How OCD Is More Than Being 'Just A Cleanliness Freak': Know All About It
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly and follow a certain repetitive behaviour. Know all about it here.
Know all about OCDs here
- Obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder
- People generally link OCD to cleanliness or organizing or counting things
- OCD involves different kinds of fears and compelling habits
Lately we have been throwing around the word "OCD" a lot. Granted, one can be "obsessed" with a new song or cleaning one's house and preferring to put things in order, but that doesn't make a person OCD. A clinical obsession is an unwanted and intrusive thought, impulse, or idea. People with clinical OCD, do not necessarily get pleasure out of cleaning and keeping things in order. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly and follow a certain repetitive behaviour. They are unable to control their thoughts and activities more often than not. These intrusive thoughts are channeled and coped up with the repetitive behaviour of hand washing, counting things, and checking if a door is locked or not. These activities can even affect a person's daily life in a negative way.
What exactly is OCD?
OCD is comprised of two parts. The obsession and then the compulsion to cope with the obsession. Obsessions are thoughts that recur and persist no matter how much the individual tries to ignore them. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors to seek relief from obsession-related anxiety. The person feels that these activities will prevent their intrusive thought from coming true. Excessive skin picking, hair pulling, nail biting and other body-focused repetitive behavior disorders are some examples of the repetitive behaviour. These activities might often go unnoticed.
So does having OCD means being a cleanliness freak?
People generally link OCD to cleanliness or organizing or counting things. Some people might have fears of contamination from dirt, germs, viruses, etc.. They might even feel an overwhelming need to keep everything in symmetry, or evenness. This is much more than the desire to keep the house clean. People with an extreme need for symmetry may constantly rearrange items or insist on even numbers not because they don't like things out of order, but because they fear that something bad may happen.
The person who does not have OCD keeps her home clean and tidy because she likes keeping it that way. It may make her happy or relax her. It's a preference.
The person with OCD keeps her home neat because she has to, because she gets extremely anxious if something is even a little bit out of place. This anxiety is the kind of anxiety a normal person feel when his or her life is threatened.
It is more than a fear of germs
OCD involves different kinds of fears and compelling habits. Some people are averse to germs and bodily fluids. Thus they feel compelled to wash their hands or bathe excessively to get rid of the germs. But this is not the only case in OCD. Other kinds of fears include the fear of losing control, harming other people, or contracting a disease. In some obsessions everything must be even or exact. OCD also includes superstitious beliefs. Others are bothered by unwanted sexual thoughts or religious concerns.
A compulsion is an avoidance
The repetitive activities provide a temporary escape from the intrusive worries about being clean or other intrusive ideas. A compulsion can actually be an avoidance, from the intrusive thought. It provides relief from the obsession and keeps the anxiety away.