30 Jun, 22

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Management of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What is obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common anxiety disorder. It causes unreasonable thoughts, fears, or worries. A person with OCD tries to manage these thoughts through some repetitive actions or rituals.

Frequent disturbing thoughts or images are called obsessions. These thoughts are irrational and can cause great anxiety. Reasoning doesn’t help control thoughts. Rituals or compulsions are actions that help stop or ease obsessive thoughts.

What causes OCD?

Exact cause of OCD is not clear. However Various factors like genetics, brain abnormalities, and the environment are considered to play a causative role. It often starts or is noticed in teens or early adulthood. But, it can also start in childhood. OCD affects men and women equally. It appears to run in families.

Other anxiety problems like depression, eating disorders, or substance abuse can occur along with OCD.

What are the symptoms of OCD?

Obsessions are unfounded thoughts, fears, or worries. They happen often and cause great anxiety. Reasoning does not help control obsessions. Common obsessions are:

  • A strong fixation with dirt or germs
  • Repeated doubts (for example, about having a locked door or turning off the stove)
  • A need to have things in a very specific pattern or order
  • Thoughts about violence or hurting someone
  • Spending long periods of time touching certain things or verifying by counting
  • Fixation with order or symmetry
  • Persistent thoughts of awful sexual acts
  • Getting uncomfortable or angry by thoughts that are against personal religious beliefs

While you may know that the thoughts are unreasonable and not due to real-life problems, it’s still difficult to make the unwanted thoughts go away.

Compulsions are repetitive, ritualized acts. They are happening almost spontaneously to reduce anxiety caused by the obsession. Examples are:

  • Repeated hand-washing (often 100+ times a day)
  • Checking, again and again, to make sure that a door is locked
  • Checking that the oven or gas is turned off or not
  • Following rigid rules of order of things, such as putting on clothes in the same order each day, alphabetizing the spices, and getting upset if the order becomes disrupted

Compulsive acts can become excessive, disruptive, and time-consuming. These compulsive acts may interfere with daily life and relationships.

People avoid situations in which they have to face their obsessions. Some try alcohol or drugs and get addicted to calm themselves.

How is OCD diagnosed?

OCD is diagnosed during a physical and psychiatric exam with the best psychiatrists in dubai when obsessions and compulsions:    

  • Take up at least one hour to two hours each day
  • Are distressing
  • Interfere with daily life

Always visit and consult your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is OCD treated?

Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for OCD based on:

  • How old you are
  • Your overall health and medical history
  • How sick you are
  • How well you can handle certain medicines, therapies, or procedures
  • How long the condition is expected to last
  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • Anti-anxiety or antidepressant medicines are often used.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy can also help.

Key points about OCD

  • OCD is a common condition. It causes persistent disturbing thoughts and compulsive actions or rituals in order to ease anxiety.
  • The rituals become time-consuming and interrupt daily life.
  • Stressful events or emotions may trigger the OCD episodes or make them worse.
  • You may or may not have insight into irrational thoughts or behaviors.
  • Medicines and therapy can help reduce the frequency of compulsive thoughts and patterns or compulsive behaviors. Treatment is most successful when Medicines and therapy both are used.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your psychiatrist or doctor:


  • Be well aware of the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit psychiatrist, write down questions you want to be answered.
  • Bring someone from your family with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis as informed by the doctor, and any new medicines prescribed, treatments or tests recommended. Also, write down any new instructions your doctor psychiatrist or therapist gives you.
  • Discuss with your doctor why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you in improving your health. Also, know what the side effects of medicines are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated with alternative approved methods.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended by the doctor and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine as prescribed or didn't undergo a test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment with a psychiatrist doctor or therapist, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your psychiatrist or doctor if you have questions.

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