Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


A person with obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD generally suffers from recurring unconscious thoughts. OCD is characterized by a person having rituals punctuating their day from handwashing, counting or checking details on an obsessive basis. Through introducing rituals which become a crucial part of a person’s daily routine, someone with OCD feels they are more in control. These feelings often conceal a deep-seated sense of anxiety or lack of control in other areas of their lives.

The Characteristics of OCD

OCD is characterized by obsession which can seem to be completely illogical or out of line with the individual’s personality. The sufferer is usually the first person to recognize that their rituals are unnecessary but the compulsion to complete them becomes overwhelming. The main areas a person with OCD is likely to fixate about include:

  • Bacterial or viral contamination
  • Intrusive sexual thoughts or urges
  • Excessive moral doubt
  • An overwhelming need to confess or make a declaration

The reason a person with OCD develops compulsive rituals is usually to reduce obsessive thoughts. While performing the ritual, the person feels they are in control of their feelings, allowing them relief from the discomfort of continually obsessing about something. Some people with OCD only display compulsive symptoms whereas others might only experience the obsessive aspects of the condition.

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