Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an Anxiety Disorder

February 11, 2008 by  
Filed under STRESS

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If you have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, you may be wondering just what it is and where it came from. Obsessive compulsive disorder, otherwise known as OCD, is defined by the APA as “A mental disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions, repetitive, purposeful acts performed according to certain rules or in a ritualized manner.” Although the cause of OCD is technically unknown, obsessive compulsive disorder has been known to be onset by stress and is defined as an anxiety disorder. It is a condition that can affect anyone, no matter their age, sex or social status. In fact, according to recent studies, OCD is a leading cause of disability and affects approximately 5 million people just in the United States alone.

OCD, like other anxiety disorders such as bipolar disorder, is very complicated. There are numerous symptoms and not every person has all of the symptoms. Generally speaking, obsessive compulsive disorder manifests itself as the presence of persistent and even obsessive ideas, thoughts, and images or in extreme cases, impulses and irrational behaviors. People with OCD many times become isolated because their state of mind is apparent even without talking. It is not uncommon for people with OCD to be very depressed because they are at a constant war with themselves. They are forever repeating the same thoughts over and over in their head and when they are unable to stop thinking these thoughts; they spend all of their time trying to get their minds on something else. For this reason, people with OCD tendencies don’t always make the best of friends.

Preoccupy Yourself With Other Things

Where some people get into trouble is that they spend so much time trying to curb their obsessive thinking that they get into compulsive irrational behaviors, which takes their mind off the compulsive thoughts. Unfortunately, it is really a vicious cycle that never ends. It has been studied however, that people with OCD can benefit greatly from learning a new skill. Learning something new such as music, yoga, or anything that takes a lot of concentration, can greatly reduce or even temporarily eliminate the obsessive thought pattern. If you or someone you love suffers from OCD, the best thing you can do is keep their mind preoccupied on something meaningful or at the least productive.

Many people think that perfectionism is the same as OCD. Being a perfectionist can make you exhibit some of the same behaviors as someone with OCD, however when you are strictly a perfectionist, you can control your behavior. Wanting everything the best it can be is one thing, maximizing your potential is a great trait of someone who is defined as a perfectionist. However, people that suffer from OCD tendencies take perfectionism to a whole new level. Breaking down because something has been moved or touched by an outsider, numbering your socks or labeling them left and right is way over the top. These are not uncommon behaviors for people with OCD; it is however, not something a perfectionist would relate to.

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5 Responses to “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an Anxiety Disorder”
  1. Obsessive compulsive disorder can be managed by increasing the brain serotonin level. This can be done by taking food supplements that contain L-Tryptophan.

  2. ElCid says:

    You are right on about people with OCD reacting to their thoughts. So many times people assume we wash our hands, or are afraid of germs, etc. The reality is that the rituals come from wanting to avoid the thought. My OCD was severe and learning how to distract myself with exercise, was a huge step. Also, learning how to relax and let go of stress made an impact by calming my mind. I was also introduced to qigong through the free tips on this website www.obsessive-compulsive-disorder-help.com/ which has over time worked to calm my mind, distract me, reduce stress and relax my body. Tai Chi would also be similar in its effects I would imagine.

  3. mornay forie says:

    Hi my name is mornay and I am living in South africa and i was diagnose with ocd six year ago and i will be willing to be on your show

  4. Hi Janey. I have posted a special post to let people know about your search for OCD participants ..


    Good Luck with your quest and the show!

  5. Janey Smith says:

    A new documentary type show for a major cable network that emphasized Entertainment, the Arts and Education is looking for people in S. California with OCD, anxiety, hoarding or extreme fears. We are doing a show in conjuncture with a well-established, world-famous OCD Center here in Los Angeles.

    By offering these people free therapy (for 12 weeks and then follow up treatment) we hope to help them, and hopefully help others that will be watching our show.

    Please have contact us at therapycasting@tijuanaent.com.

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