Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
There are people who double-check things every now and then such as turning off the stove before leaving the house or making sure that the door is locked when going out to work. People who repeatedly double-check things are those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). These people also have repeated rituals over and over which can disrupt daily functioning and cause anxiety and distress.
The thoughts that cause these actions are known as obsessions. The person with OCD often tries to control these urges to repeat rituals and compulsions. He or she often cannot control these obsessions and compulsions so that these rituals often end up controlling them.
People who are obsessed with dirt or germs may have a certain compulsion to wash their hands over and over again. If they are obsessed with robbers and intruders, they may have a compulsion to lock their doors many times at night before going to bed. People with OCD may even comb their hair compulsively in front of the mirror many times because they are afraid of social embarrassment. Other common rituals include repeatedly checking things or counting things, having frequent thoughts of violence, thinking about performing sexual acts which he or she dislikes, being preoccupied by order and hoarding unneeded items.
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People who are healthy also have rituals such as checking the door several times before leaving the house. However, patients with OCD may exaggerate these acts so that their daily activities at work, school or at home are disrupted. They may also have interrupted sleep or interrupted eating. It is during these times that OCD becomes pathological or needs treatment.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may run in families; this may be because this behaviour stems from problems in some parts of the brain. The parts of the brain involved are those which are involved in fear and anxiety. By looking at these brain areas, scientists are able to discover better treatments for this disorder. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often have signs and symptoms such as repeated thoughts and images about things they fear of. They may hurt loved ones, have abnormal sexual acts, have conflicts with religious beliefs and can become overly tidy. They may repeat rituals over and over again such as washing hands, locking doors, counting and repeating the same steps over and over again. These people cannot control their behaviour and unwanted thoughts very well and they are not satisfied by performing these behaviours and rituals.
OCD and Genetics
A recent study has shown that a genetic marker may be associated with the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The findings are published in the May 13 online issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry. The researchers think that because of this finding, they may be able to identify new drugs that could help people with obsessive compulsive disorder. This study is a genome-wide association study, scanning the genomes of more than 1,400 people with OCD and more than 1,000 close relatives of people with the mental disorder. The researchers found out that OCD is associated with a gene called protein tyrosine phosphokinase (PTPRD). According to previous studies, the gene have been involved in learning and memory of animals. Learning and memory are traits influenced by OCD in humans, according to these researchers. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also have been associated with this gene; this is why ADHD and OCD have some similar characteristics.
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To know more about psychiatric disorders, you may read our other articles on this site.