You’ve probably heard a story or two about someone who struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and perhaps you’ve wondered if you lean toward OCD characteristics. Or maybe your partner is driving you crazy with signs of OCD. Sure, it’s quite normal to double check to see if you turned the stove off or locked your car, but excessive worry and compulsive behaviours can begin to interfere with your life, as well as your family if you’re not careful.
OCD is an anxiety disorder that an individual can get where they struggle with repetitive and uncontrollable thoughts or behaviours that they cannot control. They HAVE to perform the ritual or act or they feel extreme anxiety. Whether it’s cleaning, hand washing, or checking something 100 times a day, OCD can become a real problem, but know that there is help available.
Today, let’s take a look at signs that you or your loved one may be suffering from OCD:
If you are obsessed with certain thoughts and you cannot get rid of these thoughts until you do a ritual or act, then you may have some OCD characteristics. Here are some obsessive thoughts you may struggle with if you have OCD:
- You have germs on your mind a lot so you have to keep your hands clean, washing them over and over.
- You may fear that things are out of control so you are always thinking about ways you can clean your home in an attempt to feel in control.
- You may have obsessive thoughts about harming yourself or another
- You may obsess about religion, aggression, or sex
Behaviours that are compulsive
If you’re acting compulsively, you may have OCD. For example:
- You continually check on things like appliances, doors, locks, etc.
- You may spend a great deal of your time cleaning or doing a ritual that helps you feel less anxious, like arranging things or tapping on something.
- You hoard your belongings, afraid to give them up.
- You need things to be in order, so you spend a lot of time arranging things to be perfect and symmetrical.
- You fear germs so you never use your hands to touch what others have touched.
If you’re struggling with OCD, you are driven to perform rituals or behaviors in order to feel less stress. Oftentimes, those with OCD have had a traumatic childhood or have PTSD. The compulsive behaviours help them to let go of built up anxiety, like letting the air out of a balloon. The anxiety rises and obsessive/compulsive behaviours helps decrease the anxiety temporarily.
If you feel you have OCD, there are things you can do right away to help you get this under control. You can start with my self help material and you find out more about it here.
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