Op-edWhat is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Is it psychotic?

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Is it psychotic?

Have you ever seen a person being anxious when encountering things that are out of order or being dirty? Explore the basis, symptoms, and treatment of this behaviour down below.

Mental Disorder, which is most prevalent in today’s day and age, is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. According to WHO Reports, 2.3% of the General Population and, 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with this disorder. But, still now in the 21st century, many people are not aware of this disorder.

So, what is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? Obsessive-Compulsive disorder is a very distressing and a chronic disorder, and consists of two types of mental illness conditions that are:-

  • In, obsession, a person experiences an intense surge of anxiety that makes the person unable to control their preoccupation with specific thoughts or ideas related to any particular event, object, or person.
  • Whereas, In Compulsion, a person is unable to control one’s repetitive, ritualistic behaviour or mental acts that affect their ability to carry out normal activities and perform daily life functioning. One has gotten halfway down the house but suddenly remembers that they might have left the gas on and thus, leaving everything comes back home to check it. This is an example of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder where the individual has anxious thoughts about leaving the gas on (Obsession) and then leaving every work behind and going back home to check it (Compulsion).

Common Obsessions include, fear and being anxious about germs on one’s hand, contamination, fear of acting shameful or being embarrassed in front of others, feeling uncomfortable when things are out of order, one can have extreme superstitions about various things such as colours, numbers, or heightened worries about managing objects in space.

And, common Compulsions include the actions which people do to normalize their obsessions that include, repetitive hand washing, washing clothes, cleaning, self-harming again and again, counting objects, ordering, and touching.

The main question arises, how to identify that one is suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder? There are some OCD symptoms which one suffers that are as follows:-

  • FEAR OF BEING DIRTY: – The person might be scared of touching the objects which others have touched earlier. E.g., taps of Public Washrooms, doorknobs, tables, or chairs.
  • FEAR OF OUT OF ORDER:-The person might feel uncomfortable and anxious and even might experience panic attacks when encountering the things which are not in order or out of place.
  • FEAR OF BEING WRONG:-The person suffering from OCD requires a consistent assurance from the other person that what they are doing is right.
  • FEAR OF EMBARRASSMENT:- The person can feel isolated or alienated from friends and family and might also behave badly in a social context and front of others.
  • FEAR OF OCD CLEANING:- The Person experiences a tendency to wash their hands again and again or take a bath repetitively.

One can identify if the person has Obsessive-Compulsive disorder by noticing these OCD symptoms in the individual. Many people might experience other symptoms as well, but these symptoms are most commonly experienced.

Do many debates arise around whether children also suffer from this disorder or Obsessive-compulsive disorder in children occurred?

Yes, Obsessive-Compulsive disorder in Children also occurred, and this disorder can occur to anybody irrespective of one’s age or gender. A child can suffer from thoughts which one does not wish to think of and have to conduct some acts or behaviours repeatedly to lower the anxious thoughts and panic attacks, which leads to compulsion. A child can experience obsessive thoughts that are not wanted and which leads to repetitive and compulsive acts and behaviour. For instance, a child thinks that if they don’t get their favourite food, then something bad will happen to them, and to avoid this, they tend to indulge themselves in this act which ultimately leads to severe obsessive-compulsive disorder in children.

  • As a child grows and goes to school, they adopt different routines and develop some rituals around bath, lunch; bedtime, which can also lead to higher, the effects of order and routines heading up to Compulsive behaviour in children which become more difficult to cure in the future. After growing up, older children tend to collect objects and have hobbies and indulge in various repetitive acts such as OCD cleaning, which helps them to lower their anxiety levels and control panic attacks.

But, the main concern of all the people and parents is how one can diagnose or do the obsessive-compulsive disorder assessment and how to stop it? According to many researchers and psychologists, the obsessive-compulsive disorder can be caused due to a chemical imbalance in the individual that is the person who does not have enough serotonin (neurotransmitter) which leads to this kind of behaviour. Another argument given to the causes of OCD is that this disorder is hereditary, and it runs throughout the family. For instance, if the father has OCD symptoms, so the child might develop obsessive-compulsive disorder which can be more severe than the father has.

In the latest years, keeping in mind, the statistics of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, people now have started to give more importance to this disorder which leads to more attention to the assessment of this disorder and treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder. Currently, several methods are prevalent and are used to assess this type of disorder, such as diagnostic interviews, different tests, self-report measures, and clinician-rated instruments. These all help the researchers to know about the individuals’ disorder which eventually led them to choose the best-suited treatment for the individual.

Diagnostic Interviews:- These are basically structured interviews which consist of various questions that help the researcher to know about the symptoms the person is experiencing and it is used to assign the diagnosis and also able to distinguish between different possible diagnosis.

Clinician-Rated Instruments:- These instruments and inventories allowed professionals and trained individuals to make a diagnosis and assess the person’s symptoms and disorder and make informed ratings about the same after seeing the case studies. The most used Clinical-rated instrument is the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BCOS).

