Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD, is a type of anxiety disorder. A person with OCD is controlled by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Although they vary, examples include an obsession over cleanliness, numbers, and order. Compulsions are actions that complement obsessions. For example, if you are obsessed about not getting sick, you may constantly wash your hands or use hand sanitizers more than is necessary to maintain cleanliness.
There are different levels of OCD behavior. Some people joke that they are OCD, when they are really perfectionists. OCD is also part of a type of personality disorder, called Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), in which the patient does not even recognize a problem. Regular OCD is recognizable, but the patient is also sometimes embarrassed to confront it. Unlike being a perfectionist, OCD thoughts and behaviors are disruptive enough to mess with your daily plans or even your entire life.
With all of the awareness of OCD, there is no reason to feel embarrassed or to think that there is nothing you can do about it. There are different types of treatments ranging from therapy to medications. Therapy can be on an individual, family or group basis, depending on your preference and your doctorâ€™s recommendations. Therapy is used to help you identify the obsessive thoughts you have to help control compulsive behaviors.
Medications for OCD are used to help prevent obsessive thoughts from occurring in the brain in the first place. These help level out different hormones such as serotonin. The most common OCD medications are anti-depressants such as Zoloft and Prozac. These are taken on a daily basis, often for the rest of your life. Sometimes, medication can interfere with your sleep. If this is the case, talk to your doctor and do not quit the medicine without his consent.