Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been classified as a sort of anxiety disorder. The sufferer of this order comes up with feelings and worries – which are irrational and which later become obsessions. These make them be regularly involved in irrational behaviors – sometimes against their will; this type of phenomenon is known as compulsion. The sufferers often understand that their behaviors are irrational, and as a result, they try to bring such behaviors under control – but in vain. In fact, trying to prevent such behaviors may exacerbate the fears and worries, and increase the frequency of compulsive acts – rather than reduce them.
One type of obsessive compulsive disorders is the fear of being infected. The sufferer of this type then washes his hands so often that they become painful. Worse, the fear of being infected keeps on growing.
Usually, it is hard to tell when fears result in obsessive-compulsive disorders. As a result, it is necessary to pay close attention to the symptoms to decide whether they are being caused by OCD. All OCD symptoms have two components: obsessions and compulsions.
The obsessions are characterized by involuntary and irrational thoughts – called “impulses”. In addition, they make it hard for the sufferer to pay attention to other important activities. Some of the common OCD symptoms and their obsessions are:
On the other hand, the compulsions are characterized by behaviors that the sufferers frequently engage in – in order to reduce the fears and worries caused by their obsessions. The sufferers also often undertake self-made rules that – they believe – would have them bring their fears and worries under control. Some of the most common OCD compulsions are:
After looking at the list, many people would confuse the OCD symptoms with those of perfectionism. However, there is a significant difference: the OCD symptoms are more extreme than those of a perfectionist. For instance, a perfectionist wants the floors in their homes clean and spotless. On the other hand, a person suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder keeps their floors so clean that they do not even want to walk on them.
Since this disorder takes away the sufferer’s attention away from important work and makes them spend too much time on unnecessary behaviors, it is important to visit the doctor immediately when the symptoms become too visible. There are many treatments, such psychotherapy and medications like fluvoxamine and sertraline, that can bring these symptoms under control.