FACT SHEET – OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER OCD

ByAnxious Minds

FACT SHEET – OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER OCD

The mind is the seat of power for every human. What goes on in mind is called to play in the daily activity of an individual. As the mind controls the body, so also does anxiety controls the mind. This is often true for every man irrespective of the status or class of such individual.

Anxiety or anxious thoughts in itself is not a sign of bad omen. Anxious thoughts can positively influence the pattern of behaviour of an individual in a way that helps the person become more productive or stay active and relevant in response to the physical and social environment.

For Instance, an anxious thought might state, “I may have left the oven on”. This will result in behaviour that prompts the individual to check the oven to ascertain the condition of the oven. I almost burnt down my apartment when I left the gas on and left for work, thanks to my anxious thought that triggered the will to come back home and check; it could have been a wrecking disaster.

However, once the thought becomes is poignantly recurring with any valid justification to warrant the incessant thought, this thought has become obsessive, and it can influence unhealthy patterns of behaviour that can cause difficulties in daily functioning. For instance, if I daily return from work to check my gas, even if I left someone at home that could take care of things in my absence, that has become an obsession and not just some random prompting. This obsession is clinically referred to as OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD is a product of obsessive thoughts that are recognised by the person as silly, unnecessary or irrational, but they are recurrent, difficult to dismiss and cause much anxiety and distress. This compels such individual to perform some actions repeatedly without rational justification.

WHAT IS OCD
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD is a neurobiological disorder without bias. It is cut across the divides of race, colour, age and socioeconomic status. This implies that the rich, the poor, the young, the old and just about anyone from any part of the world can suffer from the disorder. About 2%-3% of the world’s population suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD. In the UK, about 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children have OCD. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD is one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability, worldwide, for individuals between 15 and 44 years of age.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD is characterised by obsessions and compulsions that take up at least an hour a day – but usually longer – and cause significant distress. It can be categorised as a mental health issue. It is a product of chemical imbalance in the brain which alters the impulses of the brain to raise an incessant false alarm.

Individuals, who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD, feel compelled to perform repetitive actions called compulsions, or rituals, in an attempt to relieve the distress caused by the obsessions. For example, a person with an obsessive fear of intruders may check and recheck door locks repeatedly to ensure that no one can get in. Compulsions are frequently overt – something we can see. However, they may also be carried out mentally, such as mental praying or counting. And although we can’t observe them, mental rituals can be every bit as debilitating as those we can see.

Far too often, people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD suffer in silence, unaware that their symptoms are caused by a neurobiological problem. Like others who have illnesses such as asthma or diabetes, people with OCD can learn to manage their symptoms. The appropriate treatment produces changes in the brain by weakening old neurological pathways and strengthening new ones, allowing it to function more normally. Fortunately, research continually provides new information about finding ways to understand and treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD. And the prognosis for people who suffer from OCD is more hopeful than ever before.

THE IMMEDIATE AND REMOTE CAUSES
Random thoughts are a part of every individual. However, for OCD patients, they cannot do away with this thought. Its just like having a file on your computer that cannot be deleted yet it makes your PC functions in some specific way you would not approve of. The pertinent chart of reasoning will be to consider why an OCD patient will not be able to do away with random thoughts, why are this thought an incessant reoccurrence?. So why does the brain of individuals with OCD work this way? In other words, what causes OCD?

Neuroimaging technologies have helped researchers to understand that difference section of the brain performs a typical altercated function in people living with OCD. Research findings suggest that OCD symptoms may be due to a break in communication among different parts of the brain. This part includes the orbitofrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex (both in the front of the brain), the striatum, and the thalamus (deeper parts of the brain). Abnormalities in neurotransmitter systems – chemicals such serotonin, dopamine, glutamate (and possibly others) that send messages between brain cells – are also involved in the disorder.

Although it has been established that OCD has a neurobiological basis, research has been unable to point to any definitive cause or causes of OCD. It is believed that OCD likely is the result of a combination of neurobiological, genetic, behavioural, cognitive, and environmental factors that trigger the disorder in a specific individual at a particular point in time. Following is a discussion of how those factors may play a role in the onset of OCD.

