Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) : Symptoms, causes, and treatment

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness in which a person inadvertently experiences thoughts or feelings. OCD is a chronic anxiety disorder that is accompanied by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. On average, 2% of people in the community have the disease, and its symptoms usually appear in childhood or adolescence and rarely occur after the age of 40. Practical obsessive-compulsive disorder can significantly affect a person’s life. This article will introduce you to the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment methods of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) : Symptoms, causes, and treatment

What is Practical Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ?

OCD is a mental disorder accompanied by conditions such as obsession, repetitive thoughts, or disturbing actions for the person. Doing routine tasks is challenging for a person with OCD. A person with the obsessive-compulsive disorder will typically experience the following conditions:

  • Thoughts or actions that he feels he is unable to control
  • Complaints of sudden thoughts and obsessions
  • Fear, doubt, or belief that things should be done in a certain way
  • Upset and distress
  • He spends a lot of time focusing on his obsessions, which disrupts his personal, social, and professional activities.
  • Different types of obsessive-compulsive disorder

OCD can affect people in a variety of ways and may include the following:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

A person with OCD may feel the need to re-examine for problems, which may include the following:

  • Check faucets, alarms, door locks, home lights, and appliances to prevent leaks, damage, or fire
  • Examine the body for signs of illness
  • Verification of memories
  • Fearing that he has made a mistake, he continually reviews his circumstances and actions.
  • Fear of pollution
  • Frequent hand washing due to obsessive-compulsive disorder

Some people with OCD are afraid of getting dirty and dirty and are frequently washing. They may also be afraid of contaminating objects they touch. This type of obsessive-compulsive disorder can lead to the following conditions:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) : Symptoms, causes, and treatment

  • Excessive brushing or regular hand washing
  • Regular washing and cleaning of toilets, kitchens and other rooms
  • Avoid crowds due to fear of germs

Some people with the disorder feel that someone has mistreated or criticized them for being dirty or contaminated, so they may try to eliminate the feeling by washing.

Collection of disposable items

This situation includes people who are unable to dispose of their used or useless property.

Unwanted thoughts

This type of OCD causes a person to feel powerless to repeat unwanted thoughts. This condition can include behaviors such as violence, suicide, or harming others. Keep in mind that these thoughts may cause severe anxiety in the person.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) : Symptoms, causes, and treatment

Symmetry and order

A person with obsessive-compulsive disorder is very sensitive to the symmetry and order of things

A person with this type of obsessive-compulsive disorder may feel that to prevent damage to objects; they must be put together in a specific order. For example, they may regularly arrange books on a shelf.

What are the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder?

OCD involves an obsessive-compulsive disorder, coercion, or a combination of these, which can cause distress and impair a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.


Thorough cleaning of surfaces due to obsessive-compulsive disorder

People with this disorder are almost always worried; To the extent that this worry and anxiety permeates their whole being and makes it difficult for them to perform daily tasks. Common topics in this anxiety disorder include:

  • Contamination by microbes, soil, and other materials
  • Loss of control is like the fear of trying to insist on hurting or hurting others
  • Perfectionism, which may include the fear of losing things or essential people in their lives, as well as a strong focus on accuracy or reminders.
  • Injury, including fear of responsibility for a catastrophic event
  • Unwanted sexual thoughts, including thoughts of inappropriate activities
  • Religious or superstitious beliefs, such as worrying about blasphemy or stepping on sidewalks


Not every repetitive behavior is mandatory; For example, most people use repetitive behaviors such as bedtime routines (brushing, going to the bathroom, etc.) to help manage their daily lives. However, for a person with OCD, the need for repetitive behaviors is intense, repetitive, and time-consuming. Here are some examples of this situation:

  • Washing and cleaning, including hand washing
  • Examine the body for any symptoms
  • Repeat routine activities such as getting up from a chair
  • Mental compulsions are like the repeated review of an event

What is OCD like in children?

The first symptoms of OCD often appear in adolescence; But sometimes it also occurs in childhood. Complications in young people and children with this disorder are as follows:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Disruption of daily activities
  • Difficulty completing school work
  • Stressful physical illnesses
  • Problems forming or maintaining friendships

When OCD starts in childhood, it may affect men more than women. However, this disorder affects men and women equally in adulthood.

Reasons for OCD

Researchers still do not know precisely what causes the obsessive-compulsive disorder, But there are different theories about these conditions. For example, genetic, neurological, behavioral, cognitive, and environmental factors may be involved in developing this disease.

Genetic causes

OCD appears to be present in families, indicating a possible genetic link; Of course, experts are studying this issue in detail. Imaging studies have shown that the brains of people with OCD have significant differences in function. For example, genes that affect how the brain responds to the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin may play a role.

Reasons related to autoimmunity

Symptoms of OCD sometimes appear in children after infection, which we will mention below:

  • Group A streptococcal infections
  • Lyme disease
  • H1N1 influenza virus

Doctors sometimes call the onset of these symptoms OCD Acute Child Psychiatric Syndrome (PANS). In a child with PANS, the symptoms start suddenly and become very severe within 24 to 72 hours; It may disappear but be reversible.

