Frequently Asked Questions About OCD

Before I got diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, I thought that one of my personalities involves a thing people called “perfectionist.” At times, I really like the idea that I focus solely on things that are near to perfection and that I value myself with high standards. I get to do things based on what people see as a ritual. Despite my routines being repetitive, I find them amusing. Usually, even if others are getting annoyed by my habits, I feel a little less concerned about their opinions as I perceive myself highly in control of things. And the more I want people to see me as a likable and almost-flawless individual, the more I engage in manipulating others.

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The compulsive behavior tends to grow stronger over time. I thought that was just normal since I don’t consider seeing something wrong with myself. But when it affected my relationships with other people, including my colleagues, friends, and family, that is where I decided to get help and asked a therapist about my so-called ‘perfectionist” behavior. From there, my doctor told me that I have OCD.

Honestly, I don’t understand the diagnosis. I am convinced that there is nothing with me and that I only do things based on urges, regardless if those are irrational. However, with my therapist’s support and answers to these frequently asked questions, I learned a lot.

Is OCD classified as an anxiety disorder? 

OCD is not anymore classified as an anxiety disorder according to the DSM. But still, it is a mental health condition that can go along with the latter. It involves disturbing images, thoughts, or urges that somehow bring a great deal of overall discomfort. It contributes to repetitive behaviors or inappropriate mental acts.

That explains why I often do things over and over again. That even if my actions tend to hurt others, I feel a little less concerned. Perhaps that is why even the closest persons in my life do not want me near them anymore.

 What are the four types of OCD? 

The four types of OCD are cleaning and contamination, doubt or harm, perfection, impulses, and prohibited thoughts.

 Is OCD a mental illness? 

Yes. OCD or Obsessive-compulsive disorder is indeed a mental illness made up of two parts. One is obsessions unwanted and repetitive images, thoughts, or sensations that pretty much don’t go away. And compulsions where people feel driven to do something repetitively with or without a trigger. Regardless of the condition, there are chances that people might experience both.

In my case, I am not pretty sure if I get to include myself in the first option since I am more engaged with repetitively doing something that I thought I want.

 Can OCD go away? 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic condition that can negatively affect an individual’s life. It does not fix itself and is commonly not cured completely. OCD doesn’t vanish or go away on its own, and it requires treatment and sometimes medication to be addressed.

Right now, I am seeing my therapist for quite a few hours every session, and I take medication to get rid of the symptoms slightly.

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 What is the root cause of OCD? 

There are core issues that lead to OCD symptoms. Usually, these factors can get associated with anxiety, such as trauma, abusive parents, bullying, relationship matters, etc. But OCD is not limited to that since genetic can also become a factor when chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain are the cause.

As for me, I think my OCD started when I thought about controlling things around me. Since a large portion of my life is uncontrollable, I began to shift my thoughts into working, taking things according to my desire. I don’t experience abuse, but I often get emotionally tortured by judgment and rejection from the people I love.

 Does OCD get worse with age? 

OCD, when left untreated, can get worse. The symptoms can lead to physical side effects and serious mental health issues due to compulsions. OCD relies more on unwanted or upsetting doubts, which disrupts important life factors such as problem-solving and decision-making. But fortunately, OCD responds well to a variety of different treatment methods even though it is a serious disorder.

 How do I stop my OCD thoughts? 

Managing several obsessive thoughts from OCD can be addressed through psychotherapy. The most common method is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. Besides that, people with OCD can also get treated with an exposure and response prevention therapy approach or ERP. But if you can handle the condition even for a while, remember not to waste time trying to prevent or not think through your thoughts. When you have OCD, never question, analyze, or argue with obsessive thoughts.

 Are you born with OCD? 

Usually, OCD or compulsions are considered learned behaviors. It becomes repetitive and chronic over time, especially when it gets associated with relief from anxiety. Though common OCD causes are genetic and hereditary factors, environmental risk factors are also likely to be involved. Also, the functional, chemical, and structural abnormalities in the brain can reinforce the damage.

 What are the common warning signs of OCD? 

Common warning signs of OCD include fear of not having the things you like, fear of losing control over small things, fear of harming yourself or others, fear of being contaminated or getting ill, and fear of engaging in violent thoughts and images. OCD is all about an intense fear that changes the way you respond and behaves towards your surroundings.

I admit, there is nothing more painful for me than knowing that I cannot sometimes control things around me. But with the help of my medication and therapy treatment, I think I will be fine.

 What triggers OCD in a child? 

Things that can trigger OCD in a child are fear of dirt or germs, contamination, illness, lucky and unlucky numbers, etc. Usually, in most common scenarios, people can easily identify OCD when there is a need for order, symmetry, and precision. Sometimes, in worst cases, there is a sexual or aggressive thought lingering and religious obsession.

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 Are people with OCD smart? 

Though OCD can be a negative thing for some individuals, others consider it a gift. That is because sufferers of OCD often exhibit high imagination, creativity, and above-average intelligence. But it is vital to note that there is difficulty dismissing random and weird thoughts for those experiencing primarily mental obsessions.

 What is having OCD like? 

Though some people may experience different symptoms and suffer from OCD at a different level, they somehow experience the same thing. That is having a broken signal in the head that only an individual can hear. It endlessly points out the danger and emergencies that others don’t seem to see.

 What is wrong with an OCD brain? 

Experts define OCD as an issue of incorrect information processing. It is where people with OCD often find themselves stuck on a certain urge or thought. But in clinical explanation, these changes usually involve the imbalance in serotonin, which controls feelings and moods.

 What famous person has OCD?

Celebrities known to have OCD are Howie Mandel, Cameron Diaz, Howard Stern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, Daniel Radcliffe, and Frank Sinatra.