Many people are asking the question “What is OCD?” for the reason that a lot of people have a tendency to behave in a way that is OCD in characteristic but don’t know what lies behind it and want to distinguish if they are already an OCD sufferer. But, what does OCD mean? Psychiatrists will tell you that it is a psychiatric disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior. Commonly known as OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a form of anxiety disorder, which is distinguished by intermittent, persistent, unwanted and disagreeable thoughts, or recurring, purposeful continual behaviors that an individual is obsessed to perform.

The fourth among the most common mental disorders diagnosed, OCD affects not just children and adolescents alike but also adults. The phrase “obsessive compulsive" is time and again used in a relaxed or misrepresented manner to describe somebody who is meticulous or a person who likes to do things accurately, engrossed in a cause, or otherwise fixated on something or somebody. Although these signs are present in an individual with OCD, somebody who exhibits them does not necessarily have OCD.

What is OCD? Again there is one basic characteristic of this disorder and that is the awareness of how silly the obsessions and compulsions are but are helpless in controlling them. With OCD, you may recognize that what you are doing is already in excess or it’s already an obsession and aren't sensible anymore yet you seem to have no inclination of stopping because you can’t control it and you continue performing your little rituals. But this only amplifies your anguish and apprehension and eventually you would feel driven to do more compulsive acts in an attempt to relieve your stressful feelings.

Obsessions are insistent disturbing preoccupations with a foolish idea such as the thought of a contamination through shaking hands with someone, the over-concern about dirt, the apprehension of acting on hostile impulses, the repulsive religious and sexual violations, the sense of overly accountable for the safety of others and excessive worry with arrangement or symmetry. Compulsions on the other hand is an overwhelming urge to perform a ridiculous act as repeatedly washing of hands or the repetitively checking of doors to confirm that they are locked, to return frequently to appliances to make sure they are turned off, to save, and to count, to arrange, or to touch over and over again.

The very notable distinction between obsessive-compulsive disorder and milder forms of obsessions or compulsions seen in healthy people is that for the affected individual the obsessions or compulsions cause noticeable misery, are more often time-consuming, and significantly interferes with the person's usual practice, professional functioning, common social activities, and inter-personal relationships with others.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder often dwell on a focal point or centers on matter, such as fear of being infected with a hand shake and to ease such fear with a resulting reaction would be to compulsively washing hands until they're aching and chaffed. And despite of all your efforts, feelings of obsessive-compulsive behavior keeps coming back and leads to more ritualistic behaviors. Obsessions may go together with compulsions, or compulsions may take place alone. The person who suffers from OCD becomes trapped in an outline of recurring thoughts and behaviors that are meaningless and distressing and are extremely difficult to overcome. OCD occurs in a range from mild to severe, but if left untreated can destroy a person's capability to normally function at school, at work, or at home.

How to Stop OCD

There are many OCD treatments available today and one of the most effective is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is a technique that concentrates on altering patterns of thinking by changing the person’s behavior. This method engages the individual amplified exposure to the obsession causing fear and letting the person realize that nothing bad will happen even if that individual ceases doing those compulsive behaviors such as the washing of hands.

Other alternative treatments that some folks with OCD may possibly find helpful and could alleviate anxiety symptoms are self-help OCD books, exercise, reflection, and other natural anxiety relievers.

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