Dr. Aaron's Blog

All about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

November 7, 2016 All, Depression, Functional Lab Testing, Mental Health, Naturopathic Medicine, Nutrition, OCD, Vitamin Therapy by Aaron Van Gaver

Obsessive compulsive disorder tends to manifest itself in a number of different ways: it is marked by the onset of uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behaviours. The thoughts that the person has are the obsessions, while the behaviours that are caused by the thoughts are compulsions.

          thoughts = obsession            behaviours = compulsions     

The behaviours must be repeated over and over and when the person is unable to, they are more likely to experience bouts of anxiety and depression. When these symptoms and effects have begun to interfere with a person’s ability to live out their daily existence, this is a sign of severe obsessive compulsive disorder. Let’s take a closer look at the common effects.

What Are The Symptoms and Effects of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

When the following obsessions and compulsions start to interfere with a person’s ability to work, go to school or enjoy friendships, it is time for a deeper assessment.

For some, OCD manifests itself with fear of contamination, as the person may have an unhealthy obsession with remaining clean and avoiding germs. Their obsessive compulsive behaviour may also spill into their thoughts on a wide range of taboo subjects, including sex, self-harm and religious beliefs.

Aggressive thoughts towards themselves or others are common, as well as the idea that everything needs to be perfectly symmetrical and remain in the proper order. The common compulsions associated with the disorder include excessive hand washing, constantly arranging things in a certain way and repeatedly checking on doors and windows to make sure that they are locked.

The thoughts and behaviours that take place are often uncontrollable and if the person is spending at least one hour per day on these thoughts and behaviours, this is a sure sign that they are in need of medical assistance for an obsessive compulsive disorder.

The patient will not receive any sort of satisfaction or happiness from the aforementioned behaviours and they only serve to offer momentary relief. Their day to day existence is usually riddled with problems due to their inability to carry out tasks without stopping to address their own internal concerns.

Howard Hughes and His Battle With OCD

While most know Howard Hughes for flying planes, there are many who are unaware of the fact that he flew as a means of self-soothing and putting his OCD mind at ease. Thanks to the success of the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Aviator, the story of Hughes’ life is now being told to a new generation and we are now able to learn about Hughes’ obsession with germs and how his mother was able to influence his fear of disease. He also developed a dependence on codeine as a result of OCD, as he had the misfortune of living in a time period when medical diagnosis was lacking.