Monday, July 15, 2024

It’s not what you think.. Here’s what you need to know about OCD

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — While one person’s house is in perfect condition, others may think they have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

But this is not a good trait for organized people.

In fact, the disorder can affect a person’s functioning, relationships and well-being, explains Stephanie Woodrow, MD, medical director of the National Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Medical Center in Washington, DC.

It’s OCD Awareness Week, said Matthew Antonelli, interim executive director of the Boston-based International OCD Foundation.

Many activists, doctors and organizations aim to remove the stigma and spread awareness about this psychological disorder.

What do you need to know?

Antonelli explained that OCD is a mental disorder that affects people of all ages and demographics.

Chronicity, he said, “occurs when a person falls into a cycle of obsessions and compulsions.”

These obsessions repeat themselves until they get out of control.

Obsessions and compulsions can be managed through therapy, Woodrow said.

However, symptoms are more likely to worsen during times of stress, life changes, or hormonal changes in the affected person.

She explained that cleanliness and organizing are not manifestations of obsessive-compulsive disorder, although this is what we often see in movies and television.

People with OCD often worry about things that are most important to them, such as the safety or lives of those close to them.

How can I get help?

Misconceptions about the condition can isolate people with OCD and avoid treatment, Antonelli said.

With the help of mental health professionals, OCD can be treated with a combination of therapy and medication to improve the quality of life for sufferers.

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Antonelli added that the best medication is usually a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI).

But these interventions can only be administered by a specialist.

It’s best to have your therapist work with your medical provider or psychiatrist to develop a plan for you.

How do you support someone you love?

If you notice obsessions and compulsions that “interfere with important activities like working, going to school or spending time with friends,” encouraging your loved ones to get help can be helpful, Antonelli told CNN.

“The best thing one can do is support their loved ones’ healing journeys and help them find effective care,” she added.

If a loved one is diagnosed with OCD, avoid engaging in compulsive activities with them.

Wooder explained that the more you learn about the condition, the more love and support you can offer to the person affected.

“It’s important to know that you’re not alone and that things will get better,” Antonelli said.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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