Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Dr. Parul Kathuria

Jun 23, 2021

Most of the ladies in our house may it be our mothers , wives or sisters ,well, yes,some of the men too are very particular with the things they want in their room or kitchen. It has to be in a certain way or style, they are very peculiar andare very rigid and specific.A little here and there would bother them. It has to be exactly the way they want and absolutely the right amount, number and times it has to be done ,,many call them finicky.Actually it can happen to anyone or respective of gender.

By know you know what I am going to talk about. Well, let me add few more lines to blow the fog for some of you.

Have you seen people around you who are very methodical in their approach.They would collect data, do a lot of R & D, pen down each and every thing , make long notes and follow a protocol before they come to a decision. Such people takealot of time to make a decision.This might also accompany with checking.They would check again and again if the information they have noted down is corrector not and if they have missed some important point..It might go to an extent of reading the information all over again and even checking again and again to ensure that the pages on which they had written are all there or not or if any have been misplaced which would include counting the number of pages.Some of them may write few lines again and again or describe in detail to ensure that they have covered everything.This is just one example to explain the repetition, checking , counting.It may take different forms and mediums. Give them a task and they would not submit it and hold on to it to add more and more and keep improvising it till the last minute.While some of them may even exceed the deadlines.The tendency to be perfect in whatever they do prevails in such people.This perfectionism including other symptoms interferes with their education/work life/occupation, social and daily living activities.

Hold on as there is more to it. While we all at some point of time feel that our hands are dirty or our feet are dirty and we should better wash them off and we would go and was them once or twice. But to a person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, this thought of contamination would just not go away and he would was his hands/feet or other body parts or whole of the body repetitively till the time he feels satisfied.This would waste a lot of time of his and he would be exerted yet he would do it again and again because the thought of contamination-”my hands are dirty would just not go” and because washing them would release his anxiety , he would wash it and washing would further reinforce his behaviour of washing and this cycle would continue to go many times.It is extremely distressful for the patient yet the patient is bound to do all this because he cannot get away with the thought of contamination.These thoughts oreven images or urges are recurrent , persistent and repetitive, intrusive innature(obsessions ) and resultantly lead to different form of compulsions(repetitive acts which a person is compelled to perform) such as cleaning, checking, mental acts, counting, praying and rituals. People with OCD often seek reassurance from others as to whether they have done a particular task or have thought in a certain way correctly or not. Hoarding or collecting of materials or objects is another feature of this disorder.

Such symptoms and signs must not be taken lightly and must be reported to a mental health professional- A psychiatrist and a clinical Psychologist. Such symptom sare common in adolescents and early adulthood. An early assessment , diagnosis and intervention (both medicines and Psychotherapy) can help in the managing the illness. Early intervention and treatment adherence can  help in managing the illness in a mucheffective way.