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What Is OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Anxiety Disorder?

If you have experienced repeated obsessions and compulsions that are out of control, you may be suffering from obsessive compulsive anxiety disorder, or OCD.

Many of us tend to maintain a daily routine. For example, most of us wash our hands before eating, and have some nature of bedtime ritual. It is even customary to make sure that all your book collections are arranged according to size and all your clothes kept according to colour. This form of compulsion is not typically harmful.

Obsessive compulsions include such things as re-washing your hands five times or rearranging your furniture four times a day. These obsessions intervene with your social, educational, and occupational roles.

Two out of a hundred people are affected by OCD. The conduct of those who suffer from this disorder is usually associated with a feel of danger, trauma or risk. Affected individuals are compelled to perform their compulsions over and over because of their inflated concept of fear.

What Types of OCD Exist?

There have been five types of OCD identified. Here are the basic fears that tend to bring out obsessive-compulsive behavior:

  • Aversion to Dirt and Germs — Nicknamed the ‘Washers and Cleaners’, these patients are continually worried that they will get dirt or germs on them. Being contaminated by germs is this patient’s worst fear. These individuals display such OCD behavior as washing their clothes multiple times before wearing them, scouring surfaces they have already scrubbed, and washing their hands five or six times in a row.
  • Scared of Catastrophe — An unreasonable feeling of imminent doom follows these patients wherever they go. Checkers live with inordinate fear that failure to re-check things (doors, on and off switches) over and over will cause harm to themselves and others. They prepare routines that are often so comprehensive that there is no time left in their day for common daily tasks.
  • Fear of Disorderliness – “Orderers” constantly find themselves arranging things the “right” way. They expend a lot of time organizing things and feel very stressed if their things are rearranged, moved or even touched.
  • Fear of Nasty Thoughts — The ‘Obsessionals’ find themselves unable to discontinue their thoughts from turning to injuring someone. To banish their horrifying thoughts, they may sing a word over and over or count to the highest number they can.
  • Fear of Throwing Something Away In Case It Is Needed — The ‘Hoarders’ are aptly named, as they pile up everything and decline to throw anything away. The thought of someday needing something that they may have thrown away at an former time can be so paralyzing for these people that they will not throw away one solitary item. They also collect a mound of potentially practical items, but have so many of them that they could never put them all to good use.

OCD is classified as a psychoneurotic behavior. Doctors claim that OCD can be hereditary or caused by other conditions such as an infection or bout of depression. Obsessive compulsive anxiety disorder treatment may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both.

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Remember, you don’t have to live with anxiety! There are effective treatment methods available for all types of anxiety disorders.

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