Some people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) develop repetitive activities like tapping, fiddling or blinking, usually a form of body movement or action that provides them with some relief.
People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) themselves are aware that their constant anxiety and compulsions are irrational, and the relief they provide is temporary, but the urge is so intense that they are helpless.
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Our brain structure, just like our genes, can make us vulnerable to OCD. Some types of minds are always pursuing certainty and perfection, not knowing that it is impossible to attain 100 percent of anything at all times.
As the compulsion is never given any permanent relief, there is a need to constantly repeat the action.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) often develops in creative and intelligent people and is not limited to being obsessive about sanitizing everything.
People develop compulsive behaviours about leaving their house unlocked, or leaving the car light on. People can have obsessive sexual thoughts or be extremely God-fearing. The common thread is that they are stuck in a ‘thought loop', a constant state of anxiety.
OCD is often misdiagnosed by medical professionals as depression, anxiety or even bipolar disorder. When it is recognized for what it is, the most effective treatment is EPR, or exposure and response therapy, which is similar to CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy).
ERP therapy exposes the patient to situations and thoughts that cause anxiety while controlling the urge to perform the compulsive action. It is effective in about 66% of people and is often clubbed with certain medication.
BDD is a mental disorder where a person is preoccupied with an imagined or minor physical defect that others often cannot see.
As a result, people with BDD see themselves as "ugly" and often avoid social exposure. The preoccupation with the defect often leads to ritualistic behaviours, such as always looking in a mirror or picking at the skin. The person with BDD eventually becomes overly obsessed with the defect so that their social, work, and home functioning suffers.
Body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) are intense urges like biting, picking, and pulling that can cause damage. As many as 1 in 20 people have a BFRB, but they can be dismissed as “bad habits.” While BFRBs share some symptoms with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), they’re not the same. They’re also different from self-harming rituals, like cutting yourself.
Experts are still trying to figure this out, but they know your genes are involved. If someone in your family has a BFRB, you’re more likely to have one, too. Stress plays a big role.