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YourFavOnlineDoctor @DrOlufunmilayo
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Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects many people in different degrees, but there’s usually 4 common trends of thoughts and behaviours.
1. Compulsion- repetitive acts done out of anxiety.
2. Obsession- repeated unwanted intrusive disturbing thoughts.
3. Feelings of anxiety.
4. Temporary relief – doing the compulsive behaviour temporarily relieves the anxiety, but the obsession and anxiety returns again and the cycle restarts.

Many people have either obsessions or compulsive thoughts but most people with OCD usually have both.
Everyone has a few occasions when they have thoughts that may make them a bit anxious like worrying wether you left the tap on or gas cooker on before leaving the house. That’s normal.

But when it becomes persistent, unpleasant and you can’t do anything else, it’s a problem.
Compulsive acts starts as a way of preventing the anxiety caused by the obsessive thoughts, even though what the person actually then does repeatedly, is either excessive or irrational.

It’s normal to wash hands if u feel it’s dirty. But washing hands every hour shows a problem.
Many people with OCD agree what they do is irrational but they just can't stop and they need to do it "just in case", even though it’s illogical.

Common types of compulsive acts in people with OCD include:

*cleaning and hand washing
*checking – such as checking doors are locked
* always checking gas is off
* repeated manual counting of things/money
* repeated ordering and re-arranging
* always asking for reassurance
* repeating words in their head
* compulsively hoarding and accumulating things they don’t actually need
* always washing even when clean
Let me be clear on something though. There’s a difference between being meticulous and having OCD.
They are not the same and shouldn’t be confused.

OCD sets in when there’s anxiety, repeated meaningless acts and inability to function normally without doing compulsive activities.
Please these set of tweets is no justification for being lazy and dirty and never keeping the home clean.
Let’s not get misguided.

And it’s not a medical problem to maintain high standards of hygiene and personal care with regards to our personal space and things. That’s okay.
OCD sets in when the thoughts of doing certain things and the fears of having not done them become persistent, very distressing, creates serious anxiety, completely takes over the person’s mind and totally paralyses them that they are unable to do anything else or function well.
For instance it’s normal to wash hands if one feels it’s dirty or you touched something dirty.
That’s okay.

But when you keep going back to the wash hand basin every one hour to rewash your hands because you think some imaginary germs are still there, that’s a problem.
It’s normal once in a while to go back & check if you turned off the gas or locked the door.

But if you keep showing up late to work because you spend four hours everyday going back six times to check if the same door was locked or the same gas was turned off, that’s a problem.
It’s perfectly okay to keep some documents from a long time ago maybe a best students award back in high school, that’s fine.

But when you keep all sorts of things, even useless things, that’s a problem.

You still have “Noisemakers List” dated 16/03/2000, why are u keeping it?
So what causes OCD?
It’s difficult to point out really.

Sometimes it’s because of a painful past experience/trauma, maybe in childhood, so the OCD is a way to try to prevent it happening again.

For others, it’s learned from a parent who had OCD so that’s how they were raised.
For other people, an ongoing stressful event or stressful job or a recent horrible experience like a car accident makes them quite paranoid and in the bid to be extra-cautious start to develop OCD symptoms and suffer from anxiety.

Different things trigger it in different people.
So what can you do to treat/cope with OCD:

1. Try some self-help resources. You could find books on dealing with anxiety and OCD, this is usually helpful.

You can google “OCD Action” if you are in UK. You can contact @MentallyAwareNG if you are in Nigeria.

They give good help.
2. Find someone you trust to talk about your fears. It could be family or friend or a partner.

Just someone you can count on, open up to and tell all your fears to, who will always listen and help you cope with the stress of the anxiety and OCD thoughts. That usually helps.
You may want to try a support network as well. It will be a select group of family and friends who you trust and who will be supportive.

This may also help as well as long as they are quite supportive, not judgmental, not thinking that you are possessed or attacked by demons.
Try to avoid stressful situations, minimise stress at work, stay off stressful relationships and distressing friendships which may all trigger or worsen OCD symptoms.

Try to be happy.
Get more sleep.
Eat regularly.
Drink more water.
Exercise as well.
Join a gym if you can, also.
If all the above fails, see your doctor and talk to him about your symptoms and challenges.

There are some methods and medications that may be tried which you may find helpful.
But that will be up to you and your doctor to decide.

Thanks for this question. I hope this helped.
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