Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is much more common than some people may think. This is why so many are living with it unknowingly. Without the knowledge of exactly what OCD consists of can make it harder for one to know if they are showing symptoms of it or not.
There are many misconceptions about what OCD actually is. Ideas of what it may or may not be, have distorted the reality of this disorder. Some do not take it seriously and even joke about it due to their lack of knowledge.
If you are unsure of what OCD is but think you may have it, there is help. At SoCal Mental Health, we provide answers to your questions. We provide treatment for your needs and help you find yourself again.
What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
OCD is a disorder in which one exhibits uncontrollable thoughts or obsessions and behaviors that they constantly need to repeat. There is a constant need for control that exhibits itself in uncontrolled behaviors to fulfill that need.
There is usually an obsession with some type of order, whether that be cleanliness, repeating actions or words, or patterns in organizing. Essentially, OCD is a constant or ongoing state of anxiety or stress. This can be linked to or triggered by stressful events. While OCD is not something that just seemingly goes away, it can be manageable with treatment.
Although obsessive-compulsive disorder often arises before adulthood, it can be discovered beyond adolescence. This is why it is crucial to know the signs. Knowing what to look for can help those who start to notice symptoms within themselves without second-guessing.
What Are the Symptoms of OCD?
Symptoms of OCD include:
- Social isolation
- Repetitive cycles of thoughts
- Compulsive hoarding
- Compulsive behavior
- Repetition of your own words
How a Lack of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Awareness Can Impact a Person’s Life
There is a common lack of knowledge when it comes to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some believe that the disorder is only associated with the need for cleanliness. For instance, if someone washes their hands a lot or cleans in a certain way, some may think that they are germ-phobic, which they associate directly with having OCD.
What individuals do not realize is that OCD is more than just having an aversion to germs. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be any repeated behavior. For example, have you ever seen a refrigerator that is completely organized? Sure, it looks nice, and one might even want to change their refrigerator setup after seeing it. However, someone with OCD has that setup because they simply cannot have it any other way. When something is taken out of the refrigerator and not put back where it is supposed to go in that exact spot, they become uneasy.
Due to these misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding OCD, the disorder is sometimes made fun of and not taken seriously. This can make it harder for those who do have OCD to come to terms with and acknowledge it. It can be easy for those who may not understand to make light of this disorder; however, it is real, and the side effects of living with it can feel destructive.
There are different forms of OCD. While the avoidance of germs is a big one, the need for patterns or to have things in perfect order is another big one. Then there is the form where things must be done repeatedly in a specific order. Regardless of the type of OCD one may have, they all carry the same weight and need to control things obsessively. Some people even experience all forms, which is why it is important to educate yourself, get a diagnosis, and get the treatment that will allow you to live your life without OCD living it for you.
Some people may even have symptoms of OCD but are opposed to getting the opinion of a doctor because of the negative connotation of it. There is a fear associated with having this disorder because some people will simply not have the knowledge to understand. This can lead to trying to cope by calming oneself without the proper guidance.
You may find yourself trying to stop these uncontrollable behaviors, ignore them altogether, or even look for temporary relief from distressing symptoms through substance abuse. This only causes more harm because you need to be treated to know how to properly handle your OCD.
OCD Treatment Options Available at SoCal Mental Health
OCD is not a joke or a laughing matter. However, obsessive-compulsive disorder is a serious mental health disorder that people experience every day. If it goes untreated, you can struggle with simple daily tasks. It can prolong your day or your ability to complete tasks and responsibilities because everything must be done in a specific way.
Thankfully programs are working to educate society on the seriousness and realities of obsessive-compulsive disorder. At SoCal Mental Health, we want to help you. We offer medication and psychotherapy to help you understand and manage your OCD. While treatment can be more effective when it is caught early on, it is not too late for you to get the help and support that you need.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is often put in a box, which causes individuals who show symptoms of it to be unaware of them. There are misconceptions about OCD that can be misleading for those who are under-educated on the topic. When an individual is unaware that they are presenting symptoms of a disorder, they cannot know that they are in need of treatment. Living with untreated OCD is challenging. However, there are resources and treatments that can help make living with it manageable. At SoCal Mental Health, we can help educate you on the symptoms of this disorder as well as overcome the frustrations of having OCD. Call us at (888) 312-0219 for more information.