Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - A Serious Brain Disorder

Almost all of us aware of the term anxiety. Everyone must have had experienced anxiety at least once in a lifetime. Anxiety can be defined as a feeling of intense fear and distress, but when it start preventing us from doing everyday things, it becomes a disorder and this disorder is known as anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental disorder. Millions of people throughout the world suffer from anxiety disorder.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is one type of anxiety disorder and it is categorized into two parts - obsession and compulsion. Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by an increased anxiety that is caused by uncontrolled and intrusive thoughts which are known as obsession and when these thoughts become repetitive, it is known as a compulsion.

Obsessions may include:

  • Fear or contamination
  • Fear of losing things
  • Worry about harm coming towards oneself or others

Compulsion may include:

  • Excessively cleaning something
  • Constantly seeking reassurance
  • Repeatedly checking on things
  • Keeping unnecessary objects

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is associated with shame and often because of this shame people do not tell anyone about it or go for help. Most of the time people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder are aware of the uselessness and absurdity in their actions but they still feel compelled to perform their actions. They know how irrational their behavior is. Various researchers have observed that several parts of the brain and some biological factors play an important role in the development of the obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is believed that physical and sexual trauma increases the risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

There are some mental disorders that are related to obsessive compulsive disorder and some of them are as follows:

1. Body dysmorphic disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that is associated with the body image. The two characteristic features of body dysmorphic disorder are:

  • Excessive obsessive worry about one or more perceived flaws in physical appearance. These flaws are not visible to others.
  • Developing compulsive behavior such as excessive use of mirror and worrying a lot about the way an individual look.

Body dysmorphic disorder is associated with a wide range of symptoms or many other problems such as a feeling of shame or guilt, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self harm, and isolating oneself to avoid situations. It is difficult to understand the exact cause of body dysmorphic disorder as there are many factors or situations that can cause this condition such as if an individual has experienced bullying or abuse, it may develop a negative self image. Or trying to compete with others can develop this disorder as he or she may regularly compare themselves to others.

 2. Skin picking disorder

Skin picking disorder, also known as excoriation is a serious disorder in which a patient having this disease repeatedly touch, rub, scratch,  pick or dig into the skin in order to remove imperfections or small irregularities. Research has shown that skin picking cannot be considered as a disorder unless it is bad enough to cause significant distress or problems in life. Skin picking disorder can develop at any age and the progression of this disease depends on many factors and especially the level of stress in a person’s life. Some underlying biological and genetic cause is known to play a role in the development of this anxiety disorder.

Also Read : Understanding 3 Most Common Disorders Of Prostate 

Skin picking disorder can have a major effect on a person’s life and it can affect a person emotionally, physically and socially. It is believed that most often people suffering from skin picking disorder also have psychological problems such as depression. Also, skin picking disorder can lead to problems that require medical help, such as infection.

3. Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is also known as compulsive hair pulling disorder and it is defined as frequent or obsessive hair pulling that can lead to some serious health problems. The characteristic features in a patient having this hair pulling disorder include:

  • Repeatedly pulling out one’s hair that it becomes noticeable
  • Feeling or pleasure and satisfaction after pulling out hair
  • It interferes in one’s personal life

Trichotillomania can develop at any age but most often individuals tend to start pulling their hair during childhood and pulling of hair can occur on any part of the body such as scalp, eyebrows, beard, pubic areas and eyelashes. Biological and genetic factors play a role in the development of this disorder and stress is known to worsen the condition. The severity of hair loss depends on the degree of hair pulling and in serious cases, it can result in the need to cover up bald patches.

4. Obsessive compulsive personality disorder

Obsessive compulsive personality disorder is defined as a disorder that involves a preoccupation with rules, perfectionism, and personal control. Basically, obsessive compulsive personality disorder involves individuals who are obsessed with rules, lists, and schedules. People suffering from this disorder devote all their time to their work and to such an extent that their personal life is always neglected. These people avoid their personal time because they feel that their work should be done.

5. Hoarding disorder

Hoarding disorder is a disorder which is defined as a persistent difficulty in parting or discarding the things, regardless of its actual value. Patients having this disorder experience all three of the following characteristic:

  • A person keeps or collects items that appear to be useless to other people.
  • The collected items take a significant space.
  • Items often cause problems in doing day to day activities.

Many researchers consider hoarding disorder to be one of the types of obsessive compulsive disorder and this is because one in every four patients having obsessive compulsive disorder also has hoarding disorder. Sometimes hoarding disorder is associated with some serious health conditions as a lot of useless and unwanted things can increase the risk of suffering from an infection, respiratory disease and an increased risk of falling.

Many time people having obsessive compulsive disorder fails to share their problem with others and their disease is left undiagnosed. Share this post with your family and friends to make them aware about this brain disorder. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!!

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