How to get to know that I am suffering from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)

Imagine that your mind got stuck on a certain thought or image . . .

Then this thought or image got replayed in your mind over and over again no matter what you did . . .

You don't want these thoughts - it feels like an avalanche . . .

Along with the thoughts come intense feelings of anxiety . . .

Anxiety is your brain's warning system. When you feel anxious it feels like

you are in danger. Anxiety is an emotion that tells you to respond, react,

protect yourself, DO SOMETHING . . .

On the one hand, you might recognize that the fear doesn't make sense,

doesn't seem reasonable yet it still feels very real, intense, and true . . .

Why would your brain lie?

Why would you be experiencing feelings if they weren't true?

Feelings don't lie . . .

Unfortunately, if you have OCD, they do lie. If you have OCD, the warning

system in your brain is not working correctly. Your brain is telling you that

you are in danger when you are not.

When scientists compare pictures of the brains of groups of people with

OCD, they can see that on average some areas of the brain are different

compared to individuals who don't have OCD.

Those tortured with this disorder are desperately trying to get away from

paralyzing, unending anxiety.

Only trained therapists can diagnose OCD.

They will look for three things:

• The person has obsessions.

• He or she does compulsive behaviors.

• The obsessions and compulsions take a lot of time and get in the way

of important activities the person values (working, going to school, etc.)


• Thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again and

feel out of the person's control.

• The person does not want to have these ideas.

• He or she finds them disturbing and unwanted, and usually knows

that they don't make sense.

• They come with uncomfortable feelings, such as fear, disgust, doubt,

or a feeling that things have to be done in a way that is "just right."

• They take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the

person values (socializing, working, going to school, etc.).

What Obsessions are not...

• It is normal to have occasional thoughts about getting sick or

about the safety of loved ones.


• Repetitive behaviors or thoughts that a person engages in

to neutralize, counteract, or make their obsessions go away.

• People with OCD realize this is only a temporary solution, but without a

better way to cope they rely on the compulsion as a temporary escape.

• Can also include avoiding situations that trigger their obsessions.

• Time consuming and get in the way of important activities the person

values (socializing, working, going to school, etc.).

What Compulsions are not...

• Not all repetitive behaviors or "rituals" are compulsions. Bedtime

routines, religious practices, and learning a new skill involve repeating

an activity over and over again, but are a welcome part of daily life.

• Behaviors depend on the context: Arranging and ordering DVDs for eight

hours a day isn't a compulsion if the person works in a video store.

Source - International OCD foundation

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