How to handle Obsessive-compulsive disorder?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder—like all mental health disorders—can make you feel isolated and cut off from the rest of the world.
As a sufferer of OCD and after taking antidepressants for years, I can say with conviction that OCD can be frustrating and upsetting, and difficult to talk about due to the stigma attached to it.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental health condition that affects 1.2% of the population in the UK, which means that approximately 1 million people are living with OCD at present. In the United States, the figure is much higher with over 2.2 million people said to be diagnosed with this illness. OCD is common in both men and women.
People with OCD experience negative thoughts repeatedly, as well as a long-term fear of danger and contamination which can become obsessions. The extreme anxiety of OCD coupled with safety concerns such as washing hands or regularly checking locks can lead to compulsions. OCD can be stressful, but therapy and medication can help overcome anxiety and depression.
The root cause
Anxiety disorders can be hereditary or may develop from medical and psychological issues.
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According to OCD UK, which aims to supporting children and adults affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: “Once considered a rare condition, experts now believe that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was often misdiagnosed in the past, partly through lack of knowledge amongst the health profession, but also partly because of a sufferer’s reluctance to talk about their symptoms through fear of embarrassment and shame. Therefore reported numbers did not reflect the true number of cases. More recent research and understanding of the illness offers a much clearer picture of the problem. OCD affects millions of people around the world and it is considered to be the fourth most common mental illness in many western countries that will affect men, women and children regardless of their race, religion, nationality or socio-economic group.”
Further facts and statistics obtained from OCD-UK suggest that 50% of all these cases fall into the severe category.
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Recently, Coronation Street highlighted the issue by Craig Tinker’s OCD storyline who is suffering from the exhausting mental illness. In scenes from the episodes aired last April, he is shown to have a fixation overturning switches and the oven off and on an even number of times.
On the day of his appointment, he tells the doctor that his girlfriend Bethany Platt's sex abuse trial sparked his OCD in which he got a time wrong. He thinks that by performing his rituals he can keep everyone safe.
Actor Colson Smith who plays Craig in the soap appeared with OCD campaigner and sufferer Richard, who was the inspiration behind Craig's OCD storyline, on This Morning and said: "I got told about the storyline probably six months ago and then it started on the day of Bethany’s trial, so something you saw there was the catalyst. He forgot the time. It started with an obsession around time. He started drawing the 24-hour clock, then it was an obsession with even numbers to the time he was leaving the house so it's grown. The minute I found out about it, I did lots of research, it's fascinating how it takes different forms."
It was so lovely to have a chilled weekend with my family. What with all the birthdays recently we have been so busy that we kept this one a side as a non-socialising weekend! Sometimes it’s great to just socialise with the people that you live with. It was very much needed and we have caught up with loads plus done a much needed dump trip. Really proud of the girls who have been really productive too studying for their mocks exams. Admin and a spot of cleaning today and I will be following my challenge of 5 minutes per room and taking my trusty caddy with me. Timer is set so let’s go go go whilst it’s not too hot! . . . . . #cleaning #chores #mumslife #mylife #lovetoclean #cleaningexpert #cleaningduties #keepitclean #cleanup #motivationmonday #cleaningproducts #cleaningcaddy #shinny #instadaily #blogger #columnist #lifestyle #queenofclean #homehacks #original #cleaningtips #houseclean #cleanhouse #happyhouse #organiser #declutter #homemaker #motivator #homesweethome #challenge
Speaking to Benenden Health, Richard Taylor said: “OCD affects every area of my life. I was a happy, well-loved child. By the time I was 15, I was very studious and always at school on time with my homework done. However, my OCD is driven by fear of contamination and really kicked in at that point. I couldn’t touch walls or doors, and I didn’t like things coming into my home from school and possibly bringing contamination."
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Life can be hard for people affected by OCD. But, a change of attitude and positive thinking can bring happiness and prosperity to their lives by maintaining an optimistic mindset and letting go of negative thoughts.