Upon mentioning OCD, the first description that often comes to your mind is your mother on a Sunday morning cleaning the house, putting everything in place, and getting angry at how at age 21, you still throw your clothes on the floor, forget your plate on the table and leave the curtains half open. But is wanting everything to be neat and tidy really enough to label someone as having OCD?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition characterized by having distressing, intrusive and obsessive thoughts as well as doing repetitive, compulsive physical or mental acts.
No, it is not only about perfectionism; OCD obsessions often include:
These obsessions are showcased by many habits that the person who has OCD doesn't notice and upon which they act compulsively. However, it is important to note that not all rituals or repetitive behaviors are to be mistaken as compulsions, since behavior depends on the overall context. Common OCD compulsions include the following:
These compulsions, as you probably noticed, aim to prevent the person's obsessions. For instance, constant checking and repeating basic actions and events in one's mind allows them to keep control of the situation and to avoid feeling anxious.
People with OCD frequently associate certain situations with fear. They learn to avoid them and perform their daily routine in order to reduce the intense stress and perturbation that occur when one is no longer in his comfort zone, such as starting a new job, traveling for a while or ending a relationship. Thus, these situations or objects stimulating fear will be avoided rather than confronted.
Despite a wealth of research, the exact causes of OCD have not been identified. A 2001 World Health Organization report on mental health estimated that OCD was among the top 20 causes of illness-related disabilities worldwide for people aged 15-44, and that OCD was the fourth most common mental illness after phobias, substance abuse, and major depression.
OCD is thought to have a neurobiological basis, with neuro-imaging studies showing that the brain functions differently in people affected by this disorder. An abnormality or rather an imbalance in neurotransmitters is thought to be involved in OCD.
Keep in mind that recovery from OCD/Anxiety is possible. Try at least to find help within your entourage in order to improve the quality of your life. I’m not saying that you should become a highly functioning anxious person, but it’s rather about accepting yourself as you are, accepting your mental health, and seeking help from professionals.
You act as if it's you against the world, when in reality, it's you against yourself.
You wanting to let go of your disorder is as strong as you clinging on to it.
Maybe all of this medical information is too heavy for you to process, so here's a more humanitarian and human approach to it: