You might have definitely come across people who are very obsessed with cleaning. They want everything to be in place and cannot tolerate dirt. This is referred to as OCD. Obsession with cleaning might come across as something positive, but there are many side effects if this condition prolongs.

What Is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition in which the person has the urge to repeat his/her actions over and over again. It is characterized as the fear of germs or the need to constantly arrange things in a specific manner. OCD can affect people of any age group and in any walk of life. There can be several variants too – Existential OCD for example sees the individual perform repetitive actions owing to their questioning of life or a fear of the unknown.

Treatments such as ECT treatment for OCD have proven to have very good results in curing the illness. More insight about the treatments has been given further on. First, let us look at the symptoms.

Symptoms Of OCD

Symptoms of OCD are categorized into two types – obsessive symptoms and compulsive symptoms.

Obsession Symptoms

Obsession symptoms are uncontrolled and repeated thoughts. Obsessions include the uncontrolled urge to do the same action over and over again

  • Extreme stress when objects are not in their place
  • Fear of touching an object that has already been touched by somebody else
  • Trying to suppress one’s own thoughts and feelings
  • Fearing one’s assumptions may come true
  • Not wanting to touch somebody, even the closest people. Scared of hugging or even shaking hands

Compulsive Symptoms

A person diagnosed with OCD has the urge to repeat the same action several times. This happens as a response to their obsessive thoughts. These actions might be both physical or mental.

For example:

  • The fear of germs may want them to wash their hands repeatedly.
  • Frequently checking on switches, doors, keys, etc. This is due to their obsessive thoughts of preventing harm or danger.
  • Constantly checking their body for symptoms. This might be due to the fear of getting diseases or losing their life.
  • Staying away from sharp objects like kitchen knives, scissors, etc. This might be due to their fear of getting harmed or harming somebody else.

These are some of the basic compulsive actions seen in people diagnosed with OCD. These compulsive acts may differ from person to person. Compulsive actions are completely based on a person’s obsessive thoughts.

Effects Of OCD

A person suffering from OCD for a short period of time might not have many negative effects on them. But a person suffering for a long period of time might have a negative impact on their body and brain.

Some of them are:

  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Suicidal thoughts

These Mental conditions are some of the effects of OCD. These are generally caused due to poor lifestyle. Their obsessive thoughts might cause disturbances in their relationships.

This might also restrict them from getting socialized resulting in loneliness. Persisting loneliness might cause depression and panic attacks. Their efforts to suppress their obsessive thoughts might result in anxiety.

Not just mental effects, there might be some physical effects also. This occurs due to repeated physical activity like washing hands, excessive exercises, etc.

Common body effects may be damage to the skin due to repeated hand wash or excessive usage of antibacterial lotions, etc. Though there might not be many harmful physical effects there are chances of painful effects on the body.

OCD Treatment

There are two prominent methods to treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). They are:

  • Medication
  • Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( CBT)

CBT is a psychological therapy that helps you overcome your fears. This is a talking therapy that aims at dealing with overwhelming problems in a much simple and positive way. The therapist will first understand the reason for your anxiety.

He will then help you change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel. The problem is broken down into smaller units. This makes it easier to treat. The problem is broken down based on your thoughts, feelings, reactions, etc. The therapist will help you overcome small fears first and then much bigger ones.

Electroconvulsive Therapy ( ECT)

Electroconvulsive therapy is a medical treatment used in severe OCD. ECT aims at treating mental illnesses caused due to OCD like severe depression, anxiety, etc.

In ECT a brief electrical stimulation is done to the brain while the patient is in general anesthesia. It is proven to be one of the fastest ways to treat severe OCD. ECT treatment for OCD is proven to provide instant relief from mental illnesses.

Untreated OCD might result in dangerous mental disorders. It is recommended to opt for CBT or ECT treatment for OCD. Treatments and medications will help you improve your mental health.

It is common for everybody to have the fear of negative things, but excessive fear will make you abnormal. This should be treated at the earliest for better results.

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