Obsessive Compulsive Disorder What it is Causes and Symptoms

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the five most frequent psychiatric diseases and is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the 20 most disabling diseases. It is a neutrological problem that translates into an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts, that is, recurring and persistent fixed ideas that generate restlessness, fear, anxiety or apprehension.

These obsessive ideas, in addition, are expressed in multiple ways and are lived with feelings contrary to them, and may cause compulsive behaviors in order to calm the anxiety they generate and that are transformed into rituals or exaggerated reactions of resistance to the obsessive ideas themselves.

OCD usually begins to manifest itself during childhood or adolescence. Its evolution is usually progressive, although it can also appear suddenly due to stress or to a specific event that acts as a trigger. It is considered a chronic disorder, although it presents with periods of clear improvement, although the total disappearance of symptoms only occurs in 20% of cases.

Obsessive thoughts can be of different types:

Impulses, which are characterized by being aggressive and causing an irrational fear of causing any type of damage to those closest to them.
Fears or phobias, generally focused on the fear of being contaminated by touching anything or being touched by someone, or the obsession with physical defects that harm their body image, or hypochondriacal attitudes.

Ideas, which are manifested by an obsession with order, cleanliness, the passing of time, etc.
Doubts that lead them to check everything repeatedly to avoid problems or catastrophes: the house lock, the gas tap, the windows, the light.

Obsessive thoughts, in turn, generate in the person suffering from them a defensive reaction that results in compulsions, that is, in repetitive acts whose purpose is to avoid the consequences of the thoughts themselves. You can recognize that they are absurd acts, but if you do not do them, anxiety increases.

OCD symptoms translate into concrete attitudes that are included in international clinical guidelines:

Intolerance to uncertainty: everything has to be under control as the only way to obtain security, since it has great difficulties when facing unexpected situations or handling ambiguous situations.

Overestimation of the threat: the probability of a catastrophe occurring is magnified.

Perfectionism: mistakes are not tolerated and everything has to be perfect, so things are reviewed over and over again.
Excessive responsibility: rules and patterns of conduct are built based on the responsibility to always do the right thing and are put into practice when specific circumstances occur.

Beliefs about the importance of thoughts: the importance of your own thoughts and especially their meaning is magnified, which is none other than the one that he attributes to them.

The importance of controlling your own thoughts: They need to control their thoughts so that they cannot think about certain things.
Rigidity of ideas: immovable ideas, without attending to any argument that may modify them, is a means to acquire security.

OCD causes
The causes of OCD are not well understood, although different factors that may intervene in the development of this psychiatric disease have been identified. From a biological perspective, it has been found that people who suffer from it have alterations in the frontal lobe of the brain and in serotonin secretion.

This neurotransmitter is involved in the regulation of mood, aggressiveness and impulsivity, in addition to modulating the transmission of information from one neuron to another, a process that is slower in people with OCD than in people. normal.

It is also known that there are genetic factors that condition the development of OCD, although the way they are transmitted is unknown. However, it should also be borne in mind that there are specific events or situations in the life of a person that can act as triggers: they can be diseases of their own or of a family member, the death of a loved one, a separation or divorce, a very stiff during childhood, trauma, etc.

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the five most frequent psychiatric diseases and is considered b

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