Obsessive compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder that occurs with the presence of obsessions and compulsions and causes significant limitations in one’s life. Studies have shown that the prevalence of OCD in the population is between 1-3% on average.

Obsessions are thoughts, impulses, or images that come to a person’s mind involuntarily and that, when they come, cause marked distress and unpleasant feelings and bodily symptoms. Obsessions can be associated with an event we experience or an emotion in our mind. A mother with her baby sitting in a highchair may realize that after seeing a knife while preparing food for her, the thought or image of harming her baby with this knife crosses her mind. He may feel an impulse in that direction. This thought, photograph, or impulse; It is called “obsession” if it comes on involuntarily, involuntarily, spontaneously and suddenly, and causes significant distress, discomfort and accompanying unpleasant bodily sensations. Obsessions can appear in many forms in our lives. Obsessions related to contamination, contamination, doubt-doubt, symmetry, aggression, religion, sexuality are the most common obsessions.

“Compulsions”, on the other hand, are the behaviors or rituals we do to reduce or eliminate the dissatisfied emotion and bodily reactions that arise as a result of obsessions. Sometimes compulsions can be in the form of thoughts, an example of this is trying to pass another thought to a thought that we do not like at the moment. Hand washing, cleaning, checking, counting, correcting, hoarding are the most common compulsions we see.

If we still think that our hands are dirty after washing our hands, we continue to wash our hands to get rid of the unpleasant feelings that are part of this obsession.

As in many other psychiatric disorders, the factors affecting the formation and triggering of OCD are similar.


Genetic Factors

(Family history, having certain genes.)

Biological Factors

(Brain or other organ diseases, some drugs or substances used, past infections, vitamin deficiencies.)

Psychological Factors

(Perfectionism, excessive responsibility, intolerance of uncertainty, fusion of thought and action.)

Social Factors

(Early life events, parent-child environment relationship, traumatic life events, problems in work or family life.)

Although OCD is a compelling psychiatric disorder that significantly limits life, it is not insoluble. Most of the time it can be successfully treated. In the treatment of OCD, sometimes alone drug therapy and sometimes alone cognitive behavioral treatments (classical cognitive behavioral approaches, metacognitive therapy, mindfulness-based approaches) are used. In some patients, it may be necessary to use both treatments together. Which approach will be chosen first may vary depending on various factors.

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