COUNSELLING BLOG

1,043 notes

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

The person who suffers from OCD, is continually plagued by anxieties. And though their fears are often rooted in reality they are usually extreme and irrational. They also interfere with the person’s daily life, are highly disruptive and strain relationships.

OCD has five categories of obsession. These are:

· Washers (people who are terrified of contamination)

· Checkers (people who are afraid that something terrible could happen – because they forgot to take some action)

· Doubters and sinners  (people who are afraid of being less than perfect – and are “waiting” to be caught and punished for their errors)

· Counters and arrangers (people who have an obsession with order and symmetry. They are often very superstitious, too)

· Hoarders (people who can’t throw anything away). Thus, they compulsively store items that they’ll never use.  Examples of the kinds of things they hoard include old newspapers, receipts or medicine bottles.

Other common thought obsessions include sexually explicit or violent thoughts, or the fear of harming yourself or other people. Other common compulsive behaviours include repeatedly checking on people you love to make sure they are alive and safe; or counting, tapping or doing senseless things to try and relieve their anxiety.

With respect to possible causes:

· Research indicates that close relatives of an OCD suffer are up to 50% more likely to develop OCD than someone with no family history.

· There is also a link between OCD and insufficient levels of serotonin. Furthermore, brain imaging techniques have shown that people with OCD have unusually high levels of activity in 3 areas of the brain …

(i) The caudate nucleus – which acts as a filter for thoughts coming from different areas of the brain. This is also the area which manages habitual and repetitive behaviours.

(ii) The prefrontal orbital cortex - Damage or low activity here is linked to feeling uninhibited, having poor judgment, and feeling intense guilt.

(iii) The cingulate gyrus - This area of the brain is believed to stimulate the emotional response to obsessive thinking. It also instructs us to perform compulsions – as a means of relieving anxiety.

In terms of psychological causes, behaviour theory proposes that OCD sufferers associate certain objects or situations with fear. Thus, they learn to avoid those fear-invoking stimuli by perform certain rituals. Cognitive therapists argue that whereas the majority of people can simply shrug off worries that pop into their mind, OCD sufferers cannot do not this. Instead, they ruminate on their fears.

Treatment does not usually focus on medications – although sometimes antidepressants will be combined with counselling. CBT is believed to be the most effective form of treatment. Srategies include helping the client to anticipate obsessive and compulsive urges – and then to take concrete steps to bring them under control. For example, if a client’s compulsive behaviour takes the form of repeatedly checking to see that their doors are locked, they could be encouraged to remove the keys after locking the door, and then put them in their pocket (where they’re easy to find).

Filed under counselling psychology therapy anxiety disorders anxiety OCD mental health mental illness self improvement self help online counselling college

  1. thathookedgleekincamphalfblood reblogged this from onlinecounsellingcollege
  2. crimson--x reblogged this from littledepressionproblem
  3. effingdylan-obrien reblogged this from onlinecounsellingcollege
  4. asymmetree reblogged this from onlinecounsellingcollege
  5. nothingbutdelightful reblogged this from psych-facts
  6. marieblake reblogged this from onlinecounsellingcollege
  7. f--kyeahpurpleswag reblogged this from psych-facts
  8. fionamarytomcat reblogged this from psych-facts
  9. crazymofoswaffles reblogged this from onlinecounsellingcollege
  10. imaginingflowers reblogged this from psych-facts
  11. aloneandtormented reblogged this from psych-facts
  12. staying-strong-2 reblogged this from psych-facts
  13. icedeam reblogged this from psych-facts and added:
    Reading this made me uneasy and sick
  14. color-me-homicidal reblogged this from psych-facts
  15. niteshines-on reblogged this from psych-facts
  16. l-0new0lf reblogged this from psych-facts
  17. circlesinthestream reblogged this from psych-facts
  18. tofu-penis reblogged this from psych-facts
  19. virtually2003 reblogged this from ocdhelpgroup
  20. ohhreyna reblogged this from psych-facts
  21. sincerelyaye reblogged this from psych-facts and added:
    The person who suffers from OCD, is continually plagued by anxieties. And though their fears are often rooted in reality...
  22. revxshadows reblogged this from psych-facts
  23. berkless reblogged this from psych-facts
  24. onearmedbitch reblogged this from psych-facts
  25. andywub reblogged this from psych-facts
  26. hrhmegs reblogged this from hugdrugsnotboys
  27. hugdrugsnotboys reblogged this from onlinecounsellingcollege