What is obsessive compulsive disorder? What does it mean?

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (obsessive-compulsive disorder among the people) is a disorder in which obsessive thoughts and repetitive behaviors are seen, sometimes with periodic exacerbations, and which significantly affects the daily functions of the person (family, work-school, social life, etc.).

obsession; They are thoughts, images or dreams that are involuntary, that make the person nervous, that cannot be dismissed with conscious effort, that are stubbornly repetitive. These are contrary to the logic, views, morals and values ​​of the person and are unacceptable. However, the person is aware that they are the product of his own mind.

Compulsion is; are repetitive behaviors, often done to banish obsessive thoughts. Most of the time, the person resorts to repetitive behaviors to get rid of the momentary distress.

To be diagnosed with OCD, a person must meet the following criteria:

A. Having obsessions or compulsions:

Obsessions as described in 1 and 2:

1. Recurrent and persistent thoughts, desires, or dreams that cause significant anxiety or distress in most people, and that occur in an intrusive or undesirable way during at least one period of the disorder,

2. The person tries to suppress, ignore, or neutralize these thoughts, wishes, or dreams with another thought or action (for example, by doing a compulsion).

Compulsions defined as in 1 and 2

1. Repetitive behaviors (e.g. hand washing, sorting, checking) or mental acts (e.g. praying, counting, repeating certain words silently) that the person feels compelled to do in response to the obsession or to comply with rules that must be strictly enforced

2. These behaviors or mental acts aim to relieve anxiety or distress or prevent the feared event or situation from occurring, but are not realistically linked to or clearly excessive in what they are trying to prevent or neutralize.

B. The obsessions or compulsions are time-consuming (eg, they take more than 1 hour a day) or cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

How Does Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Develop?

Compulsions and avoidances are strategies to reduce the individual’s object, situation, and associated distress (anxiety):
They settle down as the person reduces their distress by compulsion and avoidance, that is, as they work.
Compulsive behavior (washing hands, wiping, etc.) acts as a negative reinforcer by reducing distress and increases in frequency.
Avoidance behaviors prevent adaptation to feared situations.
OCD develops and spreads.

According to the Turkish Mental Health Profile research, OCD was found to be 0.6% in women and 0.2% in men. While obsessive cleaning is more common in women, obsessive thoughts about sexuality are more common in men.

General Characteristics of People with OCD:

Exaggerated perception of danger: He sees the probability of negative events happening as high and thinks the consequences worse than they are if they happen. (Disaster)

Intolerance of uncertainty: There is a search for absolute certainty. Something is either there or it is not, it is either clean or dirty. Being unsure of what will happen is very difficult.

Intolerance to adversity: Resistance to adversity has decreased because he is constantly trying to get rid of that distress. He immediately tries to relax.
Exaggerated sense of responsibility: The individual has an exaggerated sense of responsibility for events beyond his control and for having a bad outcome. He sees himself as responsible for harming himself or other people and constantly avoids what he fears will happen.

Thought-action fusion: The person exaggerates the importance of thoughts and similar mental products. When he thinks about it, he thinks it increases the probability of something happening. As in the saying “What came to my mind came to me”. Also, a person believes that thinking about something and doing it are the same thing.
Efforts for Mental Control: The person strives for complete and perfect control over thoughts or behavior. Thinking that he can control his thoughts, he constantly tries to suppress them and keep them out of his mind.

Experiencing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a condition that complicates a person’s life, causes distress, and disrupts vital functions. The more the person tries to get rid of the distress, the greater the distress. He moves away from the areas of value that he attaches most importance to. Depression often begins to accompany this clinical condition. Need to know; The sooner it is intervened, the faster it can be returned to normal life.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which has been proven to be effective with research results all over the world, is the most effective psychotherapy method in the treatment of OCD. If the person has been living for many years and is busy with OCD for hours a day, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy together with drug treatment gives very promising results. If this is the case, your psychologist will refer you to a psychiatrist and will administer psychotherapy and medication together.

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