Self-Report Measures:– These instruments are quick in generating data and can be administered with more than one individual at a time. These are screening questionnaires that are employed to various research participants to find treatments to cure this obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How to Stop Ocd? Explore Various Ocd Self-help Tips

  1. Identify your main target points:
    The first thing is to identify the feelings, thoughts, and emotions which bring one to obsessive thoughts leading to compulsive acts. Just Create a solid mental picture of acts that you have done earlier, and there is no need to repeat those acts.
  2. Learn and Try to resist OCD compulsions:
    Every time the person faces the fear of being dirty or things out of order, experience anxiety which results in compulsive acts. So, one should sit down with the anxiety for some time and see then, and the anxiety will go away on its own after some time. And, this is how one learns to resist OCD symptoms.
  3. Challenges one’s obsessive thoughts:
    This disorder basically stuck the mind onto a particular thought. So, one should write their obsessive thoughts in a diary and then create a worry OCD period where one can think of all negative obsessive thoughts during that worrying period, which can be for 10 minutes and then challenges those thoughts by being sceptical about every obsessive thought.
  4. Reach out for support:
    Any physical or mental illness will get worse if the person is alone or being isolated and likely is the case with obsessive-compulsive disorder. So, one should remain connected to family and friends by spending more time with them, and one can join an OCD group where they will get to empower themselves.
  5. 5) Learn to Manage Stress:
    One should learn to manage and deal with stress because stress does not cause OCD, but it can trigger OCD symptoms and behaviour. So, one should remain connected with closed ones and also workout, which will help them to release negative energy from their bodies, and one will feel more positive and energetic for the day.

The contemporary concern which many researchers have debated on is an obsession, a type of psychotic behaviour, or a psychosis disorder, and many OCD people are referred to as being psychotic. But, what is Psychotic behaviour? Let’s look at that first.

What is psychotic behaviour or Psychosis?

Psychosis is a mental condition in which an individual loses their touch with reality and feel estranged, unreality, and depersonalization. For Instance, Psychotic behaviour includes disorders such as schizophrenia where the person loses touch with reality and experiences delusions and hallucinations. This Psychotic behaviour leads the person to see or hear things that might not exist in reality, but the experience and react to those stimuli. Delusion refers to a false belief that is firmly held on inadequate reality or grounds. E.g. A person might think that they are being attacked or killed by someone even when there is nothing like that. Besides, delusions, one can experience hallucinations that refer to the perceptions that occur in the absence of external stimuli. E.g. A person might hear or taste something that does not actually exist in reality.

What are the Psychotic Symptoms?

There are different types of psychotic symptoms that are as follows:-

  • COGNITIVE PSYCHOTIC SYMPTOMS- It includes thought disorder which is thinking outside the reality, having a belief that an ordinary event or object has a special meaning attached to it which is also known as DELUSIONS OF REFERENCE, unwanted thoughts, impaired functioning and concentration, fear of being attacked or slandered, disoriented thought process.
  • MOOD RELATED SYMPTOMS- person experiencing psychosis might feel isolated and alienated from family and friends, experience anxiety, depression, fear, excitement sometimes, feeling detached from oneself and reality, loneliness and nervousness.
  • BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS- the person also experiences delusive behaviour and hallucinations, express aggression towards oneself and others, unable to carry out daily life functioning, feel restless and unable to relax, might indulge in self-harm and social isolation.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS- One can experience depression, fear, delusions, and hallucinations, can experience anxiety disorder and panic attacks, phobias, maniac behaviour ad also hearing voiced which do not exist in reality.

But, the main concern that arises here is, is obsession also refers to psychotic behaviour, and the person experiencing it is psychotic. The answer to this concern is no, after many studies and researches done by different professionals. As patients with Psychosis or develops psychotic behaviour actually loses connection or touch with reality in nature, whereas, patients having obsessive-compulsive disorder do not lose touch with reality. Instead, it involves some unrealistic beliefs and thoughts, but those are not fixed or cannot be challenged. As above, the article stated that one could challenge those obsessive thoughts by controlling oneself and not indulging in compulsive acts, but a person having psychosis cannot control as they lose touch with their family, friends, and at a holistic level, REALITY.

For Instance, A 40-year-old man is obsessed with the thought that he might hurt his wife by hitting her and also throws his daughter outside the house. So, to avoid these thoughts and to lower down the anxiety level, the person checks every envelope or garbage he throws outside that if his daughter is inside it. But, this type of behaviour cannot be considered as a psychotic behaviour because here the man can control one’s thoughts and behaviour and also not loses touch with reality and not experiencing any voices or images in his head.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder most of the time, is self-curing, one can get hold of one’s thoughts which ultimately leads to controlling Compulsive behaviours. The main thing which is required in the curing of this disorder is some sunlight, candour, love, and some unashamed talks with family, friends, and society.

Ishika Khandelwal
Ishika Khandelwal
Hi Everyone, I am doing major in Psychology and I am a Mental Health enthusiast and working for two non-governmental organizations in order to provide education to unprivileged children. I have a lot of interest in reading as well as writing. I am a true extrovert and love to be being around people.

Latest Updates