Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder involving obsession and compulsion. It is a type of anxiety disorder in which a person has unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead him to engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions).
Obsession is an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind and compulsion is an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way. In this disorder, person is occupied with certain ideas and exhibits repetitive behavior. He / she does this to an extent that affects day to day life and person feels distress and anxiety. The thoughts and fears are unreasonable and the behavior is repetitive.
- Type of disorder: Mental illness / psychiatric disorder
- Affected population: 2% to 3% of the population.
- Risk Factors: Any age group, affects adults, adolescents, and children.
- Most common sign and symptom: fear of contamination, excessive hand washing, doubt, repetitive checking, hoarding
- Treatment: Can’t be cured, but treatment helps.
- Duration: Chronic condition, can remain lifelong.
The symptoms of OCD include both obsessions and compulsions. But in some cases the person shows only obsession symptoms or only compulsion symptoms.
Obsessions are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. Common symptoms include:
- Fear of germs, dirt or contamination
- Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, and harm
- Aggressive thoughts towards others or self
- Having things symmetrical or in a perfect order
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought. Obsessions causes anxiety, whereas Compulsions reduces anxiety.
Common compulsions include:
- Repeatedly checking on things, such as repeatedly checking to see if the door is locked, switch, stove or oven is off
- Handwashing, excessive cleaning
- Orderliness, arranging things in a particular, precise way
- Compulsive counting
- Demanding reassurances
- Following a strict routine
- Silently repeating a prayer, word or phrase
Few persons with OCD also have a tic disorder. Motor tics and twitches are sudden, brief, repetitive movements, such as eye blinking and other eye movements, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Common vocal tics include repetitive throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds.
The person suffering from OCD has realization that his thoughts are unreasonable. But when he tries to resist the compulsive behavior he suffers from unnecessary stress. Gradually, this condition affects daily life and cause embarrassment to the person. The person may develop depression over the time. It is important to address this situation and go for the treatment.
Effects of OCD
- It is a disabling disorder that interfere with day to day life.
- It is time consuming and embarrassing.
- It causes stress, anxiety and depression.
- It reduces quality of life.
In Allopathy, to treat obsessive compulsive disorder Clomipramine capsules are given in dosage of 10 mg, 25 mg (hydrochloride). This is a prescription drug and available in form of tablets and capsules. It is not approved for use in all children. Like any other allopathic medicine it has many side-effects. For example, it may increase risk for suicidal thoughts or actions.
Ayurvedic Medicines for OCD
OCD is psychological disorder. The treatment of OCD in Ayurveda, involves use of medicines which reduces Vata Dosha and have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-stress, anti-anxiety, brain tonic, nervine tonic, neuro protective, psycho-stimulant, sedative, memory enhancing and tranquilizer effect. The following medicines helps to control OCD.
- Brahma Rasayana
- Brahmi Vati
- Brahmi Ghrita
- Divya Medha Vati
- Kapikachchu Churna
- Manasamitra Vataka
- Panchagavya Ghrita
Along with these medicines in severe case of OCD person should go for psychotherapy like behavior therapy, response prevention, cognitive behavior therapy etc.
Persons should do meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other stress-relief techniques at least 30 minutes per day. This helps to keep mind calm and fresh. Walking, doing exercises, and engaging mind in some useful hobby is also helpful.