Obsessive compulsive disorder is a disorder that has two main components and those are: obsessions and compulsions.
People suffering from this disorder have obsessive thoughts about certain person, object or situation. In order to avoid thinking about specific subject they develop compulsions so that they are occupied with something else and do not have time to have obsessive thoughts.
Of course this usually doesn’t work and a patient ends up with obsessive thoughts and compulsions.
Sometimes if a person is obsessed with something she/he may develop compulsions so they would feel better even for short period of time. For example if a person is obsessed with not waking up on time she may check over and over again if the alarm is set.
Even though for brief period of time person feels better, within few minutes obsessive thought are back again. Healthy people can also have rituals (compulsions) but those rituals do not affect their every day life.
Sometimes we all feel urge to check or do something and that doesn’t make us ill. People with obsessive compulsive disorder perform their rituals excessively so much so that they cannot function normally.
Symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder:
Images of hurting someone
Repeated immoral thoughts
Images of improper situations
Constantly questioning yourself
Avoiding situations that may trigger obsession
Repeating actions over and over again
Walking in the street in always the same way
Counting cars, birds, people, steps and etc.
Checking something numerous time
Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Behavioral therapy has a lot of success with treating obsessive compulsive disorder. This therapy targets your behavior and exposes you to your fears in safe way.
Cognitive therapy is also successful in treating this disorder however it has different approach than behavioral therapy; it targets your thought patterns. It is not unusual that these two therapies are combined when treating obsessive compulsive disorder.
In fact, they are combined so much that cognitive-behavioral therapy is regarded as a single therapy.
Medications can be helpful.
They can relieve a patient from symptoms and make psychotherapy easier and faster. Of course medications are not always needed and should be used only when necessary. Medications should never be taken without psychotherapy because they alone are not a cure for obsessive compulsive disorder.
People with obsessive compulsive disorder may have alcohol or drug problems. They usually consume alcohol to better cope with their disorder however in the end they always end up worse. This is why, if this is the case, alcohol counseling must be part of the treatment.
When thoughts-obsessions are not moral patients feel a lot of guilt and are trying everything to stop thinking about it. Sometimes different defense mechanisms kick in. For example, a person that thinks about hurting someone might be extra polite and good to that other person.
When there are no sufficient defense mechanisms a person is usually overwhelmed with guilt. Guilt is never a good thing and can prolong the recovery. Feeling guilty doesn’t help. On the other side feeling responsible is helpful because than you know that you can do something to change things.
For example, if you suspect you might suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder instead feeling guilty about it you can look for help and start therapy.