People sometimes like to jokingly fall back on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) when they’re caught doing something that appears odd or repetitive, but that’s a disservice to the millions of people who suffer from the condition. The key to regaining control is education, in understanding therapeutic options like ketamine infusion therapy.
WHAT IS OCD?
The Mayo Clinic says “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) features a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress.”
People can attempt to ignore or halt their obsessions, but that only boosts distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you’re driven to do a compulsive act as a coping mechanism. Despite your best efforts, bothersome thoughts or urges keep coming back.
WHAT ARE THE KINDS OF OCD?
There are many kinds of OCD linked to any subject, any thought, any fear, any person, and it regularly zeroes in on important things in your life.
Pop Superstar Taylor Swift said this about OCD: “When you say ‘control freak’ and ‘OCD’ and ‘organized,’ that suggests someone who’s cold in nature, and I’m just not. Like, I’m really open when it comes to letting people in. But I just like my house to be neat, and I don’t like to make big messes that would hurt people.”
These kinds of OCD may sound familiar.
Checking. The desire to check is compulsive, but the obsession may be to flee damage, leaks, fire, or injury. Here are common subsets:
- Electric or gas stove knobs
- Water taps
- Uncomfortable memories
- Door windows and/or locks
- Home/office alarms
- Electrical appliances
The fear of contamination and being dirty is called obsessional worry, often anxiety that contamination may cause injury to one’s self or a family member. Common types are:
- Door handles
- Public telephones
- Public toilets
- Shaking hands
- Eating in public
- Staircase banisters
- Dead skin and clothes
- Teeth brushing
Mental contamination is a newer subject of research. The feelings of mental contamination have characteristics of contact contamination as well as other distinctive elements. Feelings can be provoked at times if you feel mistreated, physically, or mentally, through critical abusive or verbal comments.
Hoarding is an easily recognizable characteristic of OCD where a person cannot part with useless or worn out possessions. It was originally a subtype of OCD but was given its own condition in the 2013 update of DSM-5. But it does become problematic because some people experiencing OCD will hoard for obsessive worries, but they should still earn an OCD diagnosis rather than being classified as part of hoarding disorder.
In the context of OCD, rumination is a train of prolonged thinking about a theme or question that is undirected and unproductive. Similar to obsessional thoughts, they aren’t offensive and are received instead of resisted.
Intrusive thoughts are where you generally struggle with obsessional thoughts that are repetitive, disturbing, and often horrific and repugnant in nature. This would include thinking of causing sexual injury or violence to loved ones without certain immediate compulsions.
Symmetry and Orderliness. The need to have something lined up just ‘right’ is impulse, the obsessive worry is to make certain something feels ‘just right’ to avoid pain or prevent harm.
GET HELP FOR OCD
Not everyone who suffers from OCD gets help, which may explain why only two percent of people in the U.S. are confirmed. To begin overcoming symptoms of OCD, the obvious path is two-fold: Diagnosis and then treatment. You will likely be diagnosed by a doctor or mental health professional and treated by either. Medication can only be prescribed by a licensed medical professional in your state.
To be diagnosed, you must show symptoms of the O (obsessive) and C (Compulsive) whenever you undergo examination. Like many other mental illnesses, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is treated after a diagnosis, which a psychiatrist or psychologist can make after consulting with the Fifth Edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Over the last several years, public and private research has discovered an intriguing prospect – that ketamine, formerly used as a combat anesthetic in Vietnam, might handle chemical imbalances in the brain and enhance how neurotransmitters function. If you have OCD this can help you manage the symptoms and be productive.
Treatment options for mental health disorders and OCD, such as medication like ketamine or psychotherapy, should be talked through openly and honestly with your healthcare provider. If you or a loved one are experiencing the symptoms of OCD we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the innovative new options that are available, and schedule a free consultation with a nurse anesthesiologist to learn if ketamine infusion therapy is right for you.