Symptoms of OCD

Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) includes obsessions and compulsions. OCD obsessions are unwanted and persistent ideas that are repeated. The repetitions never seem to make sense. The obsessions arise when the sufferer is trying to do other things.

OCD obsessions seem to have a theme such as fear of dirt and sanitary contamination or items being in an orderly and symmetrical manner. Some people with OCD have horrific or aggressive impulses. Obsession signs and symptoms include the fear of contamination by touching items and even shaking hands, extreme doubts that doors and windows are locked or the stove was properly turned off.

Misaligned thoughts that someone has been hurt in a traffic accident because of self negligence is an obsession as is a stress attack when objects are not facing in the right direction or very orderly. An extreme obsession is images of hurting your child or the overwhelming urge to shout obscenities at inappropriate situations. By products of the obsessions are lesions on skin due to picking at the skin, bald spots after excessive hair pulling and dermatological conditions due to constant hand washing.

OCD compulsions are behaviors that are repetitive that the sufferer is driven to execute. The behaviors that are repetitive are meant to minimize anxiety related to the obsessions. An example of that is if the sufferer struck someone with their vehicle, they may return to the scene repeatedly because of unshaken doubts. The sufferer may also create rules or effect rituals to follow to help control and minimize the anxiety that is felt with obsessive thoughts.

Compulsions typically have a theme attached to it such as cleaning and washing, checking continuously, counting, demanding to be reassured, executing the same action multiple times and excessive orderliness. Compulsion signs and symptoms may include washing hands until the skin becomes raw, checking the locks on the doors to make sure they are secure, checking the stove to make sure the burners and oven are off, arranging canned goods and other pantry items to face in the same direction and counting in certain patterns.

Symptoms of OCD usually begin gradually and gain in severity over time. Symptoms will get worse when experiencing more stress. OCD is considered a lifelong illness and sometimes the compulsions and obsessions might change.

OCD can be severe to the point of being time consuming. It can be disabling as the sufferer sometimes will spend so much time on compulsions and obsessions. Time spent washing, cleaning, counting and checking can add up to hours per day. Quality of life will also suffer because OCD rules most of the day.

Most sufferers seem powerless as the symptoms of OCD continue and progressively become worse. Symptoms of OCD in children can be very confusing until the child has developed an understanding of the condition and takes steps to manage the symptoms.

Treatment will also help no matter what level of OCD is being experienced. OCD can be very stressful, but with proper help, the effects can be minimized to the point compulsions and obsessions seem to disappear.

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