Causes and Treatment of OCD

What Factors Cause Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to Occur?

The exact cause of obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, has not been fully discovered. Therefore, there is no certainty so far. Of course, a few assumptions are made. Despite the unknown source, it is estimated that biological factors, environmental reasons, genetic characteristics, as well as impaired brain functions and irregularity in serotonin hormone, traumas experienced in childhood and personality traits of the individual may also be effective in the development of OCD. It is thought that such factors play a significant role in the occurrence of OCD or almost trigger the development of the disease.
From the point of view of the world of biology, while a connection is established through the serotonin system in general, it is seen that the theories of learning are seriously emphasized in the explanations from the point of view of the world of psychology. OCD, which is an important and important disease, begins in adolescence, which is generally described as childhood and the transition period from childhood to adulthood.

->Biological factors

The brain is indeed an organ with a very complex structure. The regular functioning of this complex structure is realized by nerve cells called neurons in the brain. The number of these nerve cells, or neurons, exceeds billions. These nerve cells are required to communicate with each other and are of vital importance. Neurons communicate with electrical signals. Special chemicals called neurotransmitters help carry these electrical messages from neuron to neurons.

-> Impairment in brain functions and serotonin

When we look at the studies on the brain, the detection of disorders in the functions of serotonin, which is present in some parts of the brain and has an important role in neural transmission in the brain, has led to the investigation of these as the cause of OCD.
In the case of obsessive compulsive disorder, it has been observed that there is excessive activity in certain parts of the brain. It is observed that the brain becomes more active when the individual experiences the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It is emphasized that the decrease in the level of serotonin, which is among the neurotransmitters, may cause the occurrence of obsessive-compulsive disorder. This serotonin imbalance in the brain really negatively affects the areas of the brain related to planning and common sense. It should also be noted that; There are also studies on the fact that infection caused by streptococcus bacteria also leads to the development of obsessive compulsions.

->Genetic causes

It has been determined that people with obsessive compulsive disorder mostly have a history of OCD in their first-degree relatives. The frequent occurrence of OCD in parents and other first-degree relatives of patients with OCD brings to mind the possibility that the disease is genetic. The transmission of changes in the amount of serotonin from parents to children also suggests the possibility that obsessive compulsive disorder may be genetic.

->Environmental factors

Some individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are highly affected by environmental stress factors. Some environmental factors and serious life changes that a person encounters in life can cause symptoms to worsen gradually. Environmental factors: The stress experienced by the person in the social and family environment can trigger the development of the disease. While the existing disease in the person progresses with mild symptoms, certain environmental factors may increase the symptoms of the disease.

->Childhood traumas

The fact that OCD can occur in those who have been exposed to childhood traumas (for example, sexual abuse) after a significant stress experience in their later life shows that the early childhood periods play an important role in the development of OCD. Headlines such as abuse, changes in life situations (marriage, moving, having a child), illness, loss of a loved one, changes or problems related to work or school, relationship concerns, relationship traumas, domestic violence can create traumatic effects for the child. Such traumatic effects are also one of the most important reasons that trigger the OCD problem.

->Personal factors

Individuals with meticulous, prescriptive, detail-oriented and perfectionist personality traits are considered to be prone to OCD.

What are the Treatment Methods for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Unfortunately, obsessive compulsive disorder patients who go to the hospital with anxiety keep their illness secret due to various thoughts, which delays the person’s application for treatment. In general terms, the applications of patients can be delayed by an average of ten years. It is not easy for many patients to consult a specialist because they do not see involuntary thoughts and repetitive behaviors caused by thoughts as a disorder for a long time and they think that they are doing it because the compulsions they are doing actually need to be done. Some of the patients avoid consulting a specialist because they are ashamed of the symptoms of obsessive disorder and are afraid of treatment.

->Diagnostic Methods

There is no laboratory test for obsessive compulsive disorder. The diagnosis can be made by a psychologist who specializes in the patient’s symptoms and general behavior of the patient. During the psychological evaluation performed by the psychologist, thoughts, feelings, symptoms and behavior patterns are examined.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is sometimes difficult to diagnose because symptoms can be similar to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia, or other mental health disorders. People can have both obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and other mental disorders. For this reason, it is necessary for the psychologist who will evaluate the patient to consider all the factors.
Early diagnosis is extremely important in the success of treatment. This condition is unlikely to go away on its own without treatment. If obsessive thoughts and behaviors negatively affect the quality of life, a psychologist should be consulted immediately.
Most people with obsessive compulsive disorder are aware of this condition. He knows that his obsessive and repetitive thoughts and actions are compelling and negatively affect his life, but he still cannot control these thoughts and behaviors. These people, who are aware that their thoughts and actions are not normal, keep their illness secret for many years. This prolongs the person’s healing process.
OCD patients try to hide their illness for about 10 years before starting treatment. However, if the person wants to get rid of these thoughts and actions, the psychologist evaluates the client and the symptoms he/she shows. After the diagnosis is clarified, a rapid result can be obtained with treatment, both medication and cognitive behavior therapy, individually.

