You have a routine of cleaning your prescription eyeglasses before driving and will not sit in the driver’s seat until you are finished. You will only sit in the tenth row, middle seat, of a movie theatre – and never stay for the end credits. These types of practices may indicate obsessive compulsive disorder.
WHAT IS OCD?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental ailment that causes frequent unwanted sensations or thoughts (obsessions) or the desire to repeat a task repeatedly (compulsions). Some people can experience both. An obsessive notion may be that certain colors or numbers are “good” or “bad.” A compulsive habit may be washing your hands seven times after touching a dirty item. Though you may not want to do or think these thoughts, you feel
helpless to stop.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF OCD?
There are infinite types of OCD related to any thought, any subject, any person, any fear, and regularly fixates on important things in a person’s life.
Dr. Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory offered this nugget about OCD: “There’s no denying that I have feelings for you that can’t be explained in any other way. I briefly considered that I had a brain parasite, but that seems even more far-fetched. The only conclusion was love.”
What are the types of OCD and do they sound familiar?
Checking – The need to check is compulsion, but the obsession might be to avoid fire, damage, leaks, or harm. Some of the most common include:
- Past memories
- Door locks and/or windows
- House/office alarm
- Gas or electric stove knobs
- Water taps
- Electrical appliances e.g. hair straighteners
The fear of being dirty and contamination is the obsessional worry, often fear is that contamination might cause harm to one’s self or a loved one. Common types include:
- Public toilets
- Shaking hands
- Door Handles
- Public Telephones
- Eating in public
- Staircase banisters
- Dead skin and clothes
- Teeth Brushing
Mental contamination is a recent topic of research. The emotions of mental contamination have qualities of contact contamination but some distinctive features. Feelings can be induced by times if a person felt mistreated, mentally or physically, through verbal or critical abusive comments.
Hoarding has long been a fixture of OCD where someone cannot get rid of worn-out or useless possessions. Originally a sub-type of OCD, hoarding disorder was reclassified as its own condition in the 2013 publication of DSM-5. However, it does become complicated because some people with OCD will hoard for specific obsessive worries, but they should still be diagnosed as OCD rather than with hoarding disorder.
In the framework of OCD, a rumination is really a train of protracted thinking about a theme or question unproductive and undirected. Unlike obsessional thoughts, these are not offensive and are accepted instead of resisted.
Intrusive thoughts are where someone generally agonizes with obsessional thoughts which are disturbing, repetitive, and frequently repugnant and horrific in nature.
Symmetry and Orderliness. The requirement to have things lined up just ‘right’ is compulsion, the obsessive fear is to make sure things feels ‘just right’ to avoid discomfort or prevent harm.
TIPS FOR DEALING WITH OCD
The International OCD Foundation offers several tips to help you live with OCD:
Always anticipate the unexpected.
Be willing to take risk.
Never seek comfort from one’s self or others.
Always try relentlessly to concur with obsessive thoughts — never question, analyze, or argue with them.
Do not dilly dally trying to stop or not think of your feelings.
Try to not be an all-or-nothing, black-and-white thinker.
Remember that successfully handling your symptoms is only your responsibility.
DIAGNOSIS OF OCD
Diagnosis of OCD follows the path similar to other mental health conditions. The person will see a medical doctor for a physical exam and tests to rule out other health issues. Then, a visit with a mental health specialist happens and may include questionnaires and talking about thoughts and feelings.
Over the last several years, public and private research has uncovered an intriguing possibility – that ketamine, once used as a battlefield anesthetic in Vietnam, may address chemical imbalances in the brain and improve how neurotransmitters work. This can help someone with OCD manage the symptoms and lead a productive life.
Treatment options for OCD and other mental disorders, such as psychotherapy or medication like ketamine, should be talked about honestly and openly with your healthcare provider. No treatment plan should be undertaken unless you have data to make an informed decision about your healthcare, and are comfortable with that choice.
If you or a loved one have questions about the clinical use of ketamine please contact us. There is hope. We can help.