“I constantly double-check locks, electrical appliances before going out. Once she could not leave the front door for an hour. My husband jokingly said that I was crazy, but it seems to me that there really is an obsession. Can you tell me how to deal with it and what actions should be taken?"
Reader marieclaire.ru, 29
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or in the old way, obsessive-compulsive disorder, consists in the regular appearance of obsessive thoughts (obsessions) and actions (compulsions), which are a form of protection of the nervous system from increased anxiety. A classic example of compulsions is the desire to constantly check locks and electrical appliances. Of course, checking the lock once before going out is not OCD. To make a diagnosis, it is necessary that such checks cause acute psychological discomfort to a person.
Let's see where OCD comes from. Some studies point to the primary role of genetics, heredity, and even streptococcal infection. Many experts recognize the role of parenting and those beliefs that are formed in a person at a young age.
OCD often occurs in people who are anxious and overly in control of their lives. And since all life is riddled with risks, so many situations can cause them stress and anxiety. People with OCD also have specific beliefs, such as “I don’t trust myself, so I need to double-check my memory,” or “If I thought about something, it means I can do it.”
Imagine this scenario. The girl grows up to be an anxious person. She forms certain beliefs, she does not really believe in herself and her strength. Of course, for her to leave the apartment without double-checking herself is a powerful stress and risk. In this case, obsessive thoughts and images begin to overwhelm her: “What if you didn't close it? What if you left the iron, knowingly thought about it? " These thoughts make her uneasy. She goes to recheck the lock, the iron and … contributes to the progression of OCD, which, like an insatiable beast, feeds on our doubts. Each new recheck eases anxiety for a short time, but globally only makes it worse: it just reinforces the simple idea that you still can't believe yourself and must continue rechecking.
Now let's move on to how you can manage OCD. First of all, we take into account the following recommendations:
Start gradually limiting the number of checks to at least one or two.
- Think, does a thought or image about something always lead to action? Experiment.
- If you understand that obsessive thoughts, actions, and numerous rechecks are interfering with your life, seek professional help from a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Very often, OCD can be defeated by psychotherapy without resorting to treatment with special drugs.
- If your loved one is likely to have OCD, treat them with compassion, but try not to get involved in their cycle of rechecks and obsessive requests. The best solution would be to advise you to see a specialist.
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