Disorders

What it is like to live with OCD

By July 24, 2017 No Comments

OCD is obsessive-compulsive disorder, a mental illness under the umbrella of anxiety disorders. However, OCD is not just needing your hair to look perfect on the day of a presentation or ironing your underwear, for those who suffer from this disorder, their day to day life is functionally impaired. The individuals affected by OCD have intense feelings of obsessive thinking and compulsion that are persistent, repetitive, and require an urgent need for action.

Living with OCD directly interferes with a person’s quality of life. For a person who suffers from OCD, a typical day consists of a vicious cycle filled with doubts, anxieties, and inconsolable feelings. Some common afflictions are:

  • Fear of contamination:
    • This can be food, water, or even the clothing you wear.
  • Poor hygiene,
    • Hand washing, face washing, doing laundry, doing the dishes.
  • Ideas of personal harm:
    • Suicide, cutting, stabbing.
  • Ideas of harming others:
    • This is not limited to homicide, but even harming family members, i.e. stabbing a loved one in their sleep.
  • Ideas of physical damage:
    • Property or personal belongings
    • Resisting the urge to carry out a compulsion can be difficult short term, but extremely useful long-term. OCD gives a person these consistent intrusive thoughts that are impossible to shut off on their own. The disease takes the person’s thoughts from the immediate to the extreme. For instance, not only does the person worry about dirt, but they also worry about all the bad associated with it.

What differs a person suffering from OCD and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, is that those with OCD are very much aware that they have a problem. And, thankfully, there is treatment for OCD. Along with supportive care and potential medications, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven success.

With CBT, there are two methodologies applied by your therapist and you – exposure and response, and cognitive therapy. The behavioral component of the therapy is directed at helping to change your way of thinking. A few ways to deal with OCD on a day to day basis are by accepting avoidance, checking, and reassurance and seeking.

Living with OCD,:

  • OCD does not discriminate against age, gender, or race.
  • About every 12 in 1,000 people suffers from OCD.
  • Most people experience OCD at some point in their life, but many people can overcome the smaller anxieties and compulsions without diagnosis and treatment.
  • The obsessions and compulsions consume a chunk of one’s time, usually more than an hour a day.
  • Along with the disease’s anxieties, the affected person feels anguish and significant amount of distress.
  • The disease does not discriminate against location either.
  • Home
  • Work
  • School
  • Subway
  • All are, unfortunately, fair game.

If you suffer from OCD and are looking for a counselor, then look no further. Our therapists serve the DFW and all surrounding cities. Contact Lifeworks today for any further questions or concerns.

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