Health & Fitness

Understanding Signs, Causes, and Complications Associated with OCD

OCD’s full form is obsessive-compulsive disorder which is a mental condition. Unwanted thoughts and obsessions cause the individual to engage in repetitive behavior. The person is aware of their unhealthy behavioral pattern; however, they struggle to change it, which worsens their health and functioning.

Symptoms of OCD

The OCD symptoms can either be related to obsession or compulsion. In some cases, the person may have both; compulsions and obsessions. Without therapeutic intervention, the symptoms become severe and affect personal, social, and professional functioning. The symptoms that correlate with OCD are:

  • The individual has unwanted thoughts. The persistent and recurrent thoughts increase the urge to engage in that specific behavior.
  • The individual engages in compulsive or ritualistic behaviors to overcome their thoughts.
  • Stress and anxiety worsen the symptoms, which affect health and overall functioning.

Causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The contributing factors that increase the risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder are:

  • The change in the brain chemical increases the risk of OCD and related complications. Individuals with a family history of mental disorders are at a higher risk of exhibiting signs of OCD later in life.
  • Substance abuse can affect the brain’s chemicals. Individuals consuming alcohol and illicit drugs are more likely to suffer from mental and physical health problems, including OCD.
  • Environmental factors can trigger OCD.
  •  The deterioration of physical health affects the thought process. Anxiety and stress affect mental health and increase the risk of OCD.
  • A traumatic and stressful event can affect the individual thought process. It can lead to unwanted obsession and compulsions, leading to OCD.

Complications Associated with OCD

Caregivers and friends who notice a close person engaging in repetitive behavior affecting physical and mental health should encourage them to consult a specialist. Without timely treatment, the symptoms of OCD worsen and affect health and functioning. The complications associated with OCD are:

  • Most people with OCD have an urge to keep things organized and maintain hygiene. Thus, the person keeps on washing their hands multiple times a day. The individual cannot stop engaging in unhealthy patterns. Constant washing increases the risk of dermatitis.
  • The repetitive behavior causes the individual to have poor communication with others at work and home. It hinders their performance and relationship.
  • The anxiety and stress correlating to OCD affect social relationships and hinder professional life. The individual diagnosed with OCD without support is at a higher risk of having suicidal ideation.

Treating OCD

The individual exhibiting signs of OCD must:

  • Consult a Specialist: The individual must understand their mental state and reach out to a competent psychologist/psychiatrist who will help them with diagnosis and treatment which you can find at
  • Diagnosis: The psychologist/oscitant will conduct an OCD test and other psychological assessments to evaluate the mental illness according to DSM-5. Timely diagnosis allowed the individual to seek professional help to manage the symptoms and become productive.
  • Take Your Condition Serious: The person must understand the triggers and causes. Psychotherapy such as CBT allows the person to have a positive outlook on life by changing the negative thought process.
  • Join a Support Group: OCD can affect social life. Thus, it is essential to join a support group to learn coping skills for managing personal and professional life with OCD.

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