Obsessive compulsive disorder, better known as OCD, is an anxiety disorder. Obsessive compulsive disorder impacts the brain and the behavior, and it can be the cause of extreme anxiety, uncontrollable compulsions, and obsessions.
Serious anxiety is common in people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. People with OCD often become obsessed with certain thoughts, ideas, or urges. These things become quite intrusive and will often make the sufferer feel an even higher level of anxiety or stress. Some common obsessions include things like a preoccupation with cleanliness, a need for regimented organization, or aggressive impulses. People with OCD may do things like shower obsessively, count items compulsively, repeat certain phrases or words over and over in the head, and constantly check things like electrical items to be sure they are unplugged.
OCD may occur because of issues with the way that the brain relays information. The chemical that the brain uses to relay messages, serotonin, may play a part. Genetics may also play a role in the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder since it does appear to run in families.
At this time, there are no laboratory tests used in obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnosis. An experienced psychiatrist can make the diagnosis after observing the patient and performing an expert assessment of their symptoms.
The treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder depends on the specific patient, as different people may respond to different approaches. Medications, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, may help regulate and normalize the brain circuits that are impacted by obsessive-compulsive disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy may also be helpful. An experienced psychiatrist is the best person to help with proper diagnosis and treatment of OCD.
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