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10 Red Flags for OCD

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a mental health disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce high anxiety, and compulsive rituals intended to control them. OCD may lead to severe depression and anxiety as well as physical issues including contact dermatitis.

Compulsive behaviors may seem harmless at first glance; the key lies in how much time is being dedicated to them and if they cause discomfort. Here are 10 red flags you should watch out for:

1. You Have Obsessive Thoughts

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) can be defined as any persistent pattern of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that last more than an hour per day, such as excessive worries about germs, fears that you have left the door unlocked, or doubts as to whether the oven was turned off. OCD could include persistent worries over germs or doubts as to whether you turned off the oven when necessary.

Compulsions are repetitive actions or mental acts that people feel driven to do in order to reduce anxiety caused by obsessions, yet these don’t provide any lasting relief and often get in the way of doing other important activities.

2. You Have Compulsive Behaviours

OCD often results in repetitive behaviors called compulsions. These could be related to their obsessions – for instance excessive hand washing due to contamination fears – or may involve counting or checking.

These behaviors make no logical sense and cause great distress, impeding work, family life and other activities. Medication or psychotherapy or both may help.

3. You Are Concerned About Your Health

At times it’s normal to be concerned with one’s health; but when that worry becomes an obsession and starts affecting everyday activities, this could be a telltale sign of OCD.

One person could be suffering from OCD if they wash their hands frequently; professional help in the form of medication and psychotherapy could be invaluable in treating it effectively.

4. You Have a Lot of Superstitions or Rituals

Most people have superstitions or rituals they follow every night before going to sleep, such as double checking that their front door is locked before retiring for the evening. If these thoughts cause anxiety or take up more than an hour a day, it may be worth speaking with a physician about.

OCD sufferers can have intense fears associated with what many would view as harmless superstitions, such as avoiding numbers considered unlucky or being wary of contamination.

5. You Have a Lot of Anxiety

People living with OCD often struggle with overwhelming feelings of anxiety that make everyday tasks challenging to accomplish.

OCD symptoms can interfere with work, school and social activities as well as cause distress within relationships and family life.

Keep communication lines open, and try not to play along with any rituals and compulsions your loved one is engaging in; rather encourage them to resist while providing support.

6. You Have a Lot of Fears

Fear is natural and serves to keep us safe. But if your fears are preventing you from living the life you desire, it may be time to seek professional assistance.

OCD involves unwanted thoughts and fears that create anxiety and lead to repetitive actions known as compulsions, driving you towards repeated repetitive behavior known as rituals. Common treatment options for OCD include acceptance and commitment therapy, exposure therapy and psychoanalysis.

7. You Have a Lot of Distress

If your irrational thoughts or rituals cause distress and take up at least an hour of each day, seeking medical help should be top priority. While there is no test for OCD, healthcare providers will review your symptoms, medical and mental health history as a basis for making a diagnosis.

Be wary of anyone promising a “cure” for OCD. There is no magical solution and recovery can take time.

8. You Have a Lot of Stress

OCD is a mental health condition that can cause anxiety in all age groups. Risk factors, such as family history of OCD or stressful life events, may increase.

Counseling services can help you address your symptoms and lead a full life. It is important to remember that symptoms do not indicate weakness or laziness on your part; rather, seek professional help as soon as possible in order to find relief from them.

9. You Have a Lot of Doubts

OCD sufferers frequently display cognitive distortions like “all or nothing thinking,” wherein even minor slip-ups are considered unacceptable – for instance, kissing someone of the opposite sex may prompt concerns that you are gay.

If you are hearing promises of instant cures for OCD, it is important to remember that recovery takes time and commitment.

10. You Have a Lot of Self-Esteem Issues

OCD sufferers may appear extremely organized and tidy; however, their compulsive thoughts and behaviors can be destructive in romantic relationships.

If you suspect someone in your family may have OCD, seek professional assistance immediately. A cognitive behavioral therapist trained in exposure and response prevention may offer effective ways to help overcome OCD symptoms.

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