OCD Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

By: Gretchen Hufson

OCD anxiety disorder is the fourth most common mental disorder. It is characterized by intrusive thoughts and irrational behavior. The OCD sufferer knows their thoughts and actions are irrational, which in turn, causes anxiety. Managing their behavior is often the single biggest challenge for those suffering from OCD.
There are six criteria that must be met for a diagnosis of OCD anxiety disorder. They are: 1. Repetitive behaviors, 2. Intrusive and recurring thoughts that cause stress or anxiety, 3. The individual knows the thoughts and behaviors are irrational, 4. The individual tries to suppress or ignore the thoughts and 5. The behaviors or tasks are performed specifically to reduce anxiety 6. The thoughts are more than just normal worry
They are: 1. recurring, intrusive and persistent thoughts that cause anxiety, 2. the thoughts are more than worries about legitimate problems, 3. the person must attempt to ignore or suppress the thoughts, 4. the person recognizes the thoughts or behavior as irrational, 5. repetitive behaviors and 6. the behaviors are aimed at reducing anxiety
Anyone can have OCD anxiety disorder. It can begin in childhood though it is more commonly started in the teens and twenties. OCD does not target one gender over the other. Typical behavior for an OCD sufferer is performing tasks aimed at reducing anxiety.
Scientists and doctors generally agree that OCD anxiety disorder is caused by a combination of psychological and biological factors. OCD is a system based on negative reinforcement, which typically causes additional anxiety.
Behavioral therapy and medication are the two most common ways OCD anxiety disorder is treated. Behavioral therapy operates on the premise of repeated exposure. In a safe and controlled environment, therapists repeatedly expose OCD sufferers to the cause of their anxiety. The patient breaks the cycle of acting out to reduce the anxiety. Over time, the sufferer can tolerate exposure to the anxiety trigger without engaging in unhealthy behavior to reduce the anxiety.
Medication is also used as a treatment option for OCD anxiety disorder. Some naturally occurring ingredients, like the sugar Inositol have proven effective. Antidepressants and antipsychotics are used as well.
Alternative treatments are constantly being researched as well. In some cases, naturally occurring ingredients like those found in vitamin supplements and the naturally occurring sugar called Inositol were effective in treating the OCD. As a last resort, psychosurgery has been done, though only in extreme and rarely occurring cases.

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Understanding the anxiety disorder is the first step in the healing process. Anxiety disorders affect millions - many of which never seek help. If you are reading this, you have already taken the first courageous step! Now, keep the momentum going!

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