Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

You may have often heard people claiming that they suffer from OCD disease. However, do you know what the term means? Read on to know more about it.


What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder refers to a form of mental illness, characterised by repeated undesirable thoughts or sensations and the urge to do an activity repeatedly. The thoughts are classified as obsessions, while the repetition of the same activity is known as a compulsion. Let us go into the details regarding obsessive compulsive disorder definition now.


Notably, this disease manifests itself in a variety of ways, which is why it is crucial to know more about OCD disorder.


Understanding Obsessions and Compulsions

Individuals suffering from this disorder are aware that some of their actions and thoughts make no sense. They do not undertake these activities out of habit, but because quitting is not an option in the psyche. 


In rare cases, when OCD disease patients stop their compulsive behaviour, they may struggle with the change, which causes them to restart the activity once again. Some common obsessions can include the following – 

  • Constant awareness of normal bodily functions, such as blinking and breathing.

  • Constant worries regarding death or injury of self or family members.

  • Paranoid thoughts and illogical suspicion of others.


Similarly, one cannot define compulsive disorder without listing out some other usual compulsions. These include – 

  • Counting each step while walking or counting steps while climbing a flight of stairs.

  • Irrational fear of using public restrooms, touching doorknobs and coming into physical contact with others.

  • Completing the same task several times each day.

  • Sticking to an exhaustive routine of activities every day. Disruptions in this routine can trigger panic or extreme mental discomfort for the afflicted person.

Now that you possess a bit more knowledge about OCD definition, here is a look at some of its causes.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Causes 

Doctors have yet to pinpoint the exact cause for OCD disease. Nevertheless, experts have successfully identified certain markers or risk factors for the condition. These factors include – 

  • A direct relative with the condition, including siblings and/or parents.

  • Depression and anxiety.

  • Physical abnormalities in the brain.

  • History of abuse or sexual assault as a child.

  • Traumatic experiences.

Keep in mind that symptoms can commonly appear during teenage years or during the young adult stage of life. Women face slightly increased risk from this condition when compared to men.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms

To understand OCD disorder symptoms, you must first learn about the distinct categories that these symptoms can be divided into – 

  1. Contamination – It is a fear of dirt, which causes an OCD sufferer to engage in cleaning frequently and compulsively. This can include cleaning the house, washing clothes or even taking frequent showers to clean themselves.

  2. Checking – A person suffering from OCD may have a compulsion for checking things repeatedly. For instance, one may keep checking light or appliance switches to see whether they are turned off or not. Similarly, they may check locks, ovens or other aspects.

  3. Disturbing Thoughts – Such a person may be obsessed with a particular line of thought, which is often violent.

  4. Symmetry – An individual, suffering from OCD, may be obsessed with maintaining order and symmetry of all things. For instance, such a person will only choose eggs of symmetrical size while making an omelette.


Curing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition. However, one can manage these symptoms through medication and therapy. Listed below are some approaches that can help in treating the disease – 

  • Medication – Paroxetine, Fluvoxamine, Escitalopram, Sertraline and Fluoxetine

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – ERP or Exposure and Response Prevention is the best form of therapy to treat this condition.

Vedantu’s biology classes can help you know more about such mental afflictions. With a wide range of study materials and live classes, we make your biology preparations simple. You can even download our Vedantu app for better access to these study materials and online sessions.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the fFull Form of OCD?

Ans. The full-form of OCD is obsessive-compulsive disorder.

2. What does Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder mean?

Ans. Obsessive-compulsive disorder refers to a mental ailment where the person suffers from unfavourable thoughts (obsessions), and is compelled to certain repetitive actions (compulsions).

3. What is ERP in Treating OCD?

Ans. ERP refers to Exposure and Response Prevention, which is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is greatly effective in managing OCD symptoms.