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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Manifests In Many Ways For Those With This Mental Health Issue

Author : Stephen Daniels

Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental health disorder that affects an incredibly high number of Americans. While there are many common symptoms, the disorder can manifest in ways unique to each sufferer. At its root, OCD is an anxiety disorder. One is afflicted by recurring, distressful thoughts that, in turn, may result in the need to perform certain routine behaviors in an attempt to ease the mental anguish.

Many suffer from OCD without realizing that it has a name. Treatment must always start with an accurate diagnosis. Because symptoms can differ from person to person, it's important to seek out professional help, to begin the process of healing.

Anywhere from five to seven million Americans suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. The illness is characterized by uncontrollable thoughts, fears or mental images called obsessions. As a reaction, the sufferer feels compelled to carry out specific rituals or actions as a means of alleviating the obsessions. The rituals only provide temporary relief, though, at which point the vicious cycle begins all over again.

Obsessions range from fear of germs to fear of making a mistake or behaving in an abnormal way. Needing order, symmetry or exactness are other obsessive tendencies, as is a need for constant reassurance caused by extreme doubt. Compulsions resulting from obsessive thought patterns usually follow logically. Thus, a sufferer with an obsessive fear of germs might wash their hands or bathe repeatedly or refuse to shake hands or touch doorknobs. Repeated checking of things like door locks or stoves is another symptom. Others include constant counting or arranging, adhering to a strict order when eating, carrying out tasks an exact number of times and hoarding.

Scrupulosity is another type of OCD. Characterized by religious obsessions, sufferers feel as though they are constantly sinning or thinking evil thoughts. In other cases the disorder may manifest as a fear of blaspheming or a belief that they can never be forgiven because of their thoughts or their inability to perform a religious task in the correct way. As with other types of OCD, the mental images can be intolerable and the doubt paralyzing to the point that the person can hardly speak or act without experiencing a relapse.

Despite the variety of symptoms, there is hope for those who suffer from this debilitating mental condition. Through psychotherapy, a mental health professional works with the patient and bases their diagnosis on their observations as well as the patient's own description of their behavior. Once identified, a combination of serotonin-inducing medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help bring the patient out of the repetitive cycle of despair. The best thing for those who feel they may suffer from this disorder and who are tired of the effect it has on oneself and their relationships is to visit a psychiatrist. Help is well within reach, and it's never too late to start down the road to recovery.

Author's Resource Box

If you or a loved one suffers from OCD, internet marketing specialist Stephen Daniels recommends
Las Vegas mental health
practitioner Dr. Ron Zedek. This well-known psychiatrist has more than 12 years of experience in treating a wide variety of mental health issues including OCD using psychotherapy and serotonin-inducing medication when necessary.

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Tags:   mental health, psychotherapy, psychiatrist

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Submitted : 2011-02-21    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 413