Has it ever occurred to you that you come back several times to see if the door to the house is properly closed, sort by size and color everything around you, or wash your hands very often? Good, here are some possible behaviors in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But … don’t panic! Below, we’ll see what this particular disorder is and go over some help on whether or not you have it.
Basic diagnostic criteria for OCD
For a person to diagnose obsessive-compulsive disorder it must meet certain criteria reviewed by the healthcare professional. The first is that he must have an obsession, a compulsion, or both. But … what is an obsession and what is a compulsion?
The obsessions are recurring thoughts, impulses or images characterized by their intrusiveness and unwanted. This causes anxiety and discomfort in the person. They must be egodistonic, that is, go against his personality. For example, this happens to a person characterized by calm, kindness and empathy who has intrusive thoughts of hurting someone. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors and / or mental acts performed to prevent or reduce the anxiety and discomfort caused by the obsessions. When performed, relief is obtained, and when not performed, anxiety increases.
Obsessions and / or compulsions they take a long time and can cause clinical discomfort or deterioration of various areas in which the person is immersed (work, studies, family). Great care should be taken not to confuse your symptoms with the side effects of medications, illnesses or other disorders. The onset of this disorder is more common in adulthood and is more common in women.
Degrees of introspection
There are different degrees of introspection in OCD. In other words, the degree to which people believe that what is going on in their intrusive thoughts will happen if certain repetitive behaviors are not carried out. The person will believe that intrusive thoughts (obsession) are likely to occur if they do not engage in iterative behavior (compulsion).
For example, the person who locks all the doors and windows and repeatedly checks that they are properly placed, because they believe that if they don’t, they could die. These behaviors become constant rituals, Since he has the feeling that in the event of non-accomplishment of these acts, the obsession will become a material reality.
What would you like to know
Now you can breathe easily! Or not. You already have all the basic information on whether or not your repetitive behaviors are obsessive-compulsive disorder.
If you are performing or have performed repeated behaviors, you can do the exercise analyze the purpose of these behaviors. This is the key to allaying your doubts about whether or not you have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Check the door carefully to make sure it is closed, always walk on the left side, adjust your glasses at all times, bite your lip at all times, arrange objects by size and color, or wash your hands frequently … are behaviors which by themselves do not mean much. It is essential to determine whether these acts aim or aim to eradicate or alleviate any obsession.
You should also be careful not to confuse it with obsessive-compulsive personality traits or symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, which are topics in another article.
Due to the effectiveness of treating OCD when it emerges, it is important that you see a mental health professional if you observe any type of intrusive thought and / or repetitive behavior or mental act, as only in this way will the definitive diagnosis be made.
- American Psychiatric Association., Et al. DSM-5: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Madrid