Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common psychiatric disorder characterized by obsessions and repetitive compulsions. This mental and behavioral disorder causes problems in the life and environment of the person.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 

Obsessions can be defined as undesirable obsessive ideas that cannot be removed from one’s mind even though they are known to be false, cannot be removed by logic and reasoning. Obsession in society is called obsession.

These ideas come against the person’s will. One knows they are illogical. They are usually repetitive, persistent ideas in the form of thoughts, words, impulses, images. The person is disturbed by this, feels distressed, tries to get rid of it, but cannot get rid of it.

Fear of contamination (blood, saliva, germs, dirt, etc.), obsession with symmetry, fear of losing control, fear of harm, obsessive thoughts about religion or morality, sexual impulses can be given as examples of obsessions.

Compulsion , on the other hand, is the act of repetitive movements, bringing other thoughts to mind, and developing other behaviors in order to get rid of the obsession (obsessive thought) from one’s mind.

The person gets rid of the distressed mood into which he is obsessed with compulsion. However, these unintentionally repeated actions for a long time tire the person. In fact, he knows that these actions have no meaning, but he continues the actions as he relieves his obsessive thoughts.

Examples of compulsions include washing hands for hours, taking a bath several times a day, cleaning the house thoroughly every day, arranging things, counting, checking, walking without stepping on the grass.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common psychiatric disorder characterized by obsessions and repetitive compulsions. This mental and behavioral disorder causes problems in the life and environment of the person.

Some OCD patients have obsessive thoughts before compulsive behaviors appear. No compulsions are encountered during this period.

Although OCD has been in different forms in different sources since ancient times, it was first described in modern terms by Esqirol in 1838.

The mean age of onset of the disease is 20 years. It is seen in 2.5% of the society. It is more common in boys during childhood and adolescence. In men, the age of onset is earlier and the course of the disease is worse.

Obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms: 

Every repetitive act in daily life, such as frequent hand washing, opening doors, windows, and arranging items, for the purpose of cleaning and order, cannot be considered as OCD. In order for these thoughts and behaviors to be considered as a disease, they must be severe and intense enough to affect, limit or impair daily functions.

Types of obsessions: 

  • Contagion obsessions : Avoids touching things and being in close contact with people. Such as thoughts of splashing urine on him in the toilet, getting blood, urine, semen from the elevator button on his hands, and contaminating his clothes while walking outside.
  • Doubt obsession : The state of not being sure that something has been done. Such as unplugging the iron, turning off the natural gas, turning off the oven, locking the door-window.
  • Sexual obsessions : These are thoughts with a sexual content that do not match the values of the person, that he knows himself to be wrong, and that he is ashamed of. Like the fear that a religious man will harass women at work.
  • Religious obsessions : These are thoughts that are contrary to one’s own beliefs, that he knows are wrong, and that he is worried about. Like questioning religious values and the existence of Allah during prayer.
  • Symmetry / order obsessions: The idea that objects are in a certain order and that they are constantly controlled. Just like the tables, the items on the coffee table, the books on the bookshelf in a certain order.
  • Somatic obsessions: Fear of catching life-threatening diseases such as cancer, and the thought of taking precautions against it.
  • Aggression obsessions: The fear that the person will harm, injure or kill the people around him, especially his loved ones or himself, and the thought of staying away from tools such as knives and scissors that may cause harm to prevent this. Jumping in front of the car can also be in the form of jumping out of the window.

Compulsion types: 

  • Cleaning compulsion : It is the actions of the person to wash their hands frequently and for a long time, not to go to the toilet outside the home, and to take off all their clothes when they return home from outside and throw them in the washing machine in order to get rid of the trouble caused by the contamination obsession.
  • Control compulsion : It is the actions of the person to control the iron, gas, oven, door-window to ensure safety in order to get rid of the anxiety caused by the doubt obsession.
  • Arrangement Compulsion : It is the activities of putting things and events into a certain order depending on the symmetry/order obsession.
  • Repetitive compulsions : Repetitions of certain activities a certain number of times. He cannot relax unless he does it in the same shape and number.
  • Counting compulsion : It is the mental act of constantly counting certain things. like license plates
  • Touch compulsion : It is in the form of touching a certain object, feeling uncomfortable when not doing it, fear that something wrong will happen.
  • The compulsion to hoard and keep : It is the form of taking things that one does not need, hoarding, and not throwing away things that are no longer needed.
  • Other : Some activities are traditionally earned. Such as not going under the stairs, not passing in front of a black cat, not standing on the threshold, not getting out of the bed on the left side. These can be done normally due to their beliefs or based on the values of the society in which they live. However, if this situation affects the person’s life negatively and limits his vital activities, it should be evaluated in terms of OCD.

obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD ) : 

The causes of the disease are not fully known. However, it has been tried to be explained with some theories. These:

  • Genetic factors: Studies have found that the incidence of the disease in identical twins with OCD is 75% in the other twin and 47% in fraternal twins. In other studies, obsessive-compulsive findings are found in first-degree relatives of OCD patients.
  • Increase in serotonin reuptake: Drugs effective on serotonin reuptake are effective in the treatment of OCD. Increases were detected in the serotonin levels of the patients. As the serotonin level decreases, the clinical picture of the disease improves.
  • Dopamine increase: There are studies showing that disorders in dopamine levels may be a factor in the emergence of the disease.
  • Immune system: It is thought that there is a relationship between childhood streptococcal infections and OCD. Antibody levels suggest the possibility of the disease being autoimmune.
  • Nerve damage: OCD in some diseases such as head trauma, seizures, encephalitis suggests that the disease may be related to nerve damage.
  • Childhood traumas: Traumas such as sexual abuse experienced in childhood are thought to contribute to the development of OCD in later ages.
  • Personality traits: The disease is more common in people with a more meticulous, prescriptive, perfectionist personality structure.

Psychodynamic Approaches: 

Freud : Obsessions reveal unconscious impulses. The person regresses to the object or forms of satisfaction in which he is stuck. Thanks to this regression, he gets rid of the oppressive effects of obsession. For example, excessive cleaning efforts are developed as a defense mechanism against the urge to pollute.

Learning theory : The disease develops with the fixed approaches and repetitions of the responses to some external stimuli. Fear acquired through classical conditioning is reinforced by avoidance behavior.

Existential approach : An obsessive person, despite himself, has to think, feel, frighten himself, and constantly succumb to a “magic” fear.