OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)

Description

Characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) leads to repetitive behaviors (compulsions).

Symptoms

  1. anxiety about germs and dirt, or fear of contamination
  2. need for symmetry and order
  3. concern that your thoughts or compulsions will harm others, feeling you can keep other people safe by performing certain rituals
  4. worry about discarding things of little or no value
  5. disturbing thoughts or images about yourself or others
  6. focusing on positive thoughts to combat the bad thoughts
  7. anxiety
  8. a need for symmetry or orderliness

Causes

  1. result of changes in your body’s own natural chemistry or brain functions
  2. environmental factors such as infections are suggested as a trigger for OCD
  3. genetics
  4. life event
  5. serotonin
  6. personality
  7. life event

Risk Factors

  • environmental factors involved
  • increased risk of other anxiety disorders, including major depression
  • social phobias
  • obsessive thoughts or ritualistic behavior feels out of your control 
  • family history
  • stressful events

Diagnostic Tests

  • initial screening questions 
  • questioning and assessment of behavior
  • physical and physiological exam
  • lab tests

Treatments

  • psychotherapy
  • behavioral modification
  • psychiatric medications
  • deep brain stimulation (DBS)

Medications

  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox CR)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  •  selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Lifestyle Management

  • Take your medications as directed
  • Pay attention to warning signs.
  • Join a support group.
  • find healthy outlets
  • Learn relaxation and stress management
  • Stay focused on your goals