How to identify OCD

In daily routine, we often label others obsessive about something. We use the word ‘Obsessive’ casually but OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is actually an impairing mental condition that can be devastating, if not treated on time. Here are some of the symptoms that can be helpful to identify OCD:

OCD - Washing Hands
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  1. Presence of Obsessions

The person has repeated and persistent urges, images or thoughts. These are felt as unwanted but difficult to get rid of. They cause anxiety and distress.

The individual tries to suppress, ignore or neutralize them by some other thoughts or action.

For example, if an individual has thoughts about being dirty, he or she may neutralize them with constant cleaning. Similarly, those having the urge to hurt someone may repeat some statements in their minds to get relief.

Obsession can have a variety of themes but most common ones contain the themes of cleanliness, religion, hurting someone and sexual urges.

  1. Presence of Compulsive Behavior

A person suffering from OCD may have repetitive behaviours. These could be actions like handwashing or checking a specific thing repeatedly. In addition, these can be mental acts like praying or counting. The person does so in order to overcome the distress associated with obsessions.

The common compulsions are washing and cleaning, checking, repeating certain words or phrases and praying.

The person uses these behaviours to reduce distress or prevent anything bad from happening. However, in reality, these behaviours are not realistically connected with the obsession and often are in excess.

  1. Time Spent and Impaired Functioning

Many of us might have some obsessions or compulsive behaviours. The difference between casual obsessions and OCD is that of time spent and disturbed functioning. These obsessions and compulsions are time-consuming and usually exceed more than an hour a day. Moreover, they cause significant distress in personal, social and occupational life of an individual.

For an individual to have OCD, both obsessions and compulsions must be present, the individual spends a significant amount of time on them and they are impairing the functioning of the individual.

With these tips, we can identify OCD and help the person suffering from it.

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