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The One-Two Punch of Obsessions and Compulsions

What is actually meant by obsessive-compulsive behavior?

Along with opposable thumbs, the ability that we have to communicate with each other may be what has made humans dominant on planet Earth. It is unfortunate that we can take such a valuable tool as language and be so careless with it. Way too often we toss around words without regard for what they actually mean or how they affect those that hear them. “OCD” is a perfect example.

OCD is the acronym for obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurring and unwanted thoughts or feelings (obsessions) that create a significant level of discomfort that can only be relieved by taking a particular and specific action (compulsions). It is very common to hear someone refer to themselves or others as being “OCD” in a flippant and joking manner. We say someone who always shows up early is compulsive or a “neat-freak” is obsessive, and that may be true, but it is not at all the same thing as someone being diagnosed with OCD.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is different than the choices we make in reaction to the daily stresses of life. It may be extremely important to someone to keep their home clean and well-maintained for a variety of reasons, but it is still a choice. Not doing so would probably make life somewhat uncomfortable and less enjoyable, but it would not match the severe, often debilitating, anxiety that someone with OCD experiences with those things that are true obsessions. Logic and reason have nothing to do with OCD, only anxiety and the compulsive need to relieve that anxiety.

What Causes OCD?

Healthcare professionals do not fully understand what causes obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many believe that the answer may be found in one or a combination of these areas:

Biological – possibly changes or malfunctions in the brain or internal chemical interactions.
Genetics – it is thought that there may be a genetic component, but, to date, researchers have been unable to identify specific genes responsible.
Environmental – research is ongoing with relation to a causal effect between certain types of infections and OCD but more research is needed.

  • With some disorders, the individual is not aware that their behavior is inappropriate, but that is not usually the case with OCD. Even though they realize their obsessions are not logical or realistic, they are powerless to control them, and the attempt to do so usually only increases the level of anxiety.
    Some common examples of obsessions include:
  • Preoccupation with germs
  • Requiring things to always be in a specific order or pattern
  • Thoughts about aggressive behavior, such as harming self or others
  • Forbidden thoughts about violence, sex or religion
    Some common examples of compulsions include:
  • Cleanliness, like washing hands until they become raw
  • Constant checking, for example repeatedly checking to see if doors are locked or stove is off
  • Counting
  • Orderliness
  • Refusing to deviate from a strict routine
  • Seeking constant reassurances

There is no known cure for obsessive-compulsive disorder, but treatment can help individuals regain varying levels of control, which can greatly improve their quality of life. Most often recommended are some combination of psychotherapy and medication.

At Advanced Ketamine Care, you can expect warmth and compassion as well as expert treatment. If you have been suffering from severe anxiety or depression and antidepressants are not providing sufficient relief, Ketamine Infusion Therapy may be exactly what you’re looking for. Ketamine Infusion Therapy had been found to be effective in treating OCD.

To learn more about our programs or if you have questions about OCD, Ketamine Infusion Therapy or any of our services, feel free to contact us by clicking here.

Posted in: obsessive-compulsive behavior

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