Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a type of mental disorder where the person has recurring thoughts/images (obsession) and/or repetitive, ritualistic kind of behaviors that the individual is unable to control.
The patients know that their thoughts/behaviors are irrational and unrealistic. They may even try to end their obsession or suppress their thoughts, but most of the time, they are not successful.
How To Classify a Mental Disorder As Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
For the mental disorder to be classified as an obsessive-compulsive disorder, the obsession and compulsion should be severe enough that they consume a significant amount of the patient’s time (1 hour per day is the minimum level), and they are causing marked distress in the patient’s life.
The patient must need to have a dystonic ego, and there should be no drugs or diseases that are causing the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
It is a cycle that is used to describe the pattern of the disease in patients with such a disorder. The patient has a severe obsession with something, which is followed by an episode of anxiety. The anxiety gets worse if they try to suppress the obsession. They are compelled to do the thing they are obsessed with, which then brings a period of relief.
Prevalence Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
The exact facts and figures regarding the prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder are not known. However, it is estimated to be affecting three percent of the world’s population. It can start in the preschool age to early adulthood time, and it is more prevalent at a young age.
Pathophysiology Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:
According to this theory, patients have weak and underdeveloped egos. When the patient retrogresses to the pre-oedipal anal-sadistic phase, a specific ego defense mechanism combines with the phase and produces the signs and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Learning theory explains the signs and symptoms of the patients with Obsessive-compulsive disorder as a well-defined response to traumatic events. Traumatic events produce distress and anxiety. The patient may passively avoid the condition that is staying away from the source or active avoidance that is, staying with the source of distress.
Patients have abnormal biological and metabolic processes occurring in the basal ganglia and orbital frontal cortex of individuals with the disease. The abnormal levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin are mainly found to be linked to the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
We Can Help You
This mental disorder is not entirely treatable in the majority of patients. However, the treatment procedures and medications can significantly reduce the intensity and duration of symptoms. Dr. Nibras at the Novus beginning psychiatry has extensive experience in helping patients. The treatment approach includes:
- Cognitive therapy: It consists of procedures that help to change the approach of the patients in dealing with their fears.
- Behavioral therapy: This therapy improves the response of the patients to trauma-related events and activities.
- Medications: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and Clomipramine are most commonly used for the treatment.