TREATMENT
OCD can be managed till the patient has totally recovered and fully functional in a healthy lifestyle. It is pertinent to state that OCD treatment is not a subject of speculative analysis. It is a combination of practical and proven scientific research entrenched with the services of a capable psychologist therapist. This goes to state that the treatment of OCD should be left in the hands of professional health care practitioners who have been trained for this purpose.

There are two main strata of treatment available to an OCD patient. These are the Psychologia and the Pharmaceuticals. The Psychologia entails a visit to a psychologist while the pharmaceutical entails the use of medical drugs to control the activities of the brain and remain any imbalance that might have triggered OCD. The psychological treatments will generally be the first line of treatment. In mild cases, the use of medication is optional while in severe cases the use of medication is necessary to facilitate the total wellbeing of the patient.

The basic active ingredient in the medication for OCD is serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs). In a general view, medications with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) shows large effect sizes in adults, but only moderate effect sizes in youth. Unfortunately, even with effective medication, most treatment responders show residual symptoms and impairments. There is also a very high relapse rate seen across numerous studies between 24%-89%. Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs) can be successfully supplemented with adjunctive antipsychotics, but even then only a third of patients will show improvements, and there are serious health concerns with their long-term usage. Met analyses and reviews have not shown that the five selective SRIs (including fluoxetine, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, and citalopram) or the non-selective SRI clomipramine differ among each other regarding effectiveness in either adults or pediatric patients.

Across subtypes of OCD, however, there are medication differences seen. For example, the presence of tics appears to decrease selective SRI effects in children, but it is unclear if it has the same effect in adults. Another known difference is that patients who have OCD with comorbid tics respond better to neuroleptic drugs than those who have OCD without tics.

The psychological treatment of choice for OCD, in both adults and children and backed by numerous clinical trials, is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), particularly exposure with response prevention. It is superior to medications alone. While there is a lower relapse rate than in medications (12% vs 24%- 89%), it is important to note that up to 25% of patients will drop out prior to completion of treatment due to the nature of treatment.

The course of therapy generally lasts between 12-16 sessions, beginning with a thorough assessment of the triggers of the obsession, the resultant compulsions, and ratings of the distress caused by both the obsession and if they are prevented from performing the compulsion. A series of exposures are then carefully planned through collaboration between the therapist and client and implemented both in session and as homework between sessions.

If you are planning to make a visit to a therapist soon and you are not sure if the therapist is the right person to see or has been adequately trained to help OCD patients, here are a few questions you might ask and objectively weight the honesty in the answers provide:
• Are you trained to use cognitive behaviour therapy to treat OCD?
• Where did you obtain your training?
• How many clients with OCD have you successfully treated?
• Are you ever willing to leave the office for treatment sessions?
• Will you conduct therapy sessions by telephone or online if necessary?
• Are you licensed to practice in this state?
• What techniques do you use to treat this specific form of OCD? (You want them to mention CBT involving Exposure and Response Prevention, or ERP). 
Here is a big check for you, Avoid a treatment provider who:
• Claims that the main technique for managing OCD is relaxation or talk therapy or play therapy for children;
• Believes that OCD is caused by childhood trauma, toilet training, self- esteem issues or family dynamics;
• Blames parents or one’s upbringing for OCD;
• Seems guarded or angry at questions about treatment techniques; or Claims that medication alone is the most appropriate treatment

PREVENTION
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD cannot be prevented. There are no scientifically proven methods to prevent OCD. Therefore, family and friends, especially parents should desist from any kind of practice that is aimed at preventing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD, it might cause more harm than good. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the time a person spends suffering from the condition.

CONCLUSION
Must people who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD, do so in silence. They do not realise this is a medical situation and needs a medical attention to fix it. Often, the relative of persons suffering from OCD are too shy to help seek for medical attention in the early stages of the disorder. This act is responsible for the continued growth of the number of cases registered in the hospital for persons living with OCD. OCD is curable when friends and family show their support for the patient.

It is often easier to cope with when there is a support group to provide succour and help the patient understand what lies ahead. We believe that with the help of charities like ours, we will be able to offer the support needed to eradicate the scourge of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD.

A safer and healthier society is the responsibility of all, together we will rid our society of threatening ailment and disorder. One of such is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD.

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