Many people say they have OCD about cleaning things. Well, that’s not correct. While someone may be a clean freak or have a general affinity towards cleanliness and organization, it doesn’t mean they have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a clinically diagnosable mental illness. It is characterized by excessive thoughts, obsessions, repetitive behaviors, or compulsions. It is recognized as a disorder because these obsessions and compulsions hamper daily life and interfere with everyday activities.
For instance, most people report facing severe distress from their obsessive thoughts. Engaging in repetitive behaviors or compulsions is a means of alleviating stress and seeking some relief. Most people experience some symptoms during the early stages, but as the symptoms become more pronounced, they may spiral out of control and lead to increasingly dangerous and sick behaviors.
Most compulsions are not hygiene-related but revolve around a central theme. It includes fear of germs, organizational themes, or affinity towards numbers or patterns. This disorder is highly personal and can change from person to person. Some noticeable features remain familiar to most people diagnosed with mental health issues.
While obsessive-compulsive disorder refers to symptoms of obsessions and compulsions, this might not hold in some cases. There are instances when people may display signs and symptoms of compulsions or obsessions alone. And they, too, fall under this category and require prescribed treatment to alleviate their symptoms.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, doctors and therapists may prescribe different treatments to manage the disease. Since this disorder looks different for everyone, there’s quite a bit of trial and error before finding the one that fits you.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an obsessive-compulsive disorder, your mental health professional will ask you to look into psychological therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and social support. These four critical factors can help you improve your quality of life.
While it is essential to seek medical help, you must remember that only some doctors are a good fit for you. If you feel unsure or unsafe with your doctor and therapist at any point, you should talk to them about it or stop treatment and change faculty. You need to feel comfortable and supported with your treatment plan.
In such cases, you must consider social support. It can include your friends, family, or members of other OCD support groups. It will help if you are surrounded by people you feel safe and comfortable with, especially when you need solace in times of crisis.
Interacting with like-minded people from support groups is a good option if you want to understand different situations and put things into perspective. No matter what you choose, the ultimate idea is that you’re not alone. Some people experience the same circumstances, and professionals are trained to help you through distressing times.
One of the most important things about living with a disorder as complex as an obsessive-compulsive disorder is to remain patient with yourself and your loved ones. While it is a challenging time for you, it is crucial to remember that those around you are also learning to adapt. Allow yourself enough space and time to grow.
And finally, seek professional help. No amount of social support can equip you with the tools to deal with this disorder effectively. You must consider working alongside trained experts to help strike a balance if you genuinely want to improve your way of life.