->Treatment Methods

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) may not heal on its own if left untreated, so getting treatment is extremely important.
The person may be referred to a healthcare professional specially trained for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. The most effective approach in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is combining medications with appropriate therapies.

->Psychotherapy

It is a treatment method focused on reducing exaggerated or obsessive thoughts that are frequently seen in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) patients. The goal is to help people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) confront their anxiety-provoking beliefs without engaging in compulsive behaviors. In the psychotherapy treatment method, the client attends meetings with the psychotherapist at least in weekly sessions, between 12-20 sessions on average, and also applies the work done in the sessions outside the session. Patients who regain their health with treatment; quality of life, relationship with family and social environment, education and professional success are significantly improved. The aim of therapeutic treatment is to prevent patients from performing their rituals, to enable them to face their fears and to reduce their anxiety. Cognitive behavior therapy, which focuses on reducing the exaggerated catastrophic thoughts of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, helps the patient get rid of thoughts that they perceive as real. Obsessive patients try to cope with worrisome thoughts by avoiding and avoiding these thoughts. However, as they try to escape from thoughts, these thoughts increase and thus a vicious circle is formed. The aim of behavioral treatments is to confront the patient with thoughts [obsessions] that cause anxiety and avoidance because they cause anxiety, and to prevent repetitive behaviors [compulsions] that come into play to reduce the anxiety created by this comparison. The goal is to extinguish the anxiety caused by the disturbing thought and to allow the habituation to occur. Treatment done in this way is called habituation therapy. In cognitive treatments, the aim is to reduce the perception of responsibility created by disturbing thoughts. In the absence of a perception of responsibility, patients will not feel the need to show repetitive behaviors to neutralize and neutralize disturbing thoughts that come to mind. The aim is to reduce the perception of thoughts as real. For this reason, the extent to which the perceptions of threat, danger and excessive responsibility are realistic in treatment, and which thinking errors result in exaggerated threat and danger perceptions are investigated together with the patient. After the identification of cognitive errors, these thoughts that are not functional enough are replaced with more realistic and functional ones. Patients who think that their thoughts will result in a disaster are asked to bring these thoughts to mind instead of stopping them, and then seeing that the feared results do not occur creates significant benefits in adapting to the treatment. Cognitive and behavioral therapies have a very important place both in the treatment of the disease and especially in the prevention of relapses, and they can be used sometimes alone or in combination with drug treatments. Cognitive behavioral treatments are the most important treatment options. In psychotherapy, the person is confronted with the underlying feelings such as fear in order to prevent the person’s thoughts and actions. Thus, it is ensured that the person is removed from obsessive behaviors.

->Medicine Therapy

Medicines to increase serotonin levels in the brain can be used in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) patients. Patients receiving drug therapy are expected to regularly use a certain drug or drugs in effective doses. In the first days of the treatment, temporary side effects such as mild nausea, headache, sleep disturbance, stomach discomfort and sexual side effects that most of the patients are afraid to talk about can be seen. However, this group of drugs are generally drugs that are easily used by patients and there is no problem during their use. The person receiving drug treatment begins to see the positive effects of the treatment in the first month or two. It takes up to two weeks for the effects to be seen. It should be waited for at least 10 weeks to decide whether the drug is effective or not. The full effect of the drugs occurs within 3-4 months. If it is determined to be effective, the treatment should be continued for at least two years, increasing the daily dose if necessary. Long-term use of drug therapy, even after well-being, prevents recurrence of the disease. Co-administration of drug therapy and psychotherapy is recommended in adult groups.

->Duties for Family and Friends

Patients with OCD often worry about how they will be greeted when their obsessive thoughts and behaviors are noticed by those around them. Most patients avoid sharing or revealing their feelings because of the thought that they will be shamed, ridiculed or humiliated. Patients may come to treatment long after the onset of the disease due to stigma anxiety. Family members and friends should know that the patient’s obsessive behaviors, which can cause discomfort to the environment from time to time, are caused by thoughts that cannot be prevented by the patients, and they should help them to adapt to the treatment.

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