Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is one of the most difficult to understand of all psychiatric illnesses. A person with an obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is plagued by recurrent, unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviors like hand-washing or counting. These thoughts and ritualistic behaviors happen again and again and again and again.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the first symptoms usually occur in childhood, and OCD is said to afflict more than two million adults in the United States. OCD is a type of anxiety disorder in which the individual has unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead them to engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). OCD occurs in a spectrum from mild to severe, but, if severe and left untreated, it can destroy a person’s capacity to function at work, at school, or even in the home.
Research has shown that one of the most difficult problems in OCD is in getting family members to understand that the patient is unable to simply stop the behavior. Many times relatives become angry and upset when they are forced to deal with the time-consuming and unrealistic repetitive behaviors. With this background, it is no wonder that so many individuals who struggle with OCD do not volunteer their symptoms, and instead complain only of anxiety or depression.
It is vitally important for family members to encourage their loved ones who are struggling with OCD to seek help; otherwise, the possibilities for continued symptoms become not only inevitable but repeated in endless variations. This creates friction, frustration and even illness for family members. For more information on OCD treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Creative Care today.