Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that You May Not Notice
In today’s world, exercising a certain degree of caution and due diligence makes good sense both now and in the long run. For someone struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder, due diligence reaches a whole level creating a stressful, day-to-day experience overall.
According to Psychology Today, an estimated two percent of the U. S. population suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, which exceeds rates for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and panic disorder. While movies and sitcoms give fairly accurate depictions of what it’s like to live with this condition, a few key signs and symptoms can easily go unnoticed.
Like any form of mental illness, the sooner you can spot signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the better your chance of getting needed treatment and overcoming its effects in your life.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Components: Obsessions & Compulsions
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD, can be a potentially disabling condition steeped in anxiety and dread. As one of the more intensive anxiety-based disorders, OCD consists of two primary components that act as tag team partners: obsessions and compulsions.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, obsessions exist as thought-based fears that become fixations, such as a fear of germs or danger. Obsessions take the form of intrusive thought patterns that gradually take over a person’s awareness.
Compulsions operate as behavior-based components that result from obsessive thinking patterns. In effect, OCD suffers engage in compulsive behaviors in an effort to gain relief from obsessive thoughts. Rather than provide relief, compulsive behaviors actually fuel the obsession even more creating a vicious cycle in a person’s daily life.
For information on treatment programs in your area, call .
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Types
While obsessions can take most any form, people affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder tend to fall within one of the following five category types:
- Counting and arranging – obsessions center on maintaining order and/or symmetry within one’s environment
- Washing – germ-based fears
- Hoarding – obsessions center on maintaining a sense of security by hoarding items out of fear of needing a particular item in the future
- Checking and rechecking – obsessed with avoiding danger and ensuring safety precautions are taken
- Doubting – obsessed with perfection and the fear of being punished or hurt as a result
While many people may engage in one or more of the above behaviors every now and then, OCD has more to do with the degree to which these thoughts and behaviors interfere with one’s ability to function in daily life. In effect, someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder experiences considerable emotional distress to the point where he or she loses the ability to hold down a job, maintain a home or maintain relationships.
Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Arranging and rearranging items, pictures or furniture
- Strong superstitious beliefs regarding “lucky” and “unlucky” phenomena
- Intrusive thoughts about sex or violence
- Fear of harming oneself or someone else
- Fear of being contaminated by germs
- Losing large chunks of time to compulsive behavior routines
- Avoiding certain places or people
- Fear of losing something or not having a needed item in the future
- Relationship conflicts brought on by OCD behaviors
- Mounting anxiety levels
- Depression symptoms
- Panic episodes
In the absence of needed treatment, obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms only worsen in severity over time. Ultimately, a person can reach a point where obsessions completely take over his or her daily life making the condition all the more difficult to overcome
If you suspect you or someone you know may be struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder and need information on available treatment options in your area, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at to speak with one of our addictions specialists.