Sunday, January 10, 2010

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (or OCD) is classified as an anxiety and mental disorder with two components: obsessions, and compulsions. The obsessions usually consist of unwanted thoughts, impulses, or mental images. The compulsions are repetitive behaviors in response to the obsessions. (Wow that’s a sentence full) It’s like the brain gets stuck on a particular thought or urge and can’t let go. For example a person might have to do something the exact same way every time. Like tying and retying there shoe laces a certain amount of times. The person feels like he has to do it the same every time, and can’t stop himself. (For me if I tried not doing it I felt like I was literally going to explode, because I HAD to do it, and I think that’s the same way with everyone else too,) A compulsion is something that you feel like you need to do, almost like something bad might happen if you don’t. To others around you what you’re doing isn’t rational but to you it might seem like the most rational thing in the world. I would also obsess about it if I didn’t or for some reason couldn’t do it. That would consume my thoughts until I broke down and did it, and afterwards I felt like this huge burden had been lifted. (And when I say huge I mean HUGE) That is the feeling everyone gets because that is why people get the compulsion along with the obsession. The compulsive response relieves the anxiety of the obsession, and after you do it you no longer feel the obsessive side. In a sense it’s a protection from the obsession, because without the response to the obsession it would consume you and you would never get the relief of “fixing it”. Anyone with OCD can identify the feeling I’m talking about.

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