Signs and Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is quite a common anxiety disorder. It produces irrational ideas, concerns, and fears. Someone suffering from OCD uses routines to help them manage their thoughts. OCD’s cause is unknown. Common signs include frequent doubts, aggressiveness or hurting others, a focus on order or symmetry, spending extended periods touching objects, or counting. If you or your child experience OCD symptoms that interfere with your/their daily activities, consult healthcare professionals at Psychiatry of the Palm Beaches. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Boynton Beach FL, Palm Beach Gardens FL, Stuart FL, Royal Palm Beach FL, Vero Beach FL, Plantation FL, and Jacksonville FL.
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Experts have not pinpointed an exact cause of OCD. The condition is influenced by various factors, including the environment, brain abnormalities, and genetics. People with OCD often experience the onset of symptoms in their teenage or early adulthood years; however, the condition can also start in childhood. The obsessive fears and compulsive tendencies that are characteristic of OCD can be learned through watching family members over time. As the condition tends to run in families, learned behaviors and genetics are two of the most concrete theories on why people develop OCD.
In addition to family histories, other factors can elevate the risk of developing this condition. These include:
• Stressful life events – Traumatic or stressful events can trigger emotional distress, intrusive thoughts, and rituals. OCD risk increases if you have gone through a traumatic experience, especially in childhood.
• Other mental health disorders – OCD may be related to other mental health concerns like substance use disorders, tic disorders, and anxiety disorders.
If you’ve noticed yourself exhibiting strange behaviors and wonder whether it’s OCD, it’s encouraged to seek a psychiatric evaluation so you can receive a comprehensive diagnosis and support in managing your symptoms. Some of the common signs of this disorder include experiencing unwanted repetitive thoughts that trigger anxiety and performing certain behaviors compulsively. Furthermore, some people with OCD experience an intense fear of contamination and often engage in excessive cleaning.
If you have been dealing with such symptoms, you may have OCD and should see a specialist. It can be very distressing to constantly try to ignore your intrusive thoughts, so it’s crucial to seek treatment to learn how to effectively suppress them. Receiving psychiatric services will help you determine the root cause of these behaviors and thoughts, as well as enhance your general wellness by managing your symptoms and associated stress.
As there are many different forms of OCD, there are a broad variety of behaviors that can be triggered by this condition. OCD behaviors are a result of intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses. When a person with OCD experiences distressing thoughts, they perform certain repetitive behaviors to calm themselves down. These behaviors are unique to each individual and the type of OCD they have. For example, some people with OCD perform excessive cleaning behaviors to cope with the fear of infection or germs. In short, the behaviors OCD causes are directly related to the obsessions or fears the person experiences. If you notice you are constantly performing certain behaviors to relieve anxiety, you should speak to a psychiatrist to determine whether you have OCD.
OCD is a complex condition that creates a distinct pattern of behaviors and thoughts. The disorder causes symptoms that can be divided into three categories: obsessions, emotions, and compulsions. While it’s normal to have an unwanted or unpleasant thought cross your mind occasionally, OCD causes this to occur very frequently, resulting in significant distress. Common obsessions reported by individuals with OCD include:
• Fear of harming yourself or a loved one by accident, such as setting the house on fire by leaving the stove on.
• Fear of germs or disease, such as touching something gross or getting infected.
• Fear of deliberately harming yourself or others.
• A desire for perfect symmetry, orderliness, or tidiness.
Obsessions trigger emotions, most commonly severe anxiety and distress. Following this reaction, people with OCD tend to perform compulsive behaviors to temporarily relieve their distress. Some of the most frequently observed compulsions in people with OCD include:
• Constantly checking, such as ensuring the gas is off or the door is locked.
• Excessive cleaning, disinfecting, or hand washing.
• Ordering and rearranging.
• Avoid certain situations to avoid obsessions.
Overall, various symptoms can be caused by OCD, so it’s important to be aware of them. If you notice some or many of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to see a psychiatrist to receive support in managing them. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Boynton Beach FL, Delray Beach FL, Palm Beach Gardens FL, Jupiter FL, Stuart FL, Palm City FL, Royal Palm Beach FL, Wellington FL, Vero Beach FL, Citrus Ridge FL, Plantation FL, Sunrise FL, Jacksonville FL, Riverside FL, and surrounding areas.
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