Behavioral causes

One study shows that a person with OCD learns to do certain things to prevent fear associated with specific situations or objects to reduce the risk. The initial fear may begin around a period of intense stress, such as a traumatic event. When a person associates an object or situation with a feeling of fear, they will avoid that object or situation. This condition may be more common in people with a genetic predisposition to the disorder.

Cognitive causes

Another theory is that OCD begins when people misinterpret their thoughts. Some people sometimes have unwanted or sudden thoughts; But for people with OCD, the importance of these thoughts is more severe and intense. For example, a person may be under severe mental stress of harming a baby. He may ignore these thoughts; But if thoughts continue, they may take on an unjustifiable meaning. A person with OCD may be convinced that what is being done in mind is likely to exist. Therefore, in response, they take continuous and excessive measures to avoid threats or danger.

Environmental causes

Stressful life events can lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder in people prone to the disease. Many people have reported that symptoms may occur within six months of various events, including the following:

  • giving birth
  • Complications of pregnancy
  • Severe conflict or problem
  • Serious illness
  • Brain Injury

Also, OCD may occur alongside post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Diagnosis of practical obsessive-compulsive disorder

Physicians follow specific criteria when diagnosing OCD, including:

  • Existence of obsession, compulsion or both
  • Obsessions and obsessions are time-consuming or cause significant distress and disturbance in social, occupational, or other vital areas.
  • Symptoms of OCD that do not result from the use of a substance or drug
  • Many other disorders, such as depression and anxiety, have similar characteristics to OCD and can co-occur with the disease.
  • Methods of treating obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • An annoying person with obsessive-compulsive disorder

There are effective treatments for this disease, the best type of which varies according to the symptoms and the extent of its impact on the person’s life and well-being. Here are some effective treatments for this disorder, which we will introduce below:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) : Symptoms, causes, and treatment

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

This type of psychotherapy, sometimes called CBT, can help a person change the way they think, feel, and behave. This method may include two different therapies: Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Cognitive Therapy. ERP includes the following:

Exposure: This method exposes the person to situations and objects that cause fear and anxiety. Applying this method over time, through a process called habit, will reduce or eliminate anxiety.

Answer: This method teaches a person to resist forced behaviors.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy begins by encouraging the individual to re-identify and re-evaluate their beliefs about the consequences of engaging in or refraining from coercive behavior.

Next, the therapist encourages the person to do the following:

  • Examine evidence that supports or does not support obsession
  • Identify cognitive distortions related to obsessions
  • Create a better and less risky alternative to a sudden thought, image, or idea
  • medicines

Several medications, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), an antidepressant, can help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some examples of these drugs are:

  • Citalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

Your doctor may prescribe higher doses of these medications to treat OCD than for depression. Keep in mind that a person may not notice the results of taking these drugs after three months. It is essential to know that almost half of the people with OCD do not respond to SSRI treatment, and doctors may prescribe antipsychotic medications. In 2010, some researchers noted that the drug D-cycloserine and CBT might help treat OCD and be useful in people with social anxiety.

People with OCD in coronary conditions

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder experience persistent or repetitive thoughts that are disturbing and cause anxiety. Thus, some aspects of COVID-19 pandemic disease, such as frequent hand washing and frequent news reviews, may cause anxiety and repetitive behaviors in people with OCD. Practical obsessive-compulsive disorder can manifest in a variety of ways; But during the COVID-19 epidemic, one may find that some obsessions are more significant than others.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) : Symptoms, causes, and treatment


Infection is one of the most common fears among people with OCD. Coping with these conditions under normal circumstances may be difficult; But during COVID-19 pandemics, it can be even more challenging. The coronavirus can cause people with OCD to take extraordinary actions to keep themselves and their families safe, which can include frequent hand washing, cleaning, or the fear of leaving home. (Coronavirus Vaccine And 10 Things You Need To Know About)

Hurt others

Anxiety about harming others accidentally or intentionally is another common feature of OCD. People with coronary heart disease may be concerned about transmitting the disease to another person or may go to great lengths to prevent it.

COVID-19 may trigger fears and behaviors associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder. These motivating factors are:

  • Recommended for washing hands most of the time
  • Emphasis on proper handwashing methods
  • Need to clean the hands when the person returns home
  • Leave home only for food and other necessities of life
  • Of course, these stimuli may contribute to the following behaviors:
  • Excessive purchases that can create hoarding
  • Family members are often reminded to wash their hands
  • Search for information about how long the virus has been active at certain levels
  • Frequent bathing
  • Conclusion

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness in which a person experiences thoughts or feelings unintentionally. If a person with mild OCD is not treated, symptoms may improve, but moderate to severe OCD symptoms do not improve without treatment and may worsen. Treatment for OCD can be useful, but it must be done regularly. In some people, the symptoms of the disorder reappear late in life. Anyone who may have or suspect they may have OCD should seek professional and effective care and guidance.

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