OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

When we hear the term “OCD”,often we think about people who wash their hands for hours or the people who continuously check if the door is closed or not. But ocd is not always about contamination and checking.

According to iocdf(international ocd foundation) “obsessive compulsive disorder(OCD) is a mental health disorder that affects people of all ages and walks of life,and occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted,intrusive thoughts,images or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease distress.”

Fear of uncertainty is the core of ocd. People who suffer from ocd want to be 100% certain that their obsessions are not true or not going to happen. People can be uncertain about anything in the world,that means obsessions are limitless and it can be anything. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about contamination or checking. Here are some common obsessions ocd patients are often suffering with.

Pedophilic OCD (POCD):

Individuals with POCD experience persistent obsessions related to being or becoming a pedophile. These obsessions can manifest in various forms and cause extreme distress, anxiety, and disruptions in their daily lives. For instance, Sofia had an unwanted intrusive thought about her child, which triggered intense anxiety and subsequent obsessions questioning whether she is a pedophile. As a result, she developed numerous compulsions, such as avoiding interactions with her child, refraining from changing diapers, and avoiding places where children were present. It is important to note that POCD has no correlation with being an actual pedophile; these two are completely distinct concepts.

False Memory OCD:

False Memory OCD involves obsessive thoughts about past events. While it is normal to reflect on our memories for details, individuals with False Memory OCD obsess over memories that never occurred in reality. Often, these false memories become entwined with real memories. For example, John, who had consumed alcohol and driven home a few weeks ago, began obsessing about whether he had hit someone during a particular bump he encountered on the road. Constantly reviewing every detail, he developed false memories surrounding the incident, with his OCD convincing him that he may have actually struck a person rather than a mere bump.

Hit and Run OCD:

Individuals suffering from Hit and Run OCD persistently obsess about the possibility of hitting someone while driving, or whether they have already done so. The intensity of these obsessions and the associated emotions often lead them to avoid driving altogether. For instance, David constantly worries about hitting someone while driving, which severely impairs his ability to operate a vehicle. He continually checks his rear-view mirror to ensure no accidents have occurred. When driving near other vehicles or pedestrians, he obsesses over whether he has hit someone, sometimes even returning to the location of the incident to confirm there was no accident. Upon arriving home, he meticulously reviews each road he traveled and replays every moment of the drive to reassure himself that no harm was caused.

Harm OCD:

Harm OCD involves unwanted intrusive thoughts or images related to causing harm to oneself or others. These obsessions often lead individuals to avoid situations that trigger such thoughts. For example, Jenna had a disturbing thought about harming her mother while in the kitchen. This thought caused her significant anxiety, leading her to ruminate and question her own morality. She would entertain thoughts such as, “What if you really harm your mother? If you’re having this thought, it must be true. You’re a monster for having such thoughts.” In an attempt to alleviate the obsessions and anxiety, Jenna resorts to various compulsions, including rumination, rationalization, avoiding the kitchen when her mother is present, and staying away from knives.

Real Event OCD:

Individuals with Real Event OCD obsess over past events in their lives that they are not proud of. They experience intrusive thoughts like, “What if I’m a bad person for what I did? How could I have done that? I don’t deserve to be happy anymore.” They constantly review these events, seeking every possible detail about why they acted that way and how it transpired. They strive for certainty about their character, often engaging in daily rumination or repeatedly confessing to the person they wronged in an effort to alleviate their obsessions and associated guilt and anxiety. In reality, the actions from their past are not as terrible as they perceive them to be. OCD amplifies their significance, deceiving individuals into believing they are horrible and unworthy of happiness.