OCD: A vicious cycle

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a tormenting illness that makes one oscillate between the realms of reality and those derived from the confines of one’s mind. Knowing what is not logical and yet being unable to convince oneself despite wanting to; is the biggest agony there can be for anyone.

But why does this happen?

How does it start?

Why doesn’t it stop?

Well, there are multiple reasons for the same, some having been proved scientifically and some not.

So, it might all start with some background detailing: an over religious family instilling strong moral sense of responsibility, a mother with overindulgence into cleaning and washing reinforcing the same into her young offspring or a severe psychological trauma inculcating fear and guilt which might be repressed.

These early life experiences may act as determinants for future learnings.

An untoward incident may act as a trigger to initiate a fear response which is then maintained by reinforcement of safety and protective behaviors. Absence or lack of these safety behaviors leads to severe, unbearable anxiety which makes one cross over the barrier of logic and indulge into the anxiety relieving safety behaviors. Over a period of time, such behaviors become a part of one’s being albeit with some insight and reluctance.

A thorough awareness and understanding of evolution of one’s own illness can markedly improve the success of treatment. Hence, a combination of medication and Psychotherapy is the most recommended treatment for OCD.