates are impressively good.

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  • This is really wonderful information. Many people suffer from OCD and it can be damaging in one's life. I've heard that, like you said, cognitive behavior therapy can really be a great treatment option for those living with OCD. 
  • Hello Chinne01, your thread is excellent. You've beautifully and very convincingly compiled the information about OCD. My second brother suffers from OCD, but is very stigmatic about it and does not accept it. In any psychological disorder, acceptance is half the battle won, because the patient can then be taken for therapy and support. 

    However, he doesn't acknowledge it, despite our best efforts to sensitize him. Our paternal aunt suffers from OCD, so there could be a genetic connection too. We are at our wit's end. Do you have any ideas on how to get him to the doctor and change him for good? Most appreciated. Thank you!
  • Thank you for the information! I have been wondering lately if I have OCD problems since I got diagnosed with something like it when I was little but I don't think I am.
    I'll still go to the doctor though, just to make sure.
  • I have a friend who actually suffers from OCD and I have never fully understood the disorder, so thank you for posting this. I feel like now I will have a much better opportunity to understand how he functions in day to day life.
  • Yes, I noticed that you have started a couple of threads in which people do not often think about when they think about addiction (ie cutting).  Thank you. Ironically, I was just thinking about what is, to me, OCD today.  I have always struggled with it, but now I am addicted to Adderall, and it has made it so much worse.  I recently lost my job of 11 yrs (with over a 20 yr track record in my field), and I believe it is because of the Adderall/OCD mix.  I would become so obsessed with everything I did that I could not, for the life of me, meet deadlines, and/or get everything done. Today, I was thinking...   if you suffer from addiction...   is that not OCD? I am the world's worst procrastinator, but it is because the thought of completing tasks overwhelms me...   the task will suck me into a black hole. Perfectionism on the most dysfunctional level possible.  I remember my ex husband saying things about the 'addictive personality'  So...  is OCD not just the 'addictive personality?' SUX. 
  • I am so glad you posted this! I know people who always talk about their OCD. The thing is their supposed OCD comes and goes when it's convenient. It's been annoying me so bad lately. I always just want to say "there's a difference between OCD and being anal, or looking for an excuse to complain"
  • Yes many people claim to "be"  OCD about something. That's not how it works! Thank you for posting this is spot on.
  • A boyfriend I had when I was younger was legitimately an OCD sufferer - his OCD was centered around blood. If he saw anything with a speck of red on it, he was convinced it was blood (even if it was obviously not) and would freak out pretty drastically about it. It was a hard relationship to be in -- the constant reassurance and getting into arguments out of frustration was tough. I do get frustrated when someone has a behavioral quirk that they immediately label OCD because they don't know how debilitating real OCD can be for a person.
  • In my 34 years, i have only met one person who was actually OCD. His name was Stephen and he was a cashier at the grocery store I went to almost daily. He would get your change out of the register, count it, set it down, pick it up and count it again. I would take all of 2-10 minutes. I guess it depended on what kind of a day he was having. You could see people avoiding his line. I hated the extra time I had to stand there and wait, but he was always so nice and apologetic.
  • My OCD is definitely genetic, my mother has a bad case of OCD, that is the main reason why most neighbors don't like her and try to avoid her as much as possible. She goes nuts if someone is parking near her house and is taking ''blocking'' her garage entrance even by a tiny bit.  It's crazy, she has asked people to move their cars... some months ago she'd stay the whole morning there watching people come and go, asking those ho parked in that spot to move. 

    I was so worried for her, I was so worried she'd just come across the wrong person and something bad would happen.  I'm glad it never did though. Now she found a temporary fix by placing buckets filled with rocks... so  no one parks there, lol. She's like the neighborhood's enemy... and I am her daughter.

    My OCD was so bad some years ago, but now is better. I don't go as crazy as my mom, but I still suffer from wandering obsessions. I no longer follow many rituals as I did before, like repeating sentences out loud or in my head before bed... My OCD started when I was 18, but I think there were clear signs I was OCD since I was little. 
  • @Seraphine You aren't the first person I've heard say that. There's another lady on here who got it from their mom. Also, my husband and I used to have a beautiful SKS. It had wooden stock that was gorgeous. her name was Seraphine. It really is a beautiful name.
  • @Beatrice  Hehehehe, Seraphine is such a fine name for  fine wooden stock SKS ;)   You no longer have it?  As for the OCD, I have met a couple people who had a mom, a dad or aunt aunt who had it.   It's odd my OCD was worse than my mom's, hers was super mild compared to mine some years ago. I had a small bout of it some days ago actually, it was awful, but I am ok now.
  • This is really eye opening great article. Is OCD a mental illness though or is it caused by hormone imbalance or genetics or something else? Do we have any proof that it's passed on genetically? Thanks.
  • @Seraphine ; No. My ex-husband sold it to pay for his DUI classes and fines.

