Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a complex mental health condition that can have debilitating results. It’s defined by patterns of fear and anxiety that lead to compulsive and sometimes damaging behavior. Recognizing symptoms early on ensures that you or a loved one receives the care needed to take control and manage this condition.
Common OCD Symptoms
1. Unwanted Distressing Thoughts
Most cases of OCD begin with unwanted, obsessive thoughts. These often cause significant stress and anxiety and are uncontrollable. Common examples include a fear of germs or requiring symmetry and order, such as the placement of foods on a dinner plate. A person may show significant emotional distress if they feel they’re contaminated or order is broken.
2. Avoiding Trigger Situations
A person may be vocal about their obsessive thoughts and begin avoiding trigger situations. If they have a fear of dirt or germs, they may avoid touching other people or objects, recoil when touched, or steer clear of places they feel are contaminated. If they obsess over thoughts of hurting others or have unwanted sexual thoughts—common OCD themes—they may avoid people and meaningful relationships.
3. Compulsive Reactions
To reduce the anxiety of their obsessions, people with OCD often turn to compulsive actions. They may wash their hands or home until their skin is raw or objects are ruined. They also may develop rituals, such as checking door locks every 10 minutes or counting items to ensure order. Rigid routines often develop, and breaking them can be severely distressing. Luckily, there are many treatment options, including psychotherapy, medication, and holistic care.
If you have concerns about OCD or other mental health issues, contact Teresa M. Anderson, MD. Based in Cincinnati, OH, Dr. Anderson provides one-on-one psychiatric services for conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, and PTSD. She’s proud to offer ketamine infusion therapy, which you can learn about on her website. Call (513) 321-1753 to schedule a consultation.