OCD and Therapeutic Interventions
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health problem that affects a small percentage of the population. Its prominence is not in the number of affected people but in its effects on their health and wellbeing. It is most commonly manifested in the adolescent stage, progressing into adulthood, though there are a few cases of it manifesting in the childhood stage.
It presents with recurrent obsessions and compulsions but may not present both symptoms in certain individuals. Obsessions are uncalled for and intrusive thoughts r urges, where a person can worry about dirt or germs, or fear of embarrassment in public. Compulsions, on the other hand, feature acts or rituals one feels they needed to perform, normally as a response to the obsession. If they had fears of dirt or germs, they might feel compelled to wash their hands a specific number of times constantly. The ritual does not have to be visible and overt, such as mentally repeating a phrase over and over again.
The obsessions and compulsions are stressful and exhausting to the person with the disorder, yet they cannot stop themselves form carrying them out. The obsession puts them in a state of anxiety until they perform the compulsion. They will not enjoy the act, but it somehow relieves the anxiety.
Preventing the person from performing the compulsion or circumstances, preventing them from doing so, only increases the anxiety already present. If they cannot get to clean water and soap, for example, the thought of germs creping on them will make them even more distressed.
OCD has some complex and not yet fully understood causes. There is some degree of genetics involved. Environmental factors such as abuse or neglect in the past, as well as certain personality traits also make a person susceptible to having OCD. Stress can also induce it, as will the presence of other mental health challenges like depression or schizophrenia.
You may find the person suffering from the condition feeling a mild inconvenience, or it is an extreme case of it utterly disabling them. They will find it hard to live anything that is close to a normal life, with many incidents of performing their compulsions endangering their health in the process. If it is mild, there is a high chance therapeutic interventions such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) will successfully address the situation. Through CBT, they will learn new or different ways of thinking. As they learn those new ways of thinking, so will they notice a change in their behavior. CBT is, therefore, a great way of treating OCD.
For moderate cases, addressing the issue with CBT, as well as an antidepressant, gives off the best results. The antidepressants also help address any anxiety they may have in the process. If it is a severe case of OCD, then a more intense psychological therapy and medication will be in order.
If OCD is left untreated, the symptoms will only grow in intensity and so get much worse. There is a need for a proper intervention to make things better, and to bring back the person with OCD to a more pleasant state, where they are not hounded by the condition, but regain some form of control over their lives.