    I may joke about wanting to ask someone with OCD to be my roommate, or whatever. But the truth is I know its a very big  deal and I can't imagine what y'all must go through. I'm on medications for other reasons, and my doctor and I finally figured it out. For the first time I'm motivated enough to get things done, but I can still relax when I want for the first time in over a decade. I'm not saying "I can understand". More like I could never understand how y'all can handle it so well. Its so much more severe than my issues, and those about drove me out of my mind.
  • There's a spoken word poem on YouTube called OCD by Neil Hilborn, and that poem speaks a ton on OCD. It helped me understand the disorder tremendously.
  • @Beatrice  That is a shame :(   Ever thought of getting another one later on?  

    I'm so glad to hear you are doing better thanks to your meds :)  Mental illnesses are really tough to deal with.  I was in a real hell some years ago, to tell you the truth I am better now, but last week I had a very bad time.  I suddenly started to get a bit obsessive again after getting an injection, the usual what if...  I hate needles, I still feel afraid i might catch something while getting an injection, I know is illogical... but I feel that way.  Luckily this lasted only 6 days...   It used to last months.   There was a time when I thought I was going crazy, and I'd end up at a mental institution, no kidding. 

    To this day I feel OCD rules my life, how I eat things... what I eat or drink, etc. Those are small stuff though, but those horrible sudden obsessions I get from time to time are not fun at all. 

    @kassie1234  I hope he is ok, I also had that problem when I was younger.  It sounds to illogical to others, but to people like me is not.  My OCD got so bad when I was 18, all started with a stain in my upper arm. I obsessed thinking it was blood... I knew I was being illogical deep down.  It escalated to the point I could no longer leave the house... for a whole year.  

    I was so afraid of anything that resembled blood,touching any wet surface made me panic,  using public toilets was impossible for me. I was also so afraid of germs and getting HIV, so getting injections was so scary... I had horrible panic attacks in public and so on. I'm now much better thanks to behavioral therapy. I'm meds free now :D 
  • @Seraphine that sounds very similar to what my ex boyfriend was like. It was hard to see someone go through that level of suffering every day with just simple, everyday tasks. Even things like going to a restaurant with him were hard, because if there was so much as a speck on the cutlery or plate he would refuse to eat there because he would say it had been tampered with.
  • @kassie1234  Yes, I had the same... I even thought maybe someone had cut himself or herself and splashed a bit blood.  Yes, it sounds so ridiculous to most people, needless to say I didn't marry the guy I was dating back then, lol.  I'm much better now, seeing a therapist... medications did nothing good for me, but now I feel so free. I still suffer from wandering obessions, but they now don't stalk me for weeks or months :)  I'm much better. 
  • @Seraphine so glad to hear that you're doing much better! And as much as it sucks that you had to go through that, it's nice to know someone that can relate. A lot of people think that people with OCD can just snap out of it but it's definitely not that simple.
  • @kassie1234    Thank you, sadly no :(  OCD is something that will probably walk hand by hand with us for the rest of our lives... we can control it til certain point, get better, but I doubt anyone can ever be cured. I was told my OCD is caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain, so there is definitely no cure... I could manage it with meds, but those meds come with a lot side effects.   I'm better with behavioral therapy, no doubt, plus I use some natural supplements  and ASMR videos to keep my anxiety low during the difficult days. 
  • @Seraphine

    I loved her very much. But my heart belongs to my .45 now. We've bonded quite well.
    I get anal sometimes. I want all my money facing the same way or I can't walk barefoot on a stained carpet. But I don't get obsessed over anything. Like I said before, I couldn't imagine...
  • Beatrice  More like obsessions, I think living with OCD is more like living in a very high state of tension and alert.  Then you see something that triggers your OCD, and then the what ifs start popping out. That is the hardest part, because  then you start going tru it over and over, until you give yourself a huge headache or can't sleep at night.  So you are so tense and anxious.   Of course this still happens to me from time to time, and believe me this is nothing compared to the past.   

    I saw my therapist yesterday, he said I need to be more rational, that the thing that is triggering my OCD  thoughts is completely irrational.  And I know is true, but there is always the''what if...'. Those what ifs ruin it all :/   Basically those ''what ifs'' is what pushes most OCD sufferers to do things compulsively.  Right now I don't really engage in compulsive actions... my OCD's playground is my mind, but let me tell you it's so tiring. 
  • I wonder what happens to OCD if left untreated? I know it can be damaging to personal behavior, personal schedule, relationships with other people, etc. But can it worsen to the point of insanity or something to that effect?
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