A disorder that involves recurrent, intrusive, and unwanted thoughts (obsessions), intrusive, and unwanted thoughts (obsessions), and repetitive, ritualistic behaviors (compulsions). People with obsessive compulsive disorder realize that their behavior is excessive, disruptive, and unreasonable, but are unable to change it or explain. It causes significant distress or impairment and can consume most of a person’s time.
Features of obsessive compulsive disorder
- Obsessions are unwanted or meaningless thoughts, ideas, impulses, or images that persist in the mind of the individual, these thoughts may be unpleasant or repulsive, such as
- Fear of dirt, contamination by germs, poisons, secretions.
- Fear that something is wrong with their body in shape or function
- Fear of bringing harm, injury, or death to self or others.
- Worry that something is not done properly
- Forbidden sexual or blasphemous thoughts
- Needing to have objects in a particular place or order.
- Compulsions ate the urges one gets to perform certain behaviors in response to the obsessions. These ritual seem to lessen the anxiety causes by the obsession.
ü Excessive cleaning of objects. Hand washing is most common. Some children will wash up to 150 times a day to rid themselves of germs. This can result in chapped or bleeding hands.
ü Repeated checking to make sure an item is in its proper place.
ü Arranging objects in a specific position or order
ü Hoarding objects. Fears that something valuable will be lost
ü Repeating actions. Writing and erasing words or touching things an exact number or times.
ü Counting repeatedly to a specific number.
ü Thumb sucking or knuckle cracking
ü Nail biting
ü Self touching and touching other people and things.
- Individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder do not want to perform these actions but are unable to stop until an inner sense relays the message that the action can be halted. They have no apparent control over the stopping and starting of obsessions and compulsions.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder individuals tend to be serious and structured personalities
- Friendships and social interaction are difficult ti initiate and maintain because of the need for perfection.
- They exhibit extraordinarily slow completion of tasks or tests because of their need for perfection.
- They make numerous erasures, causing holes in the paper.
- They may refuse to turn in work because they need to check it one more time.
- They may have difficulty with note taking because they want to write down every word and do it perfectly.
- They may make frequent trips to the restroom to hide the rituals.
Causes of obsessive compulsive disorder
- Genetic – the lifetime risk for Obsessive compulsive disorder is increased in first-degree relative of patients diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Structural organic abnormalities – parents with obsessive compulsive disorder have an increased rate of minor, non-localizing neurological signs but no specific neurological lesions has been identifies. Positron emission tomography 9pet) and functional MRI have shown increased activity in the frontal lobes, caudate nucleus, and cingulum in obsessive compulsive disorder patients.
- Neurotransmitters – the clinical benefits of SSRIs in obsessive compulsive disorder suggests that a dysregulation of the 5HT pathways may play a role in its etiology.
- Autoimmune factors – for many years it has been known that Sydenham’s chorea-an autoimmune disease of the basal ganglia-is associated with Obsessive compulsive disorder in two-thirds of cases.
- Early experience – obsessional mothers might be expected to transmit a tendency to obsessional symptoms to their children through social learning.
- Psychological causes – obsession can be thought of as a conditional response to an anxiety-provoking event. The patient develops avoidant behaviours to try and avoid experiencing the anxiety provoking events.
Diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder
Ideally, an evaluation should be conducted before these behaviors become intrusive and interfere with individual’s ability to function. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a neurological disorder, it requires a medical evaluation. There are no blood tests, X-rays, or other medical tests for OCD, usually obsessive compulsive disorder is diagnosed by identifying the situations causing the obsession and or/ compulsions and rating how anxious the patient becomes of the ritual is not performed.
Several measures are used to gather this information . one such tool is the yale-brown obsessive compulsive scale. Another is the Leyton Obsessional Inventory.
The results of these measures, along with interviews, data from the school, and family and developmental histories, give vital information to the evaluator. The criteria used in the diagnosis of OCD can be found in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder.
Homeopathic treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat obsessive compulsive disorder but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat obsessive compulsive disorder that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder:
Arsenic album, Anacardium, Argentum Nitricum, Carcinosin, Hyoscyamus, Ignatia, Iodum, Medorrhinum, Natrum Mur, Natrum Sulph, Nux Vomica, Platina, Psorinum, Pulsatilla, Silicea, Staphysagria, Sulphur, Veratrum Album, Thuja, Syphilinum.