Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder is impossible to understand if you have never suffered from it. Although at first appearance, an obsessive compulsive sufferer can look just like anyone else, in reality it ranks among the worst psychiatric disorders. OCD is up there with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorders in the degree to which it cripples its sufferers and stops them from being able to live their lives. The term obsessive compulsive refers to a wide range of different behaviors. Basically, people who suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviors feel the need to ritualize Almost everything that they do. They may have to count the steps they take, repeatedly open and close the doors on the way out, or even suffer from compulsive eating disorder. Sometimes, their symptoms can be so bad that they can't even leave the house.
The most classic image of obsessive compulsive disorder is compulsive hand washing. People who suffer from this symptom feel the need to wash their hands over and over again. Often, their hands will become chafed or even raw, sometimes bleeding from the vigorous scrubbing that they are always giving them. I had a cousin who had childhood OCD and would do this behavior over and over again. No matter what his parents did, they couldn't stop him. They were sort of in denial about it, but when they saw his hands bleeding from his over-washing, they took him into the hospital.
One of the most terrible things about obsessive compulsive disorder is that there is no real cure. Obsessive and compulsive symptoms can be treated, of course, and some of the obsessional thinking can be mitigated through counseling and medication, but if you suffer from OCD you will always suffer from it to some degree. Psychiatric medication has come a long way, and it is by far the most common treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder, but it is not the only one. Although recent research shows that the disease has a biological basis, nevertheless therapy often helps for people dealing with obsessive compulsive disorders. There is even some evidence to suggest that things like diet in proper nutrition and exercise, can play their role in making things better or worse. If all these factors are taken into account, treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder can be very successful. It is just a matter of managing the symptoms diligently and properly and taking the right medication.