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Obsessive compulsive disorder – causes, side effects and treatments at

Thursday, May 24, 2018 by

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder wherein people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, images, feelings, and sensations and feel compelled to engage in repetitive behaviors in response to these thoughts or obsessions. Typically the person does these behaviors to reduce the impact of these obsessive thoughts; although the relief is only temporary. Those diagnosed with OCD often need to perform rituals to limit their anxiety.

OCD can be accompanied by other anxiety disorders and mental disturbances such as depression and eating challenges. Research suggests that the condition manifests itself early in childhood or adolescence and that it may run in families.

The mental disorder can become so severe that time-consuming rituals may make it impossible for patients to have proper relationships. It may also cause them to lose their autonomy and financial independence.

The course of OCD is varied; symptoms may come and go, or ease or worsen over time.

Those diagnosed with the condition have a higher risk of alcohol or drug dependence.

Known symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder

Patients diagnosed with the condition exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Having repeated thoughts about diverse issues. Usually this includes thoughts on being compulsively clean and organized, having a fear of dirt or violence, committing sexual acts, or behaving in a way that is not aligned with one’s religious beliefs.
  • Engaging in repetitive behaviors in response to these thoughts. This can include washing hands too frequently, counting, hoarding, locking and unlocking doors, repeating the same steps to any task, and the like.
  • Having obsessions that are intrusive – so much so that the patient often feels like he/she does not have control over his/her life.
  • Spending at least an hour a day on thoughts and rituals, which causes distress and gets in the way of the patient’s life.

Body systems harmed by obsessive compulsive disorder

The condition itself is not harmful; although a patient may be at an increased risk of danger because of the compulsion to engage in behavior that may be risky – depending on the obsessive thoughts compelling the individual.

Studies have shown that OCD patients have a higher risk of substance abuse, which may cause physical disturbances such as a weakened immune system and some brain problems.

There is also a social aspect to OCD. Patients with severe forms of the disease typically have few friends; it is difficult for them to communicate with other people and their rituals may be perceived as odd by the public.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent obsessive compulsive disorder

Medical science still does not understand what causes mental disorders in general. This is particularly true for OCD where the general school of thought is that the condition is genetic. That being said, there are no food items known to prevent it.

There are, however, some general diet and lifestyle guidelines that may help ease the severity of the condition. These include:

  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol;
  • Eating regularly and consuming more vegetables, particularly those known to improve cognitive function;
  • Exercising regularly;
  • Having regular massages; and
  • Sleeping regularly.

Treatments, management plans for obsessive compulsive disorder

OCD is usually treated with a variety of prescription medicines ranging from anti-anxiety pills to antidepressants, depending on the symptoms manifested by each patient.

In terms of management, OCD patients are encouraged to exercise regularly and follow a proper diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables.

Where to learn more


Obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder wherein a person has repeated thoughts that compel him to engage in repetitive behavior in response to them.

The condition runs in families and is thought to be a genetic disease.

Management plans of OCD focus on engaging in proper lifestyle habits such as exercising regularly and eating correctly.

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