There are times when you feel possessed with a certain idea. You feel a strange, compulsive need to check and recheck the locks, wash your hands over and over, or do something repetitively. If this is your everyday reality, then you might be one of the hundreds of thousands living in the UK with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Psychiatrists and specialists in counselling in Marylebone and other parts of the United Kingdom characterise this anxiety disorder with uncontrollable ideas. Affected people can’t stop thinking about thoughts, which can either be an excessive need for cleanliness, security, and other qualities. The uncontainable preoccupation can compel them to do something to prevent their fears from coming true.
Let’s say you feel as if everything you touch should be free of germs. You fear getting sick because of these dangerous microorganisms, so you make sure everything’s clean before you touch it. You also wash your hands repeatedly, cleaning them at least five times in a row in each instance. Every time a person shakes hands with you, you feel anxious to go to the restroom immediately. Anything you touch seems as if riddled with germs until you don’t watch to hold anything anymore. This is a sign that you have OCD.
According to the OCD-UK, the current statistics estimate that 12 out of every 1000 people have OCD in the United Kingdom. This number is comparatively modest compared to other Western countries. The statistics show, though, that OCD is a common mental disorder. The affected people don’t show any shared characteristics even when gender, age, race, and socio-economic status have already been taken into account.
What are the Causes of OCD?
Specialists in cognitive therapy in Marylebone say that the causes of OCD haven’t yet been established fully. Many professionals, though, theorises that the following instances have triggered OCD, as backed up by research:
Although there are no specific genes specially related to OCD, scientists see evidence that implies OCD is a result of inherited DNA. This may have affected the brain’s development, which caused its obsessive reaction to certain thoughts, which triggers the compulsive behaviour.
• Abnormalities in the Brain
According to scientific research, the brain imaging of people with OCD show irregularities in some areas of their brain. There is increased activity and blood flow in the parts that deal with emotions. Researchers also note the lack of serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates different body functions, including mood, memory, anxiousness, and sleep.
• Life Events
Stressful life events, according to researchers, can trigger OCD in people already predisposed towards it. Those who may have inherited certain traits can also develop this anxiety disorder.
Where to Get Help with OCD?
You know it’s time to get help with your OCD when it’s affecting your life. Too much obsession and compulsive behaviour can hurt your relationships and affect your professional life. The effects can be as minimal as continuous tardiness because of inability to control your ‘ritual.’ However, it can also be as grave as arguing with others because of your OCD tendencies.
Established research finds that proper therapy and medication can minimise the effects of OCD. Therapy from Marylebone centres in London and other parts of the UK, for example, provide assistance with helping patients find out which type of therapy is fit for their needs. This way, you can see if you should be going for cognitive behavioural therapy services.
Other options include exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. In this treatment, you will confront the thoughts, things, images, and situations that make you anxious. The therapist will help you strive to control your reaction to your obsessive thoughts, until you’re able to control your reaction.
Your psychiatrist can also recommend you to take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), if your OCD is more physiological than psychological. Certain types of antidepressants, that can increase the level of serotonin in your brain, can prove to be effective in your case.
It’s important that you consult a professional before you think about getting treatments. This way, you can see about controlling your OCD properly. This can improve your treatment faster, instead of making you suffer unnecessarily through your uncontrolled